Remembering Pittsburgh Pirates Legend Dick Groat: A Two-Sport Athlete and Beloved Broadcaster
Pittsburgh Pirates legend Dick Groat has passed away at the age of 92, the team announced on Thursday. Groat was a two-time World Series champion and a National League MVP in 1960. He spent nine seasons with the Pirates before moving on to play for the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, and San Francisco Giants. In his 14-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career, Groat had a batting average of .286 and had 2,138 hits, 39 home runs, 352 doubles, 67 triples, 829 runs scored, and 707 runs batted in.
Groat was a dual-sport athlete who not only played in MLB but also had a brief stint in the NBA on the heels of a historic basketball career at Duke University, where his number is retired. Despite being the third overall pick in the 1952 NBA draft, Groat only played for one season as he enlisted in the Army. Post his discharge, he shifted his focus towards his baseball career.
Groat will be remembered as one of the greatest two-sport talents in North American sports history, a World Series champion in both Pittsburgh and St. Louis, and a beloved broadcaster in his hometown. Following his retirement from baseball in 1967, Groat spent 40 seasons as the radio color analyst for the Pittsburgh Panthers men's basketball games, where he and play-by-play partner Bill Hillgrove were the longest tenured broadcast team in college basketball.
Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting said in a statement, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a beloved member of the Pirates family and Pittsburgh community. The National League MVP and World Series Champion in 1960, Dick remained a very active and cherished member of our Alumni Association. He was a great player and an even better person. Our thoughts go out to his three daughters, eleven grandchildren, and the entire Groat family. His was a life well lived. He will be missed.
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