Editor’s note: During the summer of 2012, the New Haven Register ran a New Haven 200 series to commemorate its 200th anniversary. GameTimeCT.com will share high school related stories from that series periodically throughout the summer.
Athletics served Ed Goldstone well. One of the more versatile athletes in the state in the 1960s, he was a three-sport star at Amity High, two-sport captain at Yale, draft pick of the Phillies and came within a whisker of winning a batting title in the minor leagues.
But his greatest impact was as an educator. Goldstone spent 21 years as a high school principal, 16 of them at Harding in Bridgeport, where he worked to show inner-city children that the path to opportunity was paved through education.
It was a lesson he learned through experience.
Goldstone grew up in the West Hills section of New Haven, near the Ramsdell Street projects, where he learned to play basketball with and against guys like Billy Evans, Walt Esdaile, Billy Gray and Tom Chapman — players who would soon become some of New Haven’s best.
His family moved to Woodbridge when he was in elementary school. Amity had just opened its doors a few years earlier. Goldstone would become one of the school’s first great athletes.
He was an end on Amity’s unbeaten football team as a junior. He was a power-hitting shortstop in baseball, once belting four home runs in a game against Whitney Tech. And as a basketball player, he was twice named to the Register All-State team, his 25 points-per game as a senior in 1963-64 making him the state’s third-leading scorer.
Among his best games were the career-high 39 he dropped on Branford, 32 in a state tournament loss to Maloney and 31 to snap a long East Haven win streak, a game in which Goldstone’s two free throws provided the winning margin.
At Yale, Goldstone served as captain of both the basketball and baseball teams. He beat Georgia Tech in Atlanta with a buzzer-beating jump shot, though his teams finished behind Princeton, Penn and Columbia in the Ivy League.
A third baseman at Yale, Goldstone was selected in the eighth-round of the 1968 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies and spent three seasons in the minors. At Walla Walla (Wash.) of the Class A Northwest League in 1969, where he teamed with Ron Diorio, a rookie pitcher out of the University of New Haven, Goldstone batted .343, good for second in the league.
He spent four seasons in the minors, reaching Double-A Reading in 1970, a club that included future major leaguers Greg Luzinski and Bob Boone, before calling it a career in 1971.
“It was evident that most of the guys who’d make it came from states where they played year-round,” Goldstone told the Register’s Bob Barton in 2000. “(Baseball) wasn’t going to be a career.”
Goldstone turned to teaching, did some coaching as well, and eventually earned his Ph.D. from UConn. He was named principal at Harding in 1985, and served on several Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference committees.
In 2002, he came home to Amity where he served as principal for five years until his retirement.
“One thing I feel strongly is that the sports tie-in to education is important,” Goldstone said. “You hear all the cliches about sports how sacrifice and preparation are necessary, how competition prepares you for future trials. All those cliches turn out to be true.”