This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History, September 18th, Heinie Groh and Harvey Haddix

Six former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date.

Donald Veal, pitcher for the 2009 Pirates. Before joining the Pirates, he was a hard-throwing minor leaguer for the Chicago Cubs, who always had control issues. He was originally selected in the 12th round of the 2003 draft by the Chicago White Sox out of high school, but he decided to attend college instead. The Cubs selected him two years later in the second round out of Pima Community College. Veal debuted in short-season ball in 2005, pitching briefly in the rookie level Arizona League, as well as Boise of the Northwest League. He had a combined 3.18 ERA in 39.2 innings, with 20 walks, 48 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP. He pitched for Peoria of the Low-A Midwest League and Daytona of the High-A Florida State League during the 2006 season, making 14 starts at each level, with better results at the higher level. He combined to go 11-5, 2.16 in 154.1 innings, with 82 walks, 174 strikeouts and a 1.12 WHIP. He moved up to Tennessee of the Double-A Southern League in 2008, where he had an 8-10, 4.97 record and a 1.53 WHIP over 130.1 innings, with 73 walks and 131 strikeouts. He didn’t show any improvements repeating the level in 2009, going 5-10, 4.52 in 145.1 innings for Tennessee, with 81 walks, 123 strikeouts and a 1.59 WHIP. He went to the Arizona Fall League after the 2008 season, where he gave up 12 runs in nine innings over ten relief appearances. He was a Rule 5 draft pick of the Pirates in 2008, who pitched 19 big league games in 2009. He had a 7.16 ERA and a 2.33 WHIP in 16.1 innings for the 2009 Pirates, with 20 walks and 16 strikeouts. He saw most of his big league work in September, while putting in 16 rehab games throughout the season, seeing time with Altoona of the Double-A Eastern League and Indianapolis of the Triple-A International League. He had a 3.95 ERA over 27.1 minor league frames, with 31 strikeouts and a 1.35 WHIP.

The Pirates sent Veal to the Arizona Fall League after the 2009 season, where he worked as a starter. He excelled during his second season in the league, going 3-1, 2.14 in 21 innings over seven starts, with 22 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP. He was still with the Pirates in 2010-11, but he was injured for much of that time. All of his work came in the minors during those two seasons. He was limited to nine starts with Indianapolis in 2010, going 3-2, 4.35 over 49.2 innings, with 41 strikeouts and a 1.31 WHIP. He needed to have Tommy John surgery in June of 2010, which caused him to miss the start of the 2011 season. He ended up throwing a total of 32 innings over 19 games in 2011, while playing at four levels during his rehab time. He had a combined 4.22 ERA, a 1.47 WHIP and 31 strikeouts that season. After leaving the Pirates via free agency after the 2011 season, Veal signed with the Chicago White Sox. He pitched three years in their big league bullpen, with stints at Triple-A each season.

Veal was great as a lefty specialist during the 2012 season, posting a 2.08 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP and 61 strikeouts in 52 innings for Charlotte of the International League. That was followed by a 1.38 ERA, an 0.69 WHIP and 19 strikeouts in 13 innings over 24 appearances for the 2012 White Sox. He spent most of the 2013 season in the majors, where he had a 4.60 ERA over 50 appearances, with 29 strikeouts and a 1.43 WHIP in 29.1 innings. He posted a 2.70 ERA over 26.2 innings for Charlotte during that 2013 season, finishing with 30 strikeouts and a 1.39 WHIP. His big league time was limited to seven appearances during the 2014 season, in which he allowed five runs over six innings. He struggled in Charlotte as well that year, posting a 5.94 ERA in 50 innings, with 49 strikeouts and a 1.68 WHIP. He pitched winter ball in the Dominican over the 2014-15 off-season, finishing with a 1.86 ERA and an 0.93 WHIP over 19 appearances, though he only threw 9.2 innings. Veal signed with the Atlanta Braves for the 2015 season. He gave up seven runs in 4.1 innings over five early season outings, which ended up being his final big league time. He also spent time that year with Gwinnett of the International League and independent ball with Long Island of the Atlantic League. Veal didn’t allow a single earned run in 17 appearances with Gwinnett. He had a 1.45 ERA in 20 games for Long Island, with a 1.13 WHIP and 26 strikeouts over 18.2 innings. His career ended with another winter in the Dominican, one in which he threw a total of 5.1 innings over 17 appearances. During his five-year big league career, he had a 3-3, 5.48 record in 69 innings over 105 relief appearances, with 73 strikeouts and a 1.62 WHIP. He picked up his lone career save during the 2012 season.

