Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend
Distributed by Media Education Foundation, 60 Masonic St., Northampton, MA 01060; 800-897-0089
Produced by Barbara Ghammashi and Sarah Knight for Roadside Pictures
Directed by Sarah Knight
DVD, color, 25 min.
High School - General Adult
Reviewed by Cliff Glaviano, formerly with Bowling Green State University Libraries, Bowling Green, OH
Date Entered: 1/2/2018
This video tells the story of Nicole Sherry McFayden who became Head Groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, one of only two women who hold that title in Major League Baseball. Nicole began as an intern in the Baltimore organization while attending college in Delaware. From there, she became Head Groundskeeper, that is, the only groundskeeper, for the Trenton Thunder, a New York Yankees farm team, and subsequently was offered her current position at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
This film effectively captures the art and aesthetics of the landscape architecture of a modern athletic facility. Turf science and grounds maintenance have evolved from on-the-job learning careers to four-year college degrees in agricultural sciences, and even to post-graduate degrees as turf science rapidly advances. There is more than hard work involved in maintaining a baseball field for ticketed fans and television. The safety of the ballplayers on the field is paramount and is the responsibility of the head groundskeeper. Interpreting rapidly changing weather conditions and communicating them to the umpires is as important as ensuring the safety of the grounds crew covering the playing surfaces with tarps during rain delays. The colors of the dirt areas of the playing field at Camden Yards are matched to the colors of historic warehouses in the area ... fascinating.
Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend is highly recommended. Nicole Sherry McFayden has become a role-model for women who hope to find careers related to sports. Interviews with her parents, co-workers, and ballplayers underline the respect that Nicole’s has gained for doing her job so well. That respect has made it much easier for women to serve on grounds crews and to advance, through education and hard work to a position similar to that which Nicole holds. One of the film’s added features, Extra Innings, updates the content through Nicole’s marriage and birth of her son the day before the Orioles’ home opener in 2013. She went back to work full time July 8, 2013 at her dream job in Camden Yards.