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WVU student gets call to the big leagues as grounds crew member

Sam Gambill's memories of going to baseball games are set mostly against the backdrop of Camden Yards, the home of the Baltimore Orioles. The venue, which sparked a renaissance in the aesthetics and design for Major League Baseball facilities, is now the backdrop for Gambill's learning experience as a member of the grounds crew for the Orioles.

"The first time walking out there and being on the field and being able to pick out every seat I had sat in over the years was a really special moment for me and something that I will cherish forever," Gambill said.

Gambill, a junior sport management major at WVU, is one of 11 members of the grounds crew for Baltimore and one of 30 student managers for the Mountaineer baseball team. This semester he's had to balance a minimum of five days a week with the WVU baseball team while commuting to Baltimore occasionally for work with the Orioles. He credits the flexibility of WVU's asynchronous online classes for allowing him to pursue these immersive opportunities. He counts Nicole Sherry, the head groundskeeper for the Orioles, as his most influential mentor. She's provided valuable advice and treated him and the rest of the grounds crew like family. 

While working at WVU and for the Orioles, Gambill acknowledges the immense responsibility of maintaining a major league field, as the safety of players and the quality of the game relies on the ground crew's meticulous work. 

"It is crucial that we get everything set up the way it is supposed to every day, and we get a routine down because otherwise, the game cannot go on the way it is supposed to," Gambill said.

To get a closer look at the world of baseball groundskeeping and hear more from Sam Gambill about his experiences, be sure to check out this video:

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