Jody Gerut, outfielder for the 2005 Pirates. He was a 1998 second round pick of the Colorado Rockies out of Stanford University. Gerut debuted in pro ball in 1999, hitting .289 over 133 games for Salem of the High-A Carolina League, with 80 runs, 55 extra-base hits, 63 RBIs, 61 walks, 25 steals and an .832 OPS. He moved up to Carolina of the Double-A Southern League for the 2000 season. He hit .285 that year, with 48 runs, 38 extra-base hits (32 doubles), 47 RBIs, 18 steals, 74 walks and an .819 OPS in 109 games. A knee injury sidelined him for the entire 2001 season, but he was traded right in the middle of the year to the Cleveland Indians. He returned to action in 2002, when he split the year evenly between Akron of the Double-A Eastern League and Buffalo of the Triple-A International League. He combined to hit .298 over 120 games that year, with 75 runs, 36 extra-base hits, 60, RBIs, 20 steals, 57 walks and an .817 OPS. He started 2003 back in Buffalo, but he was up in the majors by late April, after posting a .971 OPS over 17 games. Gerut hit .279 for the 2003 Indians, with 66 runs, 33 doubles, 22 homers, 75 RBIs and an .830 OPS in 127 games. That performance helped him to a fourth place finish in the Rookie of the Year voting. He hit .252 during the 2004 season, with 72 runs, 31 doubles, 11 homers, 52 RBIs, 13 steals and a .739 OPS in 134 games. His season ended a little early when he needed knee surgery in September.

Gerut began the 2005 season with Buffalo, as his off-season rehab kept him out of Spring Training games. He put up a 1.247 OPS in 12 games, before joining the Indians in mid-May. He hit .275/.357/.377 over 44 games for the 2005 Indians, with 12 runs, nine doubles, one homer and 12 RBIs. He was dealt to the Chicago Cubs on July 18th, just 13 days before the Pirates acquired him at the trade deadline in exchange for outfielder Matt Lawton. Gerut went 1-for-14 with a double and two walks during his brief time with the Cubs. He went 4-for-18 with a double and two RBIs, before suffering a season-ending knee injury in his fourth game with the Pirates. He appeared to be fine in Spring Training in 2006, but then he complained about the knee injury again when the Pirates tried to send him to Triple-A Indianapolis to begin the season. It caused a grievance between the two sides, which resulted in Gerut agreeing to go to Extended Spring Training. It was decided a month later that he needed surgery, which put him out for the rest of the 2006 season.

Gerut was released by the Pirates during Spring Training in 2007, then didn’t play again until winter ball in Venezuela during the 2007-08 off-season. He came back strong after missing two full seasons, hitting .390 over 40 games that winter, with 34 runs, 14 extra-base hits, 22 RBIs and a 1.055 OPS. He signed with the San Diego Padres for the 2008 season, where he hit .296 over 100 games, with 46 runs, 15 doubles, 14 homers, 43 RBIs and an .845 OPS. He made the Padres Opening Day roster that year, but was sent to Portland of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League after just four games. He had a .308 average and a .952 OPS in 28 games before returning to the Padres in May. He saw a dip in his production in 2009, splitting the year between the Padres and Milwaukee Brewers. He batted .230 over 122 games between the two teams, with 40 runs, 13 doubles, nine homers, 35 RBIs and a .654 OPS. Gerut played briefly for the Brewers in 2010, hitting .197/.230/.366 in 32 games, with seven runs, four doubles, two homers and eight RBIs. That season ended up being his final experience in pro ball. He went on the disabled list in late May that year, then finished his career playing 14 rehab games in the rookie level Arizona League, before being released in mid-August. He signed back with the Padres, where he played his final 14 games back in Portland. He put up a .920 OPS over 119 plate appearances during his minor league time in 2010. Gerut signed a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners for 2011, but he decided to retire very early in Spring Training that year. He hit .262 over six seasons in the majors, with 246 runs, 107 doubles, 59 homers and 226 RBIs in 574 games.

