His attention to detail was painstaking.
Situational hitting. Sound baserunning. And even a board documenting the Wolves’ performance in each year of his tenure as the school’s baseball coach.
Alongside those records now rests a board with another number: 29. In addition to having his uniform retired, South Kitsap’s baseball complex was rebranded Elton Goodwin Memorial Field during a ceremony before the Wolves’ 8-1 win Monday afternoon against Central Kitsap.
Goodwin died Nov. 7 from complications resulting from hip surgery. He was 63 years old.
At the time of his death, Cully Ecklund, who was a pitcher on Goodwin’s first state championship team in 1983, and others expressed a desire to have the school’s baseball complex named after their mentor. The idea gained support and after multiple dates were discussed for the ceremony before school officials settled on the final home game of the season.
Along with the retired number displayed near the entrance of the complex, there also is a banner recognizing the rebranded field below the Buck Gehring Youth Memorial scoreboard in right field.
Gehring’s son, Rick, who has remained a longtime South booster, served as the master of ceremonies. He provided a detailed account of Goodwin’s accomplishments, which included three state championships and a 491-136 record from 1976 to 2003. His 1996 team, which featured future major-league players Willie Bloomquist and Jason Ellison, went undefeated (23-0). Goodwin also won 17 Narrows League and two Olympic League titles during his tenure.
Goodwin, a 1969 South graduate, taught special education at his alma mater following his graduation from Central Washington University.
“At this time we will officially recognize his unyielding leadership, commitment and dedication to the student-athletes of our district,” Gehring said. “Welcome officially to Elton Goodwin Memorial Field.”
More than 20 members of Goodwin’s family watched the ceremony in front of the mound. The bleachers also were filled.
“You can see by the members of his family behind me the support he had,” said second-year South coach Marcus Logue, whose staff includes former Goodwin players Nick Kenyon and Bill Segerman. “The influence not only that he had on them, but the number of people that are here celebrating in his honor.”
Goodwin’s twin sons, Jeff and Joel, threw out the ceremonial first pitches to conclude the event. The 30-year-olds played for their father as seniors in 2002.
“It was surreal,” Jeff said. “It was special and he would be really happy to have this field dedicated to him. He spent a lot of his life on this field.”
His brother shared similar sentiments.
“We’re just extremely thankful for all of the support,” he said. “We couldn’t ask for anything better. It was awesome.”