It's only fitting that news bureau chief Doug Goodman's career at SI began on the softball diamonds in Central Park. For 20 years softball has been the one constant in his life.
On graduating from Dartmouth College in 1973 with a degree in drama, Goodman spent two years bouncing from the Eastern Seaboard to the Midwest as a stage manager for various theater companies. He counts himself among the last people to have seen Jimmy Hoffa, who was Goodman's neighbor in Lake Orion, Mich., the summer Hoffa mysteriously disappeared. "I always saw him at the grocery store, the last time was two months before he disappeared," Goodman recalls. "He would fill his cart with sugar-free items."
In 1975 Goodman settled on the Upper West Side of Manhattan—where he still resides, with his wife, Marcia (who won his heart by naming seven of the nine players who had won back-to-back major league MVPs). He quickly caught on as a production manager at the Off-Broadway Roundabout Theatre, and he subsequently worked on numerous Broadway and touring shows, including 42nd Street, Sarava and Musical Chairs. But it was as a softball player in the Broadway Show League that Goodman earned critical acclaim. In 1982 he and his teammates on the Torch Song Trilogy squad won the league championship and took a curtain call after the Tony-winning play's performance that night. Two years later, with Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs team, Goodman, an outfielder-catcher, won his second title, and the box score of the championship game accompanied a New York Times story about Broadway theater. Goodman's only championship before that had come in 1974, when he was on Jeopardy!, winning $6,160 in five appearances.
Goodman's proudest theatrical achievement was coproducing A... My Name Is Alice, which won an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Musical Revue in 1984. But while working on the show in Boston in '86, Goodman became disenchanted. "Working in theater is like a religion," he says. "You need faith. I woke up one morning, and I didn't believe in the process anymore."
Goodman started free-lancing as a television news writer and video producer, but the work was spotty. "In the summer of 1989 I had around 300 at bats playing for five teams in New York," he says. "I was basically unemployed." Former SI reporter Jimmy Rodewald was on one of Goodman's teams that year and told him there might be a job open in our news bureau. "I went in part-time to build up my rèsumè for sports television," Goodman says. "But they offered me a full-time job two weeks later, and I thought, Cool, I've never had a regular paycheck."
Goodman and news bureau deputy Angel Reyes help link the SI staff to hundreds of journalists who contribute to the magazine. "Doug adds stage direction to incoming information," says assistant managing editor Joe Marshall. "He is as passionate about the news as he is about sports."
Goodman also manages the SI softball team, and with the 1995 New York Press League season drawing nearer, we hope he will direct our squad to the championship.
Goodman is a hit in the SI news bureau.