Mason Goodnight: an angel in the outfield
A young life taken too soon. Mason Goodnight was only ten years old when he passed away, but his legacy will live on forever.
Mason’s story is incredible and the impact he left on South Central Kentucky is undeniable.
On April 6th 2017, Mason died suddenly at just ten years old.
While he was only on this earth for a decade, he leaves behind an everlasting legacy.
From the moment Mason was born, his parents knew he was a special kid.
“Mason was born five weeks premature and he had a hole in his lung and that kind of scared us a little bit, but he bounced right back out of that and from an early age all he wanted to do was play ball.” says Jef Goodnight, Mason’s father.
It didn’t matter if it was basketball, baseball, football or golf. Mason enjoyed it all, but his favorite was baseball. Mason was always out on the diamond.
The young boy had a contagious smile that people were drawn to. He was just as friendly as he was athletic. Making lasting friendships on and off the field.
Mason touched many lives especially his best friend, Hudson Nottmeier.
“Well I guess one day he just came over to my house and we had a bunch of fun, then he just kept coming over. It just happened. We were best friends. It was just out of this world. It was the best friendship I had.” says Nottmeier.
To Hudson, Mason was not just a friend or a teammate, but a brother. He says he will cherish their friendship and memories forever.
“Everyday we would see hand marks all over the door from me and Mason. He would come over almost everyday. My mom wouldn’t care, but one thing was his stinky feet that would smell all around the house.” adds Nottmeier.
Hudson is just one of the many people keeping Mason’s memory alive.
Shortly after his death, his father Jef Goodnight created a foundation to benefit kids like Mason throughout the community.
“When Mason passed away about three months later we got together and we formed a foundation. Through that foundation, the Playing for Mason Foundation, we have already given out over $23,000 here in Warren County and Simpson County.” says Goodnight.
Mason’s foundation has greatly impacted the community in many ways. Playing for Mason helped sponsor 50-kids to play football, sent kids from the Boys and Girls Club to Camp Curry, and continues to offer sponsorships for little league teams. But Jef has one main goal for the foundation.
“Our ultimate goal with Mason’s foundation is to send every sixth grader in Warren and Simpson County to Washington D.C. He loved Washington D.C. and we think that’s something every kid should go and experience and see our nation’s capital and that’s our ultimate goal.” adds Goodnight.
For Jef and his family they will always make sure Mason’s legacy lives on forever. To them he will always be an angel in the outfield.
“He is always at this park, he is always with his friends. His legacy, his spirit, it’s never died. It’s here in all his friends. What I think is amazing and I think it speaks volumes for our young people is they continue to carry his name and they all have never let him go and I think they will continue that and that makes me proud.” adds Goodnight.
It doesn’t stop there. The Boys & Girls Club of Franklin recently received the Women’s Fund grant that will be used to pay for a new teen center being built in Mason’s honor.