from KDKA TV in Pittsburgh, PA:
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Pirates legend and hometown kid Dick Groat has died at age 92.
A champion with the Pirates in 1960, was more than just a baseball player.
The Swissvale native also was a two-time All-American while playing basketball at Duke University. University of Pittsburgh head basketball coach Jeff Capel, who coached and also played at Duke, remembered Groat not for his athleticism but his kindness.
“It’s a very sad day for the University of Pittsburgh, Duke University, and of course the Pirates,” Capel said.
Groat’s greatest attribute wasn’t necessarily his unbelievable athletic skill but his humility and humanity, Capel said.
“The reason I knew bout him was his jersey was hanging from the rafters at Duke when I played there,” he said. “As a player, I wanted to know who he was.”
He was selected in the NBA draft in 1952 but time in the military interrupted his basketball career and the Pirates made it clear – it was either baseball or basketball.
Luckily for the Buccos, Groat chose baseball and spent several seasons with the team.
Groat would go on to win the World Series twice with the Pirates, in 1960 and 1964.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a beloved member of the Pirates family and Pittsburgh community,” said Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting. “The National League MVP and World Series Champion in 1960, Dick remained a very active and cherished member of our Alumni Association. We were honored to have just recently informed Dick and his family that he had been selected to the Pirates Hall of Fame. 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.”
Earlier this year, the Pirates inducted Groat into the team’s Hall of Fame.
“The word great is overused especially in sports, but he was one of the greats,” Capel said.