Issaquah Little League volunteer Terry Dodd never envisioned that his dedication serving his community would result in recognition around the globe.
Dodd, who has been a tireless dedicated volunteer with Issaquah Little League for the past 36 years, captured the Little League International Volunteer of the Year award on June 13. Dodd was summoned to visit one of the Little League fields in Issaquah by members of Issaquah Little League because of an apparent field issue. Dodd had no inkling he would receive any kind of award as he made the short drive to the field and was unaware of the ruse.
“I had no idea. They (Issaquah Little League board members) called me down because they said they had an issue associated with the field because we had just hosted a tournament featuring teams on the Eastside. I came down there and there was about 15 people who have been instrumental in our league for over 20 years. Some of them I hadn’t seen in quite a while,” Dodd explained.
Shortly after the contingent informed Dodd of his honor, he was stunned.
“I was quite surprised. When I found out the award wasn’t just for the state of Washington, but was an international award I was quite taken aback. I had no notion I would ever get this honor. It was quite a shock,” Dodd said. “It was pretty neat that there were so many people there to say congratulations to me.”
Dodd and his wife will attend the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in August. Dodd said they will fly to Philadelphia on Aug. 14. After landing, the couple will rent a car and make the three-hour drive to Williamsport.
“We will be there for five days and they (Little League organization) will house us there. I will be throwing the first pitch out at one of the games too,” Dodd said.
Dodd, who is 75 years of age, has been involved with baseball and softball for as long as he can remember. He has been an umpire for the past 57 years and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
“I started out when I was 18 and I’m 75. I still enjoy it thoroughly and have such a good time it,” Dodd said of umpiring at the high school level.
Dodd was instrumental in developing a number of playing fields across the Issaquah region over the past four decades as well. The longtime Issaquah resident has watched firsthand how much the town has transformed since arriving in the early 1980s.
“When we moved to Issaquah, there was just one four-way stoplight in downtown Issaquah. Of course now, everyone knows what it looks like. There has been quite a bit of change,” he said.