Tag Archives: Beth Cody

Unsung Hero #236

Baseball season is in full swing (ho ho). Which means there’s no better time to honor Beth Cody as our Unsung Hero than now.

Beth Cody

After nearly 22 years, Beth is Westport Little League’s 2nd-longest tenured volunteer. She is currently executive secretary, and as registrar handles all baseball and softball registration.

But her real value comes as co-founder and commissioner of the Challenger program.

She and her son Jack started Challenger — a program for children with mental and physical challenges — 9 years ago.

Together, they built it (and the Westport Winners team) from scratch. Beth administers it entirely herself — including outreach to sponsors, so it is entirely free.

Challenger commissioner Beth Cody (front, blue shirt) join Challenger players, buddies, Staples High School players and Little League alum/Duke University star Chad Knight (center rear, white shirt) at the diamond.

Westport Little League president Jeffrey Brill calls Challenger “the gold standard of our Little League.” Though Beth has no child in the program, she  singlehandedly coordinates it all: securing fields; ordering equipment, uniforms and trophies; scheduling and re-scheduling games; recruiting players ages 5-18; organizing coaches; finding and pairing over 200 “buddies” a year, and running creative events like Field Day, Halloween parties and pizza parties.

Beth attends every game and activity, home and away. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and helps create the warm, intimate feeling that is a Westport Challenger hallmark.

Among Beth Cody’s many activities: taking photos at Challenger games.

Buddies form lifelong friendships with players. Brill sees this first-hand with his son, a buddy volunteer with a lasting relationship with a player that transcends the diamond. Both have been enriched beyond measure.

Beth’s admirers are legion. A mother says, “After 17 years in Westport sports, she is the most dedicated team manager I have ever known. Beth shows patience and kindness toward every player, buddy, and the parents. She may be the most disappointed participant when we have to cancel due to weather!”

Parent Stacie Curran says the program provides “a true sense of belonging to a team. Challenger Baseball is a place of comfort and no judgment. Parents share common struggles, support, patience and understanding.

“We laugh, we cry, we rely on each other – and we owe our thanks for this club to the amazing ‘Commish’ Cody.”

Beth Cody with Westport Winner stalwart Dylan Curran.

Parent Beth Fahimi adds: “Beth is always at the helm. She is very calm and diligent, making sure each player has what they need. She provides a safe, first- class environment. She creates strategic lineups, knowing some children can wait their turn, or not. She watches, adjusts, and makes the team successful both playing and having fun.”

Congratulations, Beth Cody. You are our hands-down, heartfelt, Unsung Hero this week. And every other week too!

EXTRA INNINGS: Beth’s 31-year-old son Nicholas and 26-year-old son Jack played baseball in Westport from pre-school to high school. She has loved the sport since her first Yankee games as a 5-year-old, cheering for Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. Before moving to Westport 30 years ago, she lived in Manhattan and was vice president/associate media director at an advertising agency. She and her husband Paul have been married for 33 years.

Chad: Challenger Baseball’s Shining Knight

Chad Knight has a sparkling resume.

Last week the Staples High School senior captained his baseball team to their 2nd state championship in 3 years. In 2013 Chad starred on the Westport squad that reached the finals of the Little League World Series.

He’s been drafted by the New York Yankees — but he’s heading first to Duke University. He’s also an excellent piano player.

Yet one of his many other recent honors — Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year — led to an especially fine moment.

As part of Gatorade’s Play It Forward Fund, Chad was given $1,000 to pass on to any national or local youth sports organization of his choice.

He chose Westport Little League’s Challenger Division. That’s the very successful program for boys and girls with disabilities.

Chad Knight (rear, center, white shirt) and Challenger commissioner Beth Cody (front, blue shirt) join Challenger players, buddies, and Staples baseball players today.

Chad’s generosity came from the heart. Throughout the years he has served as a “buddy” to the players. He always found time to help out. He loved the youngsters, and they adored him.

In appreciation of Chad’s gift, commissioner Beth Cody announced that Gatorade is the official drink of the Westport Winners challenger team. Today at Meyer Field, she presented Chad with a bottle with his name, number and the Westport Winners name.

Starting this fall, every Challenger player will get one too.

It was a quick, fun ceremony, before Westport took on Norwalk in their final game of the season.

Then Chad headed off to his next celebration: his own graduation party.

In 2014, Chad Knight (right) was a Challenger buddy with Dylan Curran. Dylan is now manager of the state champion Staples baseball team, and still plays with the Westport Winners.