Roger Mason, pitcher for the 1991-92 Pirates. He signed with the Detroit Tigers as a non-drafted free agent out of college in 1980 at 23 years old. It took four years before he made his big league debut, and that came with the 1984 World Series winning Tigers. He debuted in pro ball in 1981 as a starter for Macon of the Class-A South Atlantic League. He went 10-10, 3.89 that year, with 105 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP in 148 innings. Mason moved to Lakeland of the Class-A Florida State League for the 1982 season, where he had a 7-7, 3.46 record in 132.2 innings over 22 starts, with 72 strikeouts and a 1.32 WHIP. He split the 1983 season between Birmingham of the Double-A Southern League (17 starts) and Evansville of the Triple-A American Association (11 starts), combining to go 12-9, 2.89 in 205.1 innings, with 126 strikeouts and a 1.29 WHIP. His stats were actually significantly better at the lower level, as he saw his ERA double after the promotion. Mason made 25 starts with Evansville during the 1984 season, going 9-7, 3.80 in 151.2 innings, with 88 strikeouts, a 1.58 WHIP, six complete games and two shutouts. He debuted in the majors that year as a September call-up for the World Series champs. He made two starts and three relief appearances, posting a 4.50 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP and 15 strikeouts in 22 innings. He was traded to the San Francisco Giants right before Opening Day in 1985. He remained there for three seasons (four years) before becoming a free agent after the 1988 season.

Mason spent most of the 1985 season with Phoenix of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he went 12-1, 3.33 in 167.1 innings over 24 starts, with 120 strikeouts and a 1.30 WHIP. He excelled during his shot in the majors that year, putting up a 2.12 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP and 26 strikeouts in 29.2 innings. He made 11 starts for the 1986 Giants, though he didn’t have much success. His finished his big league time that year with a 3-4, 4.80 record, 43 strikeouts and a 1.43 WHIP in 60 innings. He made one scoreless start at Phoenix that year, while missing the rest of the year with an elbow injury in late May and a shoulder injury in late July. Mason made five starts for the 1987 Giants, posting a 4.50 ERA, a 1.54 WHIP and 18 strikeouts in 26 innings. He also had a 4.13 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP and 49 strikeouts in 61 innings over ten starts with Phoenix that season. Once again it was an elbow injury that sidelined him for half of the season. Mason pitched just two big league games during the 1988-90 seasons, with both appearances coming in relief for the 1989 Houston Astros. He struggled with Phoenix in 1988, going 2-9, 4.86 in 90.2 innings over 17 starts and two relief appearances, finishing with 62 strikeouts and a 1.41 WHIP. He went 7-12, 3.54 in 155 innings over 25 starts for Tuscon of the Pacific Coast League during the 1989 season, after signing a free agent deal with the Astros. He had a 1.10 WHIP and 105 strikeouts that year. His big league time consisted of him allowing three runs in 1.1 innings. He went to Spring Training with the Astros in 1990, but he was cut before he pitched a game that season.

