PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor made it official from City Council Chamber on Tuesday morning. It is Dick Groat Day in the City of Pittsburgh.
“First of all, I’m impressed, and obviously, certainly pleased,” said Groat. “It’s quite an honor.”
Groat, now 87, is a living legend who excelled in college basketball and in Major League Baseball. After graduating from Swissvale High School, Groat was a two-time All-American at Duke University.
He played one year in the NBA before joining the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1952. He spent 17 years in the major leagues with four teams.
Pirates broadcast Steve Blass says he has great respect for his former teammate.
“He could play basketball at the highest level and baseball at the highest level. The respect is enormous for somebody who can do that. It happened very, very rarely.”
Whether it was basketball or baseball, his heart always remained Pittsburgh.
“The people have not changed. They’re still the greatest people in the world,” said Groat. “I know how I felt the winter Joe Brown traded me to the St. Louis Cardinals, the biggest hurt I ever felt in sports.”
During his 17-year career in baseball, Groat was an MVP in 1960 when the Pirates won the World Series. He was a four-time All-Star and won another World Series title with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Years later, Groat is still involved in sports as the color commentator on University of Pittsburgh basketball radio broadcasts with Bill Hillgrove.
“Obviously, when we won the Big East, and I love broadcasting basketball,” he said. “I love the game itself.”