New Delmarva Shorebirds head groundskeeper Caroline Beauchamp is no stranger to the team or to the Delmarva Peninsula. Beauchamp spent six years as the Shorebirds assistant groundskeeper and worked for Wicomico County Parks and Rec/Tourism and Salisbury University before rejoining the team mid season. She grew up in Princess Anne and has lived in the area most of her life.
“It’s an absolute challenge, but I’m up for it,” said Beauchamp. “These guys have been great to me. Everybody’s been super helpful.”
“The Shorebirds are thrilled to welcome Caroline back to Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. She has certainly grown in her field since she was an Assistant Groundskeeper here and we are excited about the experience she brings to the table,” General Manager Chris Bitters said.
Beauchamp’s first stint with the Shorebirds came right after she graduated from Delaware Tech in 2006 and she fell in love with the job. She worked as the Shorebirds’ Assistant Groundskeeper for six seasons before working as Facilities Maintenance Technician at Wicomico County Parks and Rec/Tourism and as a Sports Turf Technician at Salisbury University.
The jobs with the county and the university helped Beauchamp gain more experience and knowledge in her field. Coming back to the Shorebirds offered her a chance to live her dream.
“This place is great, it’s right in my back yard. I grew up in the stands when I was a kid,” said Beauchamp. “Not many people get to say they got their dream job.”
The Washington High grad moved to Delaware to go to college, but came home every weekend. She grew up on a chicken farm in Princess Anne.
At the Minor League level, members of the front help to pull the tarp. The Shorebirds have a seasonal assistant to help the head groundskeeper, while Major League teams have much larger crews. Beauchamp and the team’s general manager and assistant general manager meet to discuss the weather before games.
“We’re all one big team,” Beauchamp said. While some people ask her if she plans to move up in the system like the players do, Caroline says she has no plans to leave the area.
“There’s so much to learn, I don’t care how much you know,” Beauchamp said.
Every night when Beauchamp shuts the lights off after the game she feels great pride and is glad to be back. “We’ve got the best seat in the house (in the tunnel),” said Beauchamp.
Beauchamp often comes to the ballpark early in the morning when it’s cooler to catch up on work. Dealing with the 100 degree days and balancing time between work and her family present challenges but she says, “they (family) have my back.”
“There’s definitely many challenges,” Beauchamp said. At the ball park she plays the roles of meteorologist, friend, boss, mediator, and scientist, all while balancing her work with her home life.
The science comes in when she is tracking the weather, working with the grass, and looking at wind direction for fireworks shows.
Beauchamp is not comfortable being looked at as a role model, but she likes the idea of giving advice to anyone who wants to follow in her footsteps. She spent a lot of time watching baseball games and sees being a groundskeeper as the next best thing to playing the game. Her influences include Baltimore Orioles head groundskeeper Nicole Sherry, who is also a Delaware Tech graduate.