Thursday, May 16

Former Pirates nice Dick Groat, a 2-sport star, dies at 92

PITTSBURGH — Dick Groat, a two-sport star who went from All-American guard in basketball to a quick stint within the NBA to in the end an All-Star shortstop and the 1960 National League MVP whereas taking part in baseball for his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates, has died. He was 92.

Groat’s household stated in an announcement that he died Thursday at UMPC Presbyterian Hospital because of problems from a stroke.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a beloved member of the Pirates family and Pittsburgh community,” Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting stated in an announcement, calling Groat “a great player and an even better person.”

Groat, who was from the Swissvale neighborhood simply east of Pittsburgh’s downtown, starred at Duke in basketball and baseball within the early Fifties, incomes All-American honors in each. His No. 10 jersey hangs inside Cameron Indoor Stadium after this system retired his quantity following the top of his senior season in 1952.

Groat tried to play each baseball and basketball professionally, signing with the Pirates and being drafted by the Fort Wayne Pistons of the then-fledgling NBA inside weeks of one another in 1952.

While Groat stated basketball was his old flame, a stint within the navy in the course of the mid-Fifties redirected the arc of his athletic profession.

After leaving the service, Pirates basic supervisor Branch Rickey persuaded Groat to give attention to baseball, a call that was a prolonged 14-year profession break up between Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Groat made the All-Star staff in 5 seasons and led the majors in hitting in 1960 when he batted .325.

That season ended with Groat incomes NL MVP honors for a Pirates staff that upset the New York Yankees to win the World Series.

Groat completed with 2,138 profession hits throughout a significant league profession that spanned from 1952-67. The Pirates introduced final week that Groat could be inducted into the staff’s not too long ago established Hall of Fame later this summer time.

A member of the school basketball and school baseball Halls of Fame, Groat was a two-time All-American guard at Duke within the Fifties and stays the second-leading scorer in class historical past, averaging 23.0 factors for the Blue Devils. He was taken third total by the Fort Wayne Pistons within the 1952 NBA draft.

Groat performed 26 video games for the Pistons, averaging 11.9 factors, 3.3 rebounds and a pair of.7 assists. His basketball profession, nevertheless, ended after he enlisted within the Army in 1953. He spent almost two years within the service and when he was discharged, Rickey basically threatened to remove Groat’s signing bonus if he didn’t flip his consideration to baseball.

Groat relented and have become probably the most constant shortstops of his period. He performed in eight All-Star video games (there have been two video games a season for a quick interval within the Fifties and Sixties) and through Pittsburgh’s unbelievable run to a World Series title in 1960, it was Groat and never future baseball Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski who spearheaded the Pirates’ unlikely rise from perennial also-ran to championship membership.

The record of gamers who completed behind Groat within the 1960 NL MVP voting contains Hall of Famers Clemente, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial and Eddie Matthews.

A easy defender who teamed with Mazeroski to guide the NL in double performs 5 occasions – a document that also stands – Groat performed 1,290 video games at shortstop for the Pirates, fourth on the membership’s all-time record.

Pittsburgh traded Groat to St. Louis in November 1962. Groat responded by having one of the best statistical season of his profession in 1963, ending second in MVP voting behind Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax whereas hitting .319 with a significant league-leading 43 doubles. Groat received a second world championship that fall because the Cardinals toppled the Yankees in seven video games.

Groat performed briefly for Philadelphia after which the Giants earlier than retiring after the 1967 season. He remained energetic within the Pittsburgh space following his taking part in days, together with spending 4 a long time as a colour commentator for the University of Pittsburgh basketball staff.

Groat is survived by daughters Tracey, Carol Ann and Allison, together with 11 grandchildren.

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