June 1, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Pirate legend Dick Groot has passed away at the age of 92

Dick Groote, two-time World Series champion and Pittsburgh Pirates legend, has died. He was 92 years old. Watch the video above for a look back at his amazing life. In a statement, his family said Grote died early Thursday morning at UPMC Presbyterian from complications of a stroke. Grote’s death comes days after it was announced that he will be one of the inductees in the class of 2023 into the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Fame. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a beloved member of the Pirates family and the Pittsburgh community,” Pirates president Bob Nutting said in a statement. “He was a great player and an even better person… He had a good life. We will miss him.” A native of Swissvale, Groat was the MVP in the National League in 1960 as he led the league with a . 325 batting average while playing for the Pirates. An exceptionally talented basketball and basketball player at Swissvale High School, he headed south to college and Duke University where he became an All-American in both sports. “The world has lost an absolute treasure with the death of Dick Grote, a historically important athlete and even better person,” said former Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “As much as our family appreciated his amazing basketball and baseball career, we admired how he carried himself after he finished more.” The legendary Pirates shortstop was part of the 1960 World Series team. He won his second World Series in 1964 with the St. Louis Cardinals. After stops in Philadelphia and San Francisco, he retired in 1967. Even before he stepped away from baseball, he had post-retirement plans. In the mid-1960s, Grote teamed with former Pirates teammate Jerry Lynch to turn a Laurel Highlands apple orchard into a golf course. In 1966, Champion Lakes was born, creating a special and wonderful place for the average golfer. To this day, the Groat family is still owned and operated by Groat. More than a decade later, Groat reconnected with the sport he first loved: basketball. He joined Pete play-by-play announcer Bill Hillgrove on Panthers radio broadcasts, serving as Hillgrove analyst for 40 seasons. “He’s always been in Pittsburgh and we’re lucky he made our home his home,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. Funeral arrangements for Groot have not been made public. He left behind daughters Tracy, Carol Ann, and Allison, along with 11 grandchildren.

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Dick Groote, two-time World Series champion and Pittsburgh Pirates legend, has died. He was 92 years old.

Watch the video above for a look back at his amazing life.

In a statement, his family said Grote died early Thursday morning at UPMC Presbyterian from complications of a stroke.

Grote’s death comes days after it was announced that he will be one of the inductees in the class of 2023 into the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Fame.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a beloved member of the Pirates family and the Pittsburgh community,” Pirates president Bob Nutting said in a statement. “He was a great player and an even better person… He had a good life. We will miss him.”

A native of Swissvale, Groat was the MVP in the National League in 1960 as he led the league with a . 325 batting average while playing for the Pirates. Playing shortstop smoothly, he led the NL in double plays a record five times while teaming with second baseman Bill Mazeroski.

An exceptionally talented baseball and basketball player at Swissvale High School, he headed south to college and Duke University, where he became an All-American in both sports.

“The world has lost an absolute treasure with the passing of Dick Groot, an athlete of historic importance and an even better person,” said former Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “As much as our family appreciated his amazing basketball and baseball career, we admired how he carried himself after he finished more.”

The legendary Pirates shortstop was part of the 1960 World Series team. He won his second World Series in 1964 with the St. Louis Cardinals. After stops in Philadelphia and San Francisco, he retired in 1967.

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Even before stepping away from baseball, he had post-retirement plans.

In the mid-1960s, Groat teamed up with former Pirates teammate Jerry Lynch to convert a Laurel Highlands apple orchard into a golf course. In 1966, Champion Lakes was born, creating a special and wonderful place for the average golfer. To this day, it is still owned and operated by the Groat family.

More than a decade later, Groat reconnected with the sport he first loved: basketball. He joined Pitt play-by-play announcer Bill Hillgrove on Panthers radio broadcasts, serving as Hillgrove’s analyst for 40 seasons.

“He’s always been a Pittsburger and we’re lucky he made our home his home,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Funeral arrangements for Groot have not been made public. He left behind daughters Tracy, Carol Ann, and Allison, along with 11 grandchildren.