DETROIT – For the Detroit Tigers’ Opening Day game against the Cleveland Indians, there’s no doubt the field at Comerica Park will be looking pristine.
It’s all thanks to Tigers head groundskeeper Heather Nabozny. She’s the first woman to ever hold that position in Major League Baseball.
Nabozny was brought on when Comerica Park was first being built in the late 1990s. At the time, Nabozny was one year into her new job -- the first women to ever hold the title as head groundskeeper for a MLB team.
Her path to the Detroit Tigers started as a teenager. She started working for her dad’s lawncare business in Milford. After two years at Northern Michigan University, she transferred to Michigan State University, for its Turf Management Program.
“I was geared more toward sports turf than golf, because I didn’t really golf,” Nabozny recalled.
After she graduated, Nabozny’s first job was in Dunedin, Florida, where the Toronto Blue Jays host its spring training. Her second job was with the West Michigan Whitecaps, which was an Oakland Athletics affiliate at the time. It was at LMCU Ballpark she impressed the Tigers and got her history-making job in 1999.
She likes to say that grass is just grass, but she’s being modest. For more than 20 years, the Tigers turn has been the gold standard.
There’s still only two women head groundskeepers in the major leagues. The other is Nicole Sherry in Baltimore.
Nabozny said she recommends her line of work to anyone -- especially women and girls. To her, working for the team she grew up watching is a dream.
You can watch Jamie Edmonds’ full story in the video above.
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