Mason spent the 1990 season at Buffalo of the Triple-A American Association for the Pirates, where he went 3-5, 2.10 in 77 innings, while working mostly in relief. He had 45 strikeouts and a 1.34 WHIP. He split the 1991 season between Buffalo and the majors, making a total of 15 starts and 43 relief appearances between the two levels. He went 9-5, 3.08 in 122.2 innings for Buffalo, with 80 strikeouts and a 1.30 WHIP. His 3.03 ERA, 21 strikeouts and an 0.91 WHIP in 29.2 innings over 24 appearances with the Pirates that year earned him an Opening Day spot for the 1992 season. Mason made 65 relief appearances that year, posting a 5-7, 4.09 record, 56 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP in 88 innings, while picking up eight saves. He finished with just 13 career saves. He threw a total of 7.2 scoreless innings during his postseasons with the 1991-92 Pirates. Mason was released after the 1992 season, then played for the San Diego Padres, New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies over his final two years (1993-94) in the majors. He did almost the identical amount of work for the Padres and Phillies in 1993. He pitched 50 innings over 34 appearances in San Diego, while pitching 49.2 innings over 34 games in Philadelphia. Mason combined for a 5-12, 4.06 record that season, with much a much better ERA for the Padres, despite an 0-7 record. He had 71 strikeouts and a 1.24 WHIP in his 99.2 innings. He struggled in six games with the 1994 Phillies, giving up six runs in 8.2 innings. He then had a 3.51 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 51.1 innings over 41 games with the 1994 Mets. He had shoulder surgery over the 1994-95 off-season, then tried to make a comeback with the 1995 Pirates. His return lasted just one rehab game in the rookie level Gulf Coast League before he retired. Mason had a 3.82 ERA in 117.2 innings over 89 appearances with the Pirates. In his nine-year big league career, he went 22-35, 4.02 in 416.1 innings over 23 starts and 209 relief appearances, with a 1.31 WHIP and 286 strikeouts.

Ken Brett, pitcher for the 1974-75 Pirates. During the second ever amateur draft in June of 1966, Brett was the fourth overall pick by the Boston Red Sox. At 17 years old in short-season ball that year, he had a 5.81 ERA, 53 strikeouts and a 1.84 WHIP over 62 innings for Oneonta of the New York-Penn League. Despite his age and those stats at a low level, he made his big league debut one year later. He played in the Florida Instructional League after the 1966 season, where he went 5-3, 3.71 over 51 innings, with 32 strikeouts and a 1.45 WHIP. Brett split the 1967 season between Winston-Salem of the Class-A Carolina League and Pittsfield of the Double-A Eastern League, going 14-11, 1.95 in 189 innings, with 219 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP. He pitched two innings in one appearance during the final week of the season with the Red Sox. Due to injuries and a player being lost to the service, the Red Sox were able to add him to the postseason roster. He threw 1.1 scoreless innings in the World Series shortly after his 19th birthday. Brett had to serve six months in the military in 1968, which limited him to 29 innings that year with Louisville of the Triple-A International League. He went 2-1, 3.10 in his four starts and five relief appearances, finishing with 20 strikeouts and a 1.31 WHIP. He had a 3.28 ERA, 81 strikeouts and a 1.38 WHIP in 129 innings over 19 starts and six relief appearances with Louisville during the 1969 season. Brett put up a 5.26 ERA, 23 strikeouts and a 1.60 WHIP in 39.1 innings over eight starts with the 1969 Red Sox. He did poorly in three April starts, then had a 3.41 ERA in five September starts. He excelled in a return to the Florida Instructional League after the 1969 season, going 4-0, 2.00 over 45 innings, with 40 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP.

