By Phil Anastasia
Former Gloucester Catholic baseball star Cody Brown, the Inquirer's South Jersey Player of the Year in 2011, has been diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer.
Brown, 20, has begun to receive chemotherapy for Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, according to his father, Mike Brown.
Cody Brown will be the guest of honor at a fund-raiser in his benefit at the Brooklawn American Legion Post 72 on the night of Wednesday, Nov. 27, according to former Gloucester Catholic coach Dennis Barth, now the head coach at Rurgers Camden.
Tickets are $25. Contact Barth at 609-868-5807 for more information.
Donations also can be mailed to Barth at 503 Rt. 130, Brooklawn, NJ 08030.
Cody Brown is a junior at Central Connecticut State University and a member of the Blue Devils' baseball program along with his twin brother, Casey.
Mike Brown said Cody Brown was diagnosed about two weeks ago. He had been experiencing a skin rash as well as pain in his abdomen.
Mike Brown said his son underwent his first chemotherapy treatment on Saturday at the Unviersity of Pennsylvania.
Mike Brown said doctors have said the cancer "responds well" to chemotherapy.
Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester was disagnosed with the same disease as a rookie in 2006. He was able to return and pitch for the Red Sox in the World Series in 2007 and remains a key member of the rotation for the World Series champions.
Cody Brown, a 6-foot, 180-pound left-hander, was a two-time All-South Jersey selection at Gloucester Catholic. He compiled a 26-3 career record, setting the school record for most pitching victories.
As a senior in 2011, Brown was 12-0 with an 0.80 ERA in leading Gloucester Catholic to the Non-Public B state title as well as the No. 1 ranking in The Inquirer's final South Jersey Top 10.
Brown was at his best in big games, beating Pennsylvania power Malvern Prep, winning a game at the Bishop Gorman Easter Classic in Las Vegas and two games in the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic.
Brown pitched his only career no-hitter in a 3-0 win over Holy Cross in the NP South title game. He was the winning pitcher and hit a home run in the state final.
Barth called Brown "one of the toughest players I ever coached."
Mike Brown said family and friends of Cody Brown are confident that his competitiveness will help in his fight to recover.
"I told him he has one more big win in him," Mike Brown said.
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