"Dave is a truly unique person. His passion, hard work, creativity, and love for baseball gives life to Fenway Park. It gives intensity to us as ball players and pushes us to put on a show night after night. Dave is as much a part of the Red Sox team as anyone and his life and the adversity he has overcome is really inspiring."
– David "Big Papi" Ortiz
"The true star of Fenway Park is not one of the Red Sox players; it is the esteemed groundskeeper David Mellor. This is a powerful memoir, taking David from his days as a potential big league pitcher through the time when, after his dreams came to a traumatic halt, he battled PTSD and eventually returned to the diamond after conquering his demons. It is an inspiring story, and I encourage all baseball fans to read this motivating book."
– Tom Werner, Chairman of the Boston Red Sox
"Every now and then someone really special comes into your life. David Mellor is one of those special people. Whether he's hand cutting the infield grass or making it possible for 30,000 people to run across the plate at Fenway you know you are in the presence of greatness. If you feel the need for inspiration or motivation, read this book, get up off the couch and get back in the game."
– Lenny Clark, Comedian/Actor
"David's long battle with PTSD and chronic debilitating pain, all while he worked a demanding job full time, is a powerful story that will help many who suffer silently with these conditions. You cannot help but be captivated and inspired by his road to recovery, fueled by a determination to never give up, never give in."
– Padma Gulur MD, Professor of Anesthesiology, Vice Chair, Operations and Performance, Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University
"Dave Mellor, operating on a canvas of grass and dirt, has transformed our field at Fenway Park into a shimmering work of art for nearly two decades. Now Boston's greatest gardener shares his personal story of facing and ultimately overcoming PTSD, one that should inspire hope in all who read it."
– Sam Kennedy, Boston Red Sox President and CEO
"David's book is a must-read, inspiration for anyone facing challenges...which is all of us! His childhood dream of playing Major League Baseball was crushed after several devastating, physical attacks that left him with non-combat related PTSD. But he persevered "One Base at a Time" with a true "Never-Quit" attitude and now runs the team responsible for the most professional grounds keeping at the holiest of baseball cathedrals: Fenway Park. This is a true story of how to reach your goal while realizing that roadblocks are only detours."
– Robert J. O'Neill, Former Navy SEAL
"Dave Mellor brings to light the multifaceted challenges encountered by people struggling to overcome the physical and mental injuries of trauma. A truly inspiring story of one man's efforts to overcome significant adversity."
– Jack Hammond, Brigadier General USA (Ret), Executive Director, Home Base, A Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program
"David has an amazing life story about overcoming adversity! He leads by example and is extremely motivating showing that your emotional/mental strength needs as much conditioning as your physical strength! I also learned from the book, 'Life is good because you decided to make it that way!' If you want to make a positive impact, have a positive life!"
– Peter Hoffmann, Commander, 126 Air Refueling Squadron, Lt Col (Ret)
"The Comeback Kid. A story of one man, his family and how to overcome trauma. Dave Mellor shows us how post-traumatic stress can become post-traumatic growth—a must read for all who face adversity and need an example for how to regain our lives."
– Michael Allard, Chief Operating Officer, Home Base: A Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program
"The reality is that PTSD is not only found in men and women returning from battle. It rears its ugly head in all aspects of our society, from those abused as children to people scarred from having observed a terrible crime. David is a patient of mine who tells here his story of multiple traumas. He had over 40 surgeries, developed a disabling chronic pain syndrome, and lives with PTSD from all of these experiences. I was his neurosurgeon treating his chronic pain and heard firsthand what these events had done to him, but I also saw evidence of how he had resurrected his life, becoming a highly-functioning member of society, directing the Fenway Park groundscrew (one of the best in baseball), having a family, and now having the courage to help others out of their own PTSD darkness. If you have PTSD or know someone who does, read this book!"
– Jeff Arle, MD, PhD, Neurosurgeon, Harvard Medical School
"I could not put it down! As a major league crew chief my job is to get the game in! I rely heavily on the grounds crew in each stadium, particularly the head groundskeeper. There are only thirty people who do this job, and they are all excellent. David Mellor is a man who stands out in a field of excellence. What amazes me is, despite everything life has thrown at David, he has emerged at the top of his profession. This man has not only gotten up from the mat numerous times, he has won the fight by a unanimous decision! This book has inspired me to keep the faith, and keep fighting the good fight. I admire the courage David has to speak about his struggles, I know it will help many people who are suffering. Baseball can be a ruthless game with very little forgiveness. You have to get the job done no matter what. David not only gets the job done, he gets it done the right way! When I make a call in a game that goes against your team, you probably don't like it. I am telling you to read this book, I know this is a call that no one will argue with!"
– Ted Barrett, Major League Umpire, Crew Chief #65
"I know David, not only as one of the best, most trusted groundskeepers in Major League Baseball, but more importantly, someone who has a deep compassion for people. Discussing my own history with concussions, David and I found a bond, so I know firsthand his desire to help others. This book does just that, by telling his very personal story and relating his experiences...the setbacks and disappointments, the embarrassment, fear and guilt, withdrawing from family and friends, and finally, the courage and strength to seek help. If you have PTSD or think you might, read David's journey. You may find it to be a lot like yours..."
– Dale Scott, thirty-two-year MLB Umpire (retired 2018), 16-year crew chief
"As a psychologist who works with client suffering from PTSD, I was immediately struck by the personal aspect of David's story. How tragic to have your dreams crushed in such a cruel manner. My other reaction was a bit more selfish. I realized that I could share this inspiring story with my own clients: 'You say that you're feeling a little embarrassed to admit that you're not coping well with this trauma? You're thinking that a tougher person should be able to handle this? Are you a Red Sox fan? Let me tell you the story of David Mellor, Head Groundskeeper for Fenway Park.'
I wrote to David and told him how thankful I was that he decided to share his journey. I said that I was sure I'd be able to use it to help others realize that they were acting like any other human would in their shoes. 'You are having a NORMAL reaction to a very ABNORMAL situation; welcom to the human race.' David did a big favor for professionals like myself, and for anyone who is struggling to overcome trauma."
– Paul Shiebler Psy.D, Licensed Psychologist