Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#275 Dick Groat

#275 Dick Groat
"Dick Groat" may sound like a term you'd find on Urban Dictionary, but I'm afraid to check.

Fun facts about Dick Groat:

-A native of Wilkinsburg, PA, Dick attended Duke University, where he excelled in both baseball and basketball. He was a two-time hoops All-American for the Blue Devils, as well as 1952's National Player of the Year. His number 10 was retired by the team.

-He was signed by his hometown Pirates in 1952 and hit .284 in 95 games for them as a 21-year-old rookie that year.

-Dick was drafted third overall by the NBA's Fort Wayne Pistons and played one season for them, scoring 11.9 points per game in the 1952-1953 campaign.

-He returned to the diamond in 1955 after a brief hiatus for basketball and military service. That year, he led the National League in putouts for the first time; he would ultimately do it three more times.

-Despite hitting .300 or better with 30-plus doubles in each of the two seasons prior, Groat was not named to his first All-Star team until 1959. He would be tabbed for eight of them by the end of his career (two each in three different seasons).

-1960 brought an MVP award for Dick, as he led the league with a .325 batting average for the eventual World Champion Pirates. He was the last shortstop to pace the N.L. in batting before Hanley Ramirez did it last year.

-He was deeply hurt when Pittsburgh traded him to the Cardinals in 1963, but let his bat do the talking with career highs in doubles (an N.L.-best 43), triples (11), and RBI (73) while batting .319 to lead the club. He finished behind only Sandy Koufax in MVP balloting.

-Groat played in his final All-Star Game in 1964, when he batted .292 for the soon-to-be World Champions from St. Louis.

-His performance began to diminish in 1965, and he spent the final three seasons of his career in St. Louis, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. He retired with a .286 batting average in 14 seasons, along with 39 home runs and 707 RBI.

-Dick has been a part of the University of Pittsburgh's radio broadcast team for college basketball games since 1979.
#275 Dick Groat (back)


  1. Dick Groat never played minor-league baseball, a fact that I didn't know until I started blogging here last year. Same for Sandy Koufax and Billy O'Dell. (Wow, this may be the first time in history anyone compared Billy O'Dell to Sandy Koufax!)

    (I already knew that Al Kaline was never in the minors.)

  2. I used a little ointment and it made my dick groat go away.

  3. Jim - It's especially amazing considering that he took off a few years at the beginning of his career to play another sport.

    Max - I set 'em up, you knock 'em down.