Nicole McFadyen is known for making the field at Baltimore’s Camden Yards look spectacular. Now the Orioles head groundskeeper can add a personal award to her mantel.
McFadyen was recently named the 2016 recipient of the Mary Pickersgill Award for Women’s Leadership in Business. Presented by The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Association and Museum, the award is an annual honor presented to a woman in the Baltimore metropolitan area who “demonstrates leadership in the community, exemplifies innovation in her chosen field, and has the power to inspire others,” according to the association. The Flag House, built in 1793, was the home and place of business of Mary Pickersgill, maker of the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key’s famous poem that later became our national anthem.
This season marks McFadyen’s 10th as the Orioles’ head groundskeeper. She returned to the Orioles organization in November 2006 after a three-year absence, becoming just the second woman ever to serve as head groundskeeper with a Major League team. McFadyen and Heather Nabozny, who has been with the Detroit Tigers since 1999, are the only female head groundskeepers in MLB.
“As one of only two female head groundskeepers in Major League Baseball, Nicole is a pioneer in her field,” said Amanda Davis, executive director of the Flag House. “Her dedication to her work and educating other young women and men about career opportunities in agriculture and groundskeeping made her the winning nominee for the 2016 Mary Pickersgill Award.”
McFadyen grew up in New Castle, Delaware, about an hour from Baltimore. She was introduced to Camden Yards while a student at Delaware Technical Community College. Her class toured the field to get a close-up look at Camden Yards’ irrigation system.