b. Nov. 4, 1930, Swissvale, PA
A rare two-sport star, Groat played both major-league baseball and professional basketball after graduating from college. After just one season of basketball, he decided to concentrate on his baseball career.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Groat was twice an All-American at Duke, in 1951 and 1952, and he was named Helms player of the year as a junior in 1951, when he set an NCAA record with 831 points. He was also a collegiate All-American shortstop in his junior and senior years.
Groat joined the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1952 without ever playing in the minor leagues and batted .284 in 95 games. He averaged 11.9 points per game in 26 games with the NBA's Ft. Wayne Pistons before being inducted into military service for two years.
He returned to the Pirates as their starting shortstop in 1955 and remained with them through the 1962 season. During that stretch, Groat batted over .300 four times and lead the National League with a .325 average in 1960, when the Pirates won the Pirates beat the New York Yankees in the World Series. Groat was named the National League's most valuable player that year.
He was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1963 and to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1966, his last year as a starter. After he had played 10 games with the Phillies in 1967, they traded him to the San Francisco Giants. Groat retired after that season.
He had a career batting average of .286, with 2,138 hits in 7,484 at-bats. He led the National League with 43 doubles in 1963.