Brett spent the entire 1970 season in the majors, making 14 starts and 27 relief appearances. He went 8-9, 4.07 in 139.1 innings, with a 1.41 WHIP and a career high of 155 strikeouts. He was mainly used in relief in 1971, when he posted a 5.34 ERA, 57 strikeouts and a 1.56 WHIP in 59 innings over 29 games (two starts). He was sent to the Milwaukee Brewers as part of a ten-player trade in October of 1971. Brett had a 7-12, 4.53 record, 74 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP in 133 innings during his only season in Milwaukee. He made 22 starts and four relief appearances that year. Almost exactly one year after the Brewers acquired him, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in a seven-player deal. He basically spent the exact same amount of time in Philadelphia, staying there just long enough to go 13-9, 3.44 in 211.2 innings over 25 starts and six relief appearances. He had a 1.32 WHIP and 111 strikeouts that season, which was 44 strikeouts short of his career high, but that was also the only other time he reached triple-figures in a season. The Pirates acquired Brett from the Phillies in a straight up deal for Dave Cash after the 1973 season. Brett had a 13-9, 3.30 record, 96 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP in 191 innings over 27 starts for the 1974 Pirates. He also had a .310 average, to go along with two homers and 15 RBIs. Those stats helped lead to his only All-Star Game appearance. He had a 9-5, 3.36 record, 47 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP over 118 innings for the 1975 Pirates, while making 16 starts and seven relief appearances. He pitched 4.2 innings in the playoffs during his time with Pittsburgh, as the Pirates won the National League East during the 1974-75 seasons. He threw 2.1 innings in relief each year, allowing two runs in 1974, followed by shutout ball in 1975.

Brett was traded to the New York Yankees in the disastrous Doc Medich deal after the 1975 season. That trade also included Dock Ellis and a young Willie Randolph also going to New York. Not only did Randolph go on to become a star with 66.3 career WAR after the trade, both Ellis and Brett out-pitched Medich. Brett was traded after pitching just 2.1 scoreless innings for the Yankees. He ended up having a strong season with the 1976 Chicago White Sox, then continued on to pitch five more years in the majors. He went 10-12, 3.28 over 26 starts in 1976. He finished with 92 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP over 203 innings that year, while putting up a career high 16 complete games. He split the 1977 season between the White Sox and California Angels, combining to go 13-14, 4.53 in 34 starts, with 80 strikeouts and a 1.34 WHIP over a career high 224.2 innings. He spent the entire 1978 season with the Angels, where he had ten starts and 21 relief appearances. He had a 3-5, 4.95 record, 43 strikeouts and a 1.42 WHIP over 100 innings that season. The 1979 season started with the Minnesota Twins. They signed him to a free agent deal after he was released by the Angels shortly before Opening Day. He was released on June 4th after just nine appearances with the Twins, in which he posted a 4.97 ERA in 12.2 innings. Brett signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers a week later, then put up a 4-3, 3.45 record and a 1.36 WHIP in 47 innings over 30 appearances during the rest of the season. He was released in Spring Training in 1980, then signed with the Kansas City Royals in August. He played his final two seasons in the majors with the Royals, starting with 13.1 shutout innings to round out the 1980 season. That was followed by 4.18 ERA in 32.1 innings over 22 relief appearances during the strike-shortened 1981 season. During his 14-year big league career, Brett posted an 85-89, 3.93 record in 1,526.1 innings over 184 starts and 163 relief appearances, with 807 strikeouts and a 1.34 WHIP. He had 51 career complete games, along with eight shutouts and 11 saves. He was a .262 career hitter, with ten homers and 44 RBIs in 347 at-bats. He is the brother of Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett. They were teammates on the 1980-81 Royals.

Harvey Haddix, pitcher for the 1959-63 Pirates. He won 45 games for the Pirates, and racked up a total of 136 wins during his 14-year career, though he is best known for a game he didn’t win. Haddix threw 12 perfect innings against the Braves on May 26, 1959, but he lost the game in the 13th inning. The boxscore can be found here. He debuted in pro ball in 1947 at 21 years old, playing for Winston-Salem of the Class-C Carolina League. Haddix went 19-5, 1.90 in 204 innings during that first season, striking out 268 batters, while posting a 1.05 WHIP. The next three years were spent four levels higher with Columbus of the Triple-A American Association. He went 11-9, 4.79 over 186 innings in 1948, with a 1.43 WHIP and 144 strikeouts. That was followed by a 13-13, 3.49 record, a 1.37 WHIP and 177 strikeouts over 219 innings in 1949. He had an 18-6, 2.70 record in 217 innings during the 1950 season, with 160 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP. Haddix missed the 1951 season and most of 1952 while serving in the Army. He went right to the majors for the St Louis Cardinals when he returned during the 1952 season. He had a 2-2, 2.79 record, 31 strikeouts and an 0.98 WHIP over 42 innings that year, while making six starts and one relief appearance. Haddix went 20-9, 3.06 over 33 starts and three relief outings for the 1953 Cardinals. He had a 1.14 WHIP, 19 complete games and a league leading six shutouts that year, while throwing a total of 253 innings. His 163 strikeouts ranked fourth in the National League. He was named to the All-Star team, finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting, and he ended up 17th in the MVP voting.

