Grounds keeping leads to international career for GreenJackets' head grounds keeper

Published: May. 26, 2020 at 6:52 PM EDT
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NORTH AUGUSTA, SC -- On a rainy day, there's not a lot for GreenJackets head grounds keeper Darrell Lemmer to do. What he's done before coming to CSRA will make you see grounds keeping in a completely different way.

Right now, the stands at SRP Park are empty. The dugouts are without players. A lone strip of paint remains along the first base line, but the field looks as good as ever thanks Lemmer.

"I wouldn't feel right if it didn't look right. Some of it I guess is personal pride, but it's professionalism."

He's continued to tend to the field even without action 8 hours a day sometimes as many as 6 days a week. It's easier to and cheaper to keep the field in good shape rather than let it go into shambles and have to save it.

Lemmer's start in grounds keeping was a bit unorthodox. Without knowing what he wanted to pursue for a career, he simply began working for his university's athletic department.

"I started working basically doing T-Shirt security at Arizona State University back in the late 80s when I was a student and from there, just started working every job I could in the athletic department."

Lemmer would go on to manage the baseball and softball field at Arizona State until 2004. Once he left ASU, he began what can only be described as an international career on some of the biggest stages.

"In 2004, I left ASU and went to Greece to work the Olympics. I've done a lot of the World Baseball Classics whether it was in Puerto Rico, or Taiwan, or Korea. Superbowls 29 through 36. I got to do some Pro Bowls in Hawaii."

He also helped on the field for the 2008 Beijing Olympics for the opening ceremony among many other big events. It's not the life or experiences Lemmer expected to come from Groundskeeping, but it's one that's never had a dull moment.

"For the most part, I've thoroughly enjoyed everywhere I've gone. You get started you could tell stories for forever."

He's formed relationships with athletes across all sports with names like Dustin Pedroia, Andre Etheir, Pat Tillman, and Chris Berman. While we still may be some time away from sports coming back to SRP, Lemmer will have the field ready as he also readies for the new wave of friendships.

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