David Carpenter is Chairman of the Stratford Brakettes organization. He stepped forward before the start of the 1996 season and he has kept softballs greatest tradition alive. He and his wife Dorothy are two of the Brakettes' most loyal fans, rarely missing a game.
A high school baseball player and long time sports enthusiast, Dave joined New Jersey Zinc Company in 1963. It became Horsehead Industries, Inc. (HII) of New York City when he co-founded that company in 1981. Dave served as Vice President of HII until 1983 when he became Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In 1989 he was promoted to President.
Horsehead Industries, Inc. is one of the countrys largest privately-held manufacturing companies. Its major operations include Zinc Corporation of America and Horsehead Resource Development Company. ZCA produces zinc metal and chemicals and HRD provides environmental and recycling services. Recently retired from his position as President and Chief Executive Officer, Dave has formed a new company, Riverside Management Group to develop new business opportunities.
He is a graduate of Alfred University (BA with a Chemistry Major) and has a Doctorate in Ceramic Science from the State University of New York. Dave and his wife Dorothy live in Westport. They have two children and four grandchildren.
Bob Baird enters his 16th season as the General Manager of the Brakettes, where he is responsible for all aspects of the team's operation. He assists manager John Stratton as a bench coach. The Director of Athletics for Stratford High School and Wooster Middle School, where he oversees 43 sports on the junior high, freshmen, junior varsity and varsity levels, Baird will take over as head softball coach at his alma mater next spring.
Bob is a graduate of Stratford High School and the University of Bridgeport, where he served as Director of Athletics for five years. He was a sports writer/editor for 20 years and he covered the Brakettes in 15 National ASA tournaments. He coached womens softball and basketball at the collegiate level, compiling a 105-30 record at Housatonic CC, where the Lady Hawks won three State and one New England Softball Championship. His basketball teams had a 98-17 record with three State titles and as many NJCAA Region 21 tournament berths. During his two-year tenure as assistant coach at Sacred Heart University, the Lady Pioneers finished third and fourth in the NCAA Division II World Series. Baird was head coach at St. Joseph High School for four years and he led the Cadettes to a 76-25 record and three league championships. Baird remains active in youth sports, coaching the Boys Varsity basketball team at St. James School in Stratford. A native of Stratford, Bob and his wife Joy have five children.
Now beginnig his 26th season with the Stratford Brakettes organization, Manager John Stratton can breathe a sigh of relief. Since taking over the reins of the club in 1995, Stratton has done a great job in rebuilding the Brakettes into the dominant program in women's softball. The fruits of his labor were realized last August when the team captured their 24th National ASA Championship, ending a ten-year drought. In the last seven years, Stratton has piloted the Brakettes to a record of 424-51 (.892). Stratton also served as interim manager in 1976 when Ralph Raymond (two-time U.S. Olympic Head Coach) suffered a heart attack. John led an entirely new team to the National Championship with a 44-12 overall record.
In the "off-season", John is the pitching coach for Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. At FAU, Stratton works for Joan Joyce, the former Brakettes pitcher and National ASA Hall of Famer. A graduate of Stratford High School and the University of Bridgeport, Stratton retired as a physical education instructor in the New Canaan school system after 35 years. Regarded as one of the top pitching clinicians in the nation, he has been inducted into both the Connecticut ASA and Collegiate Halls of Fame, while his wife (Rosemary) Mickey was the first Brakettes player inducted into the National ASA Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. John and Mickey are the parents of one son, John Jr., who was an All-American baseball player at Jacksonville State (AL) and a former minor league catcher.
Patty Fernandes begins her 14th season with the Brakettes. This is the fifth straight season where her duties are confined solely to coaching third base. A graduate of Illinois State University, Fernandes has been the head softball and volleyball coach at Southern Connecticut State University for the past 14 years. She led her Lady Owls to the 2000 New England Collegiate Conference championship and she was named the NECC Coach of the Year. In 2001 the team challenged for the Northeast-10 Conference title and gained an NCAA Division II tournament berth.
Patty is a graduate of Stratford High School and the schools first female inducted into its Athletic Hall of Fame. During her Brakettes playing days, Fernandes was known as a fine defensive outfielder with super speed. She was a member of the 1978 World Championship team on her first tour with the Brakettes (1977-81). Overall, she has played in 249 games, compiling a career .257 batting average.