Haddix had an 18-13, 3.57 record and a 1.25 WHIP over 259.2 innings in 1954, with 35 starts and eight relief appearances. He struck out a career high 184 batters, which was good for second in the National League. He had 13 complete games, three shutouts and four saves. He made his second All-Star appearance that year, then made his third straight All-Star appearance in 1955, when he had a 12-16, 4.46 record and a 1.34 WHIP over 208 innings. He had 150 strikeouts, which ranked third in the National League. You would assume that he pitched much better prior to the All-Star break with those numbers, but he actually had a 5.43 ERA during the first half of the season, then put up a 3.33 ERA during the second half. Haddix was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in a five-player deal after making just four starts to begin the 1956 season. He went 13-8, 3.67 over 230.1 innings that season in 31 starts and four relief appearances. He had a 1.25 WHIP, 12 complete games, three shutouts and two saves, while finishing second in the league with 170 strikeouts. He had a 10-13, 4.06 record, 136 strikeouts and a 1.26 WHIP in 170.2 innings over 25 starts and two relief outings during the 1957 season. He had 3.49 strikeouts per walks that season, which was the best rate in the league. Haddix was traded to the Cincinnati Reds during the 1957-58 off-season in an even up deal for slugging outfielder Wally Post.

Haddix spent one season with the Reds. He went 8-7, 3.52 in 184 innings over 26 starts and three relief outings during the 1958 season. He finished with 110 strikeouts and a 1.27 WHIP. He won his first of three straight Gold Glove awards that year. He joined the Pirates in a seven-player deal with the Reds prior to the 1959 season. His best season with the Pirates was 1959, when he pitched his famous “perfect” game. He had a 12-12, 3.13 record in 224.1 innings that year, with 149 strikeouts and a league best 1.06 WHIP. He completed 14 of his 29 starts that season, including two shutouts. Haddix then went 11-10, 3.97 in 172.1 innings for the 1960 champs, making 28 starts and one relief appearance. He had 101 strikeouts and a 1.32 WHIP that year. He won game five as a starter in the World Series, then he was the winning pitcher as a reliever in the epic game seven victory. He had a 10-6, 4.10 record, 99 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP over 156 innings in 1961, with 22 starts and seven relief appearances. That was followed by a 9-6, 4.20 record over 141.1 innings in 1962, when he made 20 starts and eight relief appearances. He finished that year with 101 strikeouts and a 1.33 WHIP.

Haddix was moved to the bullpen in 1963. He excelled in that role, posting a 3.34 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP and 70 strikeouts in 70 innings over 45 appearances (one start). He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles following the 1963 season, then spent his last two year of pro ball in the Baltimore bullpen. He had a terrific 1964 season at 38 years old, putting up a 5-5, 2.31 record in 89.2 innings over 49 appearances, finishing with a 1.01 WHIP, 90 strikeouts and nine saves. Haddix went 3-2, 3.48 in 33.2 innings over 24 games during his final season. He posted a 1.60 WHIP due an unusually high walk rate, leading to a 23:21 BB/SO ratio. The Orioles sold him to the Milwaukee Braves on August 30, 1965, but Haddix decided to retire instead. He said that while it would have been nice to possibly pitch for a team going to the World Series, he didn’t think he was capable enough to upgrade the team. He also didn’t want to be responsible for them missing the playoffs. He was back in baseball months later, first getting hired by the Kansas City A’s as a minor league pitching coach, before taking a big league pitching coach job with the New York Mets a month later. Haddix finished up his 14-year career with a 136-113, 3.63 record in 2,235 innings over 286 starts and 167 relief appearances. He had 1,575 strikeouts, a 1.23 WHIP, 99 complete games, 20 shutouts and 20 saves. He eventually returned to the Pirates as a minor league coach. He later became the big league pitching coach, returning to Pittsburgh in 1979 for six years.

