The Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) has named Orioles Head Groundskeeper Nicol Sherry the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Dick Ericson Founders’ Award. Sherry received the award at the STMA banquet on Friday, January 25, in Phoenix, Ariz.
The Dick Ericson Award, established in 1997, is awarded annually to a STMA member who effectively manages sports fields and their facility, exhibits the qualities of a true team leader, and who positively impacts the sports turf industry. The award was created to honor Dick Ericson, one of the four Founders of the STMA, who also served as the first President of the STMA from 1981-82. Ericson has made significant contributions to the STMA and continues to have an impact in raising the level of professionalism within the industry.
Sherry will begin her 13th season as the Orioles Head Groundskeeper this year and her 16th season with the Orioles organization overall. She returned to the Orioles organization in November of 2006 after a three-year absence, becoming just the second woman ever to serve as Head Groundskeeper with a Major League team. Sherry and Heather Nabozny, who has been with the Detroit Tigers since 1999, are the only female head groundskeepers in Major League Baseball. In February of 2016, Sherry was named the recipient of the Mary Pickersgill Award for Women’s Leadership in Business by the Star-Spangled Bannger Flag House. Established in 2012, the award honors a woman who demonstrates leadership in her community, exemplifies innovation in her chosen field, and has the power to inspire others.
Most recently, Sherry, along with MLB and Discovery Education, have worked with local schools to introduce students to a variety of intriguing science and STEM concepts related to her job as Head Groundskeeper.
The STMA was established in 1981 to facilitate the sharing of ideas and information among professionals within the sports turf management industry worldwide. Headquartered in Lawrence, Kan., the STMA has 2700 members as of 2018. Members strive to manage sports field playing surfaces to the safest level possible, while providing education and practical knowledge in the art and science of sports field management.