|Designated hitter / First baseman|
|Born: September 2, 1953|
St. Louis, Missouri
|September 3, 1975, for the California Angels|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 7, 1982, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Runs batted in||81|
1971 & 1975 draft first overall pick
Goodwin was initially drafted first overall by the Chicago White Sox in the 1971 Major League Baseball draft straight out of Peoria Central High School. He chose, instead, to attend Southern University and A&M in Baton Rouge. He batted .394 with twenty home runs & 166 runs batted in for SUBR. He was a three time All-America, at the NAIA level his sophomore & junior year, and at the NCAA level his senior year, and was named the Sporting News 1975 College Player of the Year. Shortly afterwards, the California Angels selected him first overall pick in the 1975 Major League Baseball draft, and signed him for a major league record $150,000.
Eager to get their top prospect to the majors as quickly as possible, the Angels assigned Goodwin to the double A El Paso Diablos upon his signing. Joining El Paso midway through the 1975 season, Goodwin batted .275 with two home runs & eighteen RBIs. He was called up to California in September, and had just one hit (off the Kansas City Royals' Steve Busby) in ten at bats.
Goodwin split 1976 between El Paso & the California League Salinas Angels. He batted over .300 for both clubs, while hitting eight home runs & driving in 69. Playing triple A ball for the first time in his career in 1977, Goodwin batted .305 with ten home runs & 66 RBIs in half a season with the Salt Lake City Gulls to earn a call back up to the majors in mid July. On July 29, Goodwin hit his first career home run off Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins. He would end the season with a .209 batting average, eight RBIs & just the one home run.
Goodwin started the 1978 season in El Paso, and absolutely tore up the Texas League. In 101 games, Goodwin batted .360 with 25 home runs & 89 RBIs. He was called up to the majors that August, and seemed to finally display the promise that made him the first overall pick in two drafts. He batted .283 with two home runs & ten RBIs in August. After the season, he & first baseman Ron Jackson were traded to the Minnesota Twins for outfielder Dan Ford. Though Goodwin was a catcher in high school & college, he was only ever used as a designated hitter or pinch hitter by the Angels, and never saw any on the field action.
Goodwin, who was never a very good fielding catcher, was converted into a first baseman by the Twins (though used primarily as a DH his first two seasons in Minnesota). His first season with the Twins stands as his best major league season. After once again starting the season in triple A, Goodwin joined the Twins midway through the 1979 season. In half a season, Goodwin batted .289 with five home runs & 27 RBIs, all career highs.
Though Goodwin spent a full season in the majors for the first time in his career in 1980, he didn't see much playing time. Appearing in just 55 games, he batted .200 with one home run & eleven RBIs. Likewise, he appeared in 59 games in 1981, and batted just .225. He was released after the season.
Goodwin signed with the Oakland Athletics, and spent the 1982 season going back & forth between them & the triple A Tacoma Tigers. While putting together an exceptional season for Tacoma (.301 avg., 11 home runs, 58 RBIs), Goodwin batted just .212 with two home runs & eight RBIs for the A's. He spent the next two seasons at Tacoma, where he batted .294 with 32 home runs & 147 RBIs, but never returned to the majors. After his major and minor league career, he played for the Nankai Hawks in Nippon Professional Baseball in 1986.
Once his playing days ended, Goodwin served as the Atlanta Braves' director of community relations, and later, as director of the Braves’ foundation, developing programs for underprivileged children in the city. In 2011, Goodwin became the first player from a historically black university to be inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. While at SUBR, Goodwin also earned a degree in premed zoology.
- Schwarz, Alan (June 4, 2002). "Where have you gone, Danny Goodwin?". ESPN.
- "Kansas City Royals 5, California Angels 2". Baseball-Reference.com. September 5, 1975.
- "Boston Red Sox 6, California Angels 5". Baseball-Reference.com. July 29, 1977.
- "Weaver Says 'Deep Depth' is Why His Orioles Fly High". Toledo Blade. July 24, 1979. p. 23.
- Markusen, Bruce (June 5, 2009). "The legend of Danny Goodwin". The Hardball Times.
- "Southern University's Danny Goodwin Gets National College Baseball Hall of Fame Nod". The Official Website of Southern University Athletics. February 22, 2011.
- Neyer, Rob (June 2, 2017). "Danny Goodwin & the Risk of the Pick". www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com. The National Pastime Museum.