Oh, how I hate to come to Cincinnati! One day you look at Walters. The next day it's Derringer. On the third day you think you're going to win, and Frank McCormick or Ival Goodman beats your brains out.
- Garry Schumacher, New York sportswriter
The first Red to hit 30 home runs in a season, Ival Goodman was a mainstay in rightfield for the Reds from 1935-1940, a period long considered the best in Reds history before the decade of the 1970s. Goodman's Reds won back-to-back pennants in 1939 and 1940 and captured the 1940 World Series in seven games over the Tigers.
Prior to the 1938 season, the fences at Crosley Field were moved in and Goodman quickly took advantage of the new dimensions. Having tied for the club lead in home runs in 1935 with 12 and leading the team outright with 17 in 1936, Goodman exploded for 30 long balls in 1938, eclipsing the previous club high of 19 set by Harry Heilmann in 1930. Only Mel Ott 's 36 homers prevented Goodman from leading the National League. Seventeen of Goodman's club record 30 home runs were hit at home.
While Goodman's home run mark was eclipsed by Hank Sauer in 1948 and has been bypassed many times in the years that followed, one of Goodman's records stands to this day: No player in Reds history has a higher batting average on Opening Day than Ival Goodman's .419 (minimum of 20 at bats). Goodman had 13 hits in 31 Opening Day at-bats covering the 1935-1940 and 1942 openers. His Opening Day heroics were highlighted by an eighth inning solo home run in the 1940 opener that gave the Reds a 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.
Ival Goodman was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1959. He died in his adopted hometown of Cincinnati on November 25, 1984.