When Nick Goody was pitching at State College of Florida, he used to joke with athletic director Matt Ennis about when he was getting into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame.
“‘Hey man, when are you putting me in,’” Goody said. “Small-talk, jokingly.”
Now, it’s a reality.
Goody is one of three former baseball stars getting inducted into the SCF Hall of Fame at IMG Academy Golf Club on Thursday.
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Harry Saferight and Josh Renick are the others.
The event is a kickoff to the school’s homecoming weekend, which features a golf tournament and alumni games for baseball and softball.
“It’s one thing to joke about it, it’s another to be selected,” Goody said. “It’s crazy.”
Goody’s inclusion marks some history for an SCF program that is steeped in milestones and tradition.
He is the first active Major Leaguer to be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame. It’s also the first time the program is inducting baseball players from the three different generations of the school’s name.
Saferight played when it was called Manatee Junior College, and Renick played when it was Manatee Community College.
The name was changed to its current incarnation during Goody’s time in Bradenton.
“As a college, we’re celebrating our 60th anniversary this year,” Ennis said. “So what a fitting year for that to occur.”
Goody, who is on the Cleveland Indians’ 40-man roster with an invite to spring training, was originally a shortstop at Orlando University High before his pitching path became clear.
Once at SCF, Goody became the ace of the staff with one particular memorable performance during a stellar sophomore campaign.
Goody struck out 19 batters in eight innings.
“Everything becomes a blur,” Goody said.
Goody said he didn’t know he struck out that many until former teammate Jeremy Strawn showed him the scorebook.
It was filled with Ks.
Nick Goody on seeing the scorebook from his 19 K game at SCF
“It was filled with Ks,” Goody said.
Part of what fueled that performance was Goody wanting to prove a point. The Manatees had two games scheduled that day, with the now defunct annual charity game against the Pittsburgh Pirates slated during the day and their JUCO game scheduled at night.
Goody was passed over for the Pirates, but he was needed to start the nightcap.
“I was being selfish being that I wanted to pitch against the Pirates and see where my stuff was at against these major league guys,” Goody said. “(Tim Hill) put me in a position to where I could help our team, the team that I was on, win and that’s what great coaches do. ... That’s what he did and I was immature and I was selfish, because I wanted it to be about me and not the team at the time. Ultimately, that’s what it came down to. And ‘Seven’ knew how to get the most out of me when I was there.”
Goody’s pitch count was high, so Hill didn’t push him for more. There was one scout watching that game; everyone else was watching Jose Fernandez, who died last summer, during a high school start with Tampa Alonso at the time.
“The next day when Strawn was pitching, some pro guys came up,” said Goody, who pitched at LSU and later the New York Yankees. “I was doing my arm care and my band ... and they were asking me about it. I’m like, ‘Yeah, you should’ve came.’ Fernandez was throwing, and I didn’t know who Jose Fernandez was at the time. And obviously, he became an amazing pitcher and icon, really, for Miami.”
In addition to Goody, Saferight and Renick are getting inducted Thursday. Saferight was a catcher during the late 1960s before going to Florida State and playing pro ball with various organizations. During a stint in the minors with Pittsburgh, Saferight caught current pitching coach and former Pirates’ major leaguer Don Robinson.
Renick still owns the program’s single-season stolen base record, which he set in 1999 with 72 stolen bases. His total of 81 is the career record, too.
Ennis said when Renick’s pro career was winding down in the mid-2000s, he participated in the alumni game.
Naturally, he stole a base.
But he did it wearing sneakers.
“Throw over a lot,” said Goody about what he would do to slow a guy like Renick down.