|Danny Goodman was a marketing genius who's ideas were way before his time.|
He started as a 14 year old hot dog vendor at a minor league ballpark in Milwaukee Wisconsin. He died 57 year later known as the greatest baseball paraphernalia salesman in the history of the game. Danny Goodman was quite a personality, and a man that knew how to sell. You name the trinket, he’d stamp a Dodgers logo on it and sell thousands of them.
|Hollywood stars game was originated by Goodman back in the 1940s. In these Dodger Stadium photos are inlcuded such actors as Jackie Gleason, Jack Lemmon and Dean Martin.|
1) Insistence that food at ballparks be on par with restaurants. While with the Hollywood Stars, his hot dogs and hamburgers were of top notch quality and recognized as such.
2) The first team to wear shorts as their official uniform. (Hollywood Stars, 1950).
3) The bobblehead doll at Gilmore Field, a chubby player with rotund cheeks and a smile. He had no idea that they’d catch on as they have in the past 20 years, but by the 60s, all major league teams had designs of the dolls with their uniforms.
4) Using celebrities to fill the stadium. Goodman utilized his Hollywood connections to successfully market the teams he worked for. It was Walter O’Malley that said “If half his friends show up, we’ll sell out every game.” Goodman was roasted at a celebrity dinner by Ronald Reagan and Jack Benny years before the Dodgers ever arrived in Los Angeles. Goodman, was a king of malaprops, much as Yogi Berra was. It was reported that when asked if he could get Hollywood celebrities to show up for a game, he said, "I'll give you stars you've never heard of."
5) The establishment of permanent novelty stands at ballparks. Goodman predicted that one day Major League Ballparks would have active retail stores within stadiums to sell concessions. This was 40 years before it actually would happen.
6) Mail Order concessions. Goodman organized this multi-million dollar enterprise that became MLBs model that continues to this day.
7) Goodman was the first to persuade department stores to carry Dodger merchandise and apparel. This started in 1959 with Sears and Roebuck.
|Danny Goodman provided replica Dodger satin jackets for sale. A very popular item among Dodger fans.|
As a kid, I became familiar with Goodman through Dodger promotions that would be advertised during games. It was every kids dream for their parents to shell out the $10 or $12 bucks to buy those trinkets that included a t-shirt, cap, ball with the logo and cards. We all wanted his stuff.
Those desires continue today, as Goodman's trinkets sell on eBay for substantial prices because they bring back our childhood memories. A time when the game was much more innocent and we would walk into the Coliseum or a fresh new Dodger Stadium and let the game sink into our senses full force. Often times those memories we'd take home with us via a Danny Goodman souvenir item. Those memories continue today, with the tangible artifact that we bought so long ago. Thanks to Danny for that. He was truly a baseball pioneer and perhaps worthy of Hall of Fame recognition for that.