Mallory Noble is loving her field work

Spring training is nearly over, but the fun will continue for Mallory Noble.

The 2016 Yuma High School graduate, and daughter of former Yuma residents Rich and Jen Noble, is the assistant director of field operations at Cacti Park of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“I love my job,” Noble told the Pioneer via email. “I’m one of the first people to see the team play before the season. I get to be out on the field to not only set up for their workouts, but then get to watch the guys out there doing what they do best.”

After graduating from YHS, Mallory received a degree in Horticulture and Sports Turf Management from Sheridan College in 2017.

She spent 2018 in Round Rock, Texas, working for the Texas Rangers’ Triple A affiliate, the Round Rock Express.

Mallory then moved to Florida in 2019 and began working at Cacti Park, the spring training home of the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros. She is an employee of the Nationals, and has been running point at the complex for the past three years.

It is her job to handle the spring training schedules for the Nationals’ workouts and prep the fields accordingly.

The facility has 15 full-size and two half-size baseball fields, along with two synthetic turf agility fields.

“The team will often be using all seven of their fields,” Noble said. “When the fields are all set for the workouts, we have virtually nothing to do but sit and watch until they need us or their workout is over. So the proximity to the activity creates an amazing experience: standing in the dugouts during ground balls, leaning on the turtle during(batting practice), standing behind the catchers during a bullpen session.”

Spring training is ending this week as the MLB regular season begins today, March 28, except for the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres opening with a two-game set in Seoul, South Korea last week.

Noble, besides working, has got to take in a lot of Grapefruit League spring training games over the past month or so in beautiful Florida weather.

She also witnessed Jen Pawol make history as the first woman umpire to work a spring training game since 2007. It came in the Grapefruit League opener between the Nationals and Astros.

The major leaguers now are moving to their home cities for the long MLB season, but Noble and her crew will remain plenty busy.

Noble said Cacti Park hosts the Nationals’ short-season rookie team, and any players undergoing rehab throughout the duration of the MLB season.

The facility also hosts amateur tournaments from April through November, so there is still plenty to do.

It means the challenges will continue all season.

“Working in baseball in South Florida can be very interesting sometimes — it rains a lot here,” Mallory explained. “During spring we have to tarp the field if we have storms come through or if we’re expecting weather overnight. My job during games is to roll the tarp out once the umps/GM/and the Director of Field Ops give the “okay” and far and away that is the most intense part of the job. I’m always worried that my cart won’t shift into gear, my differential won’t be locked and I spin out on the grass, or the tarp will roll back into itself, all of which would cause us to lose the game. None of those have happened to me yet, thank goodness, but in the moments when it starts to pour and we have to be quick, I get a bit nervous.”