Father and Son have a ‘Goodnight’ to remember
MOORESVILLE, NC — Logan Goodnight recalls the first time he picked up a baseball bat. He was 3-years old and his dad, Scot Goodnight, began tossing him a ball.
Little did they know, they would be doing it again 20 years later on a much bigger stage.
Logan, a Linsly alum, plays his college ball at Morehead State University and spends his summer playing with the Carolina Vipers in the Southern Collegiate Baseball League (SCBL), a summer collegiate wooden bat league sponsored by Major League Baseball.
Last Sunday, Logan not only took part in the SCBL Home Run Derby at Moor Park, but he took home the trophy as well, with none other than his dad pitching to him.
When he was asked to compete in the event, Logan said only on one condition.
“I’ve had a decent summer but nothing great,” Logan said of his performance. “I’ve hit a couple home runs (four, leading the league) but our general manager texted me a couple of days before and asked if I’d be interested in doing this. I said ‘yeah, of course but only on one condition — if my father can throw to me.’
“It was a lot of fun to share that with him. We have a rare bond that is really special and I don’t think a lot of fathers and sons have that. I wouldn’t have done it unless he was able to throw to me.”
Following the first two rounds of 13 hitters, Logan was one of six to advance to the third round. In the first three rounds, Logan belted 16 home runs, which put him into the final.
Each player was given 10 outs and Tanner McCallister of the University of Charleston supplied the pressure with four long balls of his own but Logan saved the best for last.
After crushing four homers within the first five outs, Logan put a charge into one of his fathers’ pitches and sent it deep into the North Carolina night for the walk-off victory.
“Honestly, the last one he hit was probably the best ball he hit all night,” Scot said. “With a wooden bat, i don’t know if I’ve seen him hit a ball that far. It was surreal.
“Once I saw it go out, it was hard to fight back the emotions at that point. I met him right off home plate, gave him a hug and told him how proud I was of him.
“The fans were really good, too. They knew it was a father and son competing so they really got behind him. It gives me chills just thinking about it.”
It was just as special for Logan to have his dad there to be a part of this special moment.
“My whole career he has taught me everything I know,” Logan said. “I think I started swinging a bat when I was 3-years old. I’ve had some great coaches in the past but nothing has ever come as close as what he’s been able to teach me.
“My whole college career has been up and down but that was the standing point that was most special to me because he was there.”
Logan was certainly going up against the cream of the crop when it came to home run hitters in the league. While Logan leads the SCBL in home runs, Scottie Lee, Brett Laws and teammate Broadus Roberson are also among the Top 4 home run leaders in the league and all competed on Sunday night.
“We’ve played against each other all summer and some of the guys I’ve played against in college. They’re pretty big dudes,” Logan said. “I was just lucky enough that my dad knows where to throw it to me — the sweet spot.
“There were some good power hitters hitting it over the scoreboard but we pulled through.”
After a seven-and-a-half hour drive from Wheeling to Mooresville, Scot admits he felt some nerves as he stepped out on the mound. Those nerves were history after just one pitch.
“I’ll be honest, when I went out there in the first round I was a little nervous,” Scot said. “I thought going in, ‘I hope he just hits one home run to break the ice.’
“His first swing he put out of the park in left-center and I thought ‘you know what? I’m good,’ and I kept throwing them in there and he wasn’t nervous at all.”
With all the practice the two have put in over the years, there was no reason to be.
“I’ve been working with him since he was 3,” Scot said. “I’ve thrown him thousands of pitches over the years. The benefit I guess I had was I knew where he likes the ball so I knew if I could put them in there for him, he’d do the job and he did.”
Every kid dreams of blasting majestic bombs into the bleachers during a home run derby and as Logan lived out that dream Sunday night, so did his father.
“When he called me and asked me to pitch to him, it was sort of like a dream come true,” Scot said. “It’s really cool to watch big league guys on TV with their dads.
“The game of baseball has been very good to both of us. We have a lot of great memories through the years and that’s got to be up there next to the top.
“I’m fortunate enough to coach at Linsly and got to see some OVAC titles and experience those with him but nothing where I’ve ever been on the field with him.
“I know it’s been a tough summer for everybody but that moment put a little sunshine on what’s going on.”
Logan and the Vipers will be battling this weekend in the SCBL Tournament and once again, his father will be right there watching with pride.
The Intelligencer/Wheeling News Register