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Dick Groat

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Richard Morrow Groat

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[edit] Biographical Information


Dick Groat, the 1960 National League MVP, had a fourteen-year career in the major leagues as a shortstop, mostly with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was also second in the 1963 MVP voting while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. He had a brief career in the NBA in 1953.

Groat was born in Wilkinsburg, PA, eight miles from Pittsburgh, PA. He was an All-American in both baseball and basketball at Duke University, attending there in 1951 and 1952. He was an All-American basketball player at Duke in 1951 and roomed with future President Richard Nixon's brother. His number 10 basketball jersey was the first ever retired by the Blue Devils, after winning the UPI National Player of the Year award in 1951. He was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a free agent in 1952 and played 95 games at the major league level that year, hitting .284 at age 21. The 1952 Pirates were a terrible team, losing 112 games. The catcher was Joe Garagiola, who created amusing anecdotes out of his baseball experiences to write a best-selling book and launch a career as a baseball personality. Groat did not come back to the Pirates till 1955. In 1953 and 1954 he pursued his basketball career and was in the Army, playing both baseball and basketball while in the military.

He went on to have a lifetime .286 average, without much power. He hit over .300 four times. He was a five-time All-Star.

Although he never won a Gold Glove (the award was instituted in 1957), he had excellent range in the field. He partnered with Bill Mazeroski as the Pirates' double play combination from 1956 until 1962. While with the St. Louis Cardinals, his double play partner was Julian Javier, while Ken Boyer was at third.

He appeared on two winning World Series teams, those of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates and the 1964 St. Louis Cardinals. He led the league in batting in 1960 and in doubles in 1963. Groat's 1960 batting title was the last by a NL shortstop until Hanley Ramirez in 2009.

After his playing days, he was a commentator for University of Pittsburgh basketball games (a role he still held as of 2011). In 2011, he was elected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame. Four years earlier, he had been inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

"Dick Groat was the smartest base runner I ever met." – Tim McCarver (06-04-2011)

[edit] Famous Last

Dick Groat made the last defensive play at the Polo Grounds vs. the New York Giants, on September 29, 1957.

[edit] Notable Achievements

1959 1960 1961
Ernie Banks Dick Groat Frank Robinson

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