New Mellor book coming in June

“Dave Mellor has built one of baseball’s most inspirational
stories over the last half-century. Anchored by a love for his family and the
game, he survived incomprehensible catastrophes and PTSD to become a pioneering
ballfield artist and head groundskeeper for Fenway Park.”—Buster Olney, ESPN

Baseball and PTSD aren’t often mentioned in the same
sentence. But then again, the experiences of David Mellor, the head
groundskeeper for the Boston Red Sox, aren’t typical of someone in the big
leagues. “One Base at a Time: How I Survived PTSD and Found My Field of Dreams”
by SFMA member Mellor will be released next month. Mellor shares with readers
not just a compelling chronicle of his traumatic experiences, but also
first-person insights on the importance of finding help to overcome the worst
of what life throws at you.

“If I had read a book like this 30 years ago, my life would
have been different,” Mellor said.

In 1981, Mellor suffered a freak accident when a car pinned
the then-18-year-old against a wall outside a McDonald’s, tearing up his knee
and ending the pitching prospect’s big-league hopes. Even more shocking, in
1995, Mellor was working on the field as a groundskeeper for the Milwaukee
Brewers when a driver with a history of mental illness busted her car through a
security gate and ran him down on the warning track.

These and many other traumas and dozens of surgeries
recounted by Mellor left him physically and psychologically scarred for
decades, and triggered in him a malady that wouldn’t be diagnosed for
decades:  post-traumatic stress disorder,
or PTSD. Mellor suffered mood swings, irritability, restlessness, extreme
sensitivity, screaming nightmares and more. Mellor said he felt ashamed as he
was struggle through PTSD in the days before his diagnosis: “I assumed that I
was just weak and wondered why it was that I couldn’t handle everything and
move on.”

Then, by chance, Mellor read a magazine feature on PTSD. He
instantly recognized his own condition in the description. He said, “I started
ticking off the symptoms that had haunted me for almost 30 years. Involuntary
trembling? Sometimes. Irritability? Often. Restlessness? Yes. Depression?
Absolutely. Nightmares? Always. Insomnia? Defi­nitely. Emotional numbness? Yes.
Sensitivity to noise? Yes! A tendency to seek relief in alcohol? I had!”

Mellor said, “I had always thought PTSD was a condition only
soldiers who had dealt with the horrors of war could have, but today we
understand that PTSD can be caused by all sorts of trauma, from warfare to
assault, from sexual abuse to being in a car accident. I went nearly three
decades before I made the connection between my symptoms and PTSD.

“My hope is that this book helps people heal, people I may
never even know personally.”

Mellor explained, “I wrote this book so others won’t suffer
as long as I did, and those around them won’t suffer either. I want this book
to be the start of a life-changing journey of healing for those who are
suffering from PTSD. There is help out there.”

“To all who suffer from PTSD, know this: In spite of it all,
today, against all odds, I am making progress and you can, too.”

A key part of Mellor’s recovery, which he discusses in his
book, came about thanks to the introduction of his service dog, Drago, into his
life—a story featured on ESPN.

“Drago has had a powerful and life-changing impact on me,”
Mellor said. “He is always by my side, on and off the field.”

Mellor concluded, “I will continue to take the same approach that has carried me this far:  One step at a time; one base at a time. It is never too late to take that first step.” Amazon link