And Now You Know: Jack Goodwyn went from baseball to “The Voice of Eastman”

Published 10:00 am Sunday, April 28, 2019

By Mike Louviere


Recently in this column, we told the story of a young freshman who walked up to the high school coaches at Stark High and was asked to pitch to the high school baseball team. The coaches allowed him to pitch and began to notice that he had extraordinary talent.

The youngster had taught himself to pitch in his backyard in Riverside. He had a blazing fastball and a hard breaking curveball.

Our story ended with him becoming a member of the high school “B” team.

After the story was printed, his daughter contacted the Orange Leader office. She said she could give some information and left her phone number. The number was passed to me and I contacted the lady.

Cindy Hartke is the only daughter of Jack Goodwyn. She said she could not give me much information because her dad was a man who did not talk much about his accomplishments. Cindy gave a few details and told me that I could call her mother, Ella, and find out some information.

Mrs. Eloise, or as she prefers to be called, Ella, Goodwyn is 87 years old living in Longview, Texas. Ella was a most gracious lady and is the reason we now know the story about Jack.

Jack and Eloise McKinley were classmates in the Class of 1952 at Stark High. Jack was the valedictorian and received two scholarships, one academic and one athletic, to Baylor University.

“Jack went to Baylor and I went to Southwestern University at Georgetown. We got married his senior year. Jack decided to go straight through and obtain his doctorate in chemistry. I decided that if he was going to stay in school, so was I, so I got my master’s,” said Ella.

Jack played baseball for four years at Baylor and for a couple of summers, he played in semi-pro leagues.

“Jack really loved playing baseball so he played one summer in Victoria, Texas and one summer in Houma, Louisiana. He had to play in semi-pro leagues because he was still wanting to play at Baylor. After he finished college, he never played ball again. He said he had pretty much worn out his arm and thought he would not be good enough to play professional baseball. He concentrated on finishing up college and getting his doctorate,” said Ella.

After college Jack went to work for Eastman Kodak in their chemical plant in Longview, Texas. His work ethic was as strong as his drive to learn and play baseball.

Eastman Kodak later became Eastman Chemical Co. His responsibility in research and development, product development, administration, and manufacturing grew. He became the first manager of the environmental group and retired as director of communications and public affairs after a 37-year career.

“And now you know.”