Heinie Groh, third baseman for the 1927 Pirates. He was signed mid-season by the 1927 Pirates, then played the last 14 games of his 16-year big league career for the National League champs. Groh started a stretch of games at third base in July, then only played two games over the final two months of the season.  He debuted with the Pirates just hours after he signed a contract on July 2nd. He was a superb fielding third baseman, with a .292 career batting average. He also led league twice in OBP, twice in doubles, once in runs and once in hits. Groh was a key contributor on four teams that went to the World Series, plus he got an at-bat in the 1927 series with the Pirates. He compiled 48.1 WAR during his career, putting up positive WAR numbers on both offense and defense during each of his 12 full seasons in the majors. He led the National League in fielding percentage five times at third base. He led the league in double plays at third base seven times, including six years in a row from 1915 through 1920. He also led the league in putouts at third base during the 1917-19 seasons.

Groh debuted in pro ball at 18 years old in 1908 with Oshkosh of the Wisconsin-Illinois League. He spent his first three years in Oshkosh, which was considered to be Class-D during the 1908-09 seasons, then Class-C in 1910. His 1908 records are incomplete, but they show him hitting .161 that season in 416 at-bats, with 28 runs scored. He batted .297 over 113 games in 1909, then hit .297 again over 100 games in 1910. He split the 1911 season between Springfield of the Class-B Three-I League and Buffalo of the Class-A Eastern League. He hit .285 in 81 games that season. He’s credited with seven extra-base hits in 22 games with Buffalo. Groh was a seldom-used bench player for the 1912 New York Giants, getting into 27 games all season, with 12 starts total split between three positions. He hit well in his limited time, batting .271/.375/.354 in 56 plate appearances, with eight runs, three extra-base hits, three RBIs and six steals. He was one of three players (plus cash) sent to the Cincinnati Reds for veteran pitcher Art Fromme early in the 1913 season. Groh played four games for the 1913 Giants prior to the trade, then saw regular action at second base with the Reds after the deal. He hit .281 over 121 games between both stops, with 51 runs scored, 27 extra-base hits, 48 RBIs, 24 steals and a .725 OPS. He batted .288 during the 1914 season, with 59 runs, 24 extra-base hits, 32 RBIs, 24 steals, 64 walks and a .749 OPS in 139 games. He received mild MVP support that season for the only time in his career, finishing 21st in the voting. It should be noted that MVP voting didn’t exist during the 1915-23 seasons in the National League.

Groh led the league with 160 games played during the 1915 season. He batted .290 that year, with 72 runs, 32 doubles, nine triples, 50 RBIs and a .745 OPS. He batted .269 over 149 games in 1916, with 85 runs, 24 doubles, 14 triples, 28 RBI and a .744 OPS. He led the league with 84 walks, which was a career high. Groh led the league with 156 games, 685 plate appearances, 182 hits (career high), 39 doubles (career high) and a .385 OBP during the 1917 season. He hit .304 that year, with 53 RBIs, 71 walks and a .796 OPS. He led the league in runs scored (86), doubles (28) and OBP (.395) during the 1918 season. He batted .320 over 126 games that year, with 37 RBIs, 54 walks and a .791 OPS. He also briefly managed the Reds for ten games that season, putting together a 7-3 record during his only big league managerial experience. Groh led the league in OPS (.823) in 1919, thanks to a .310 average, 33 extra-base hits and 56 walks in 122 games. That helped push the Cincinnati Reds to a title in the controversial Black Sox World Series. He had 79 runs and a career high 63 RBIs that season. He batted .298 over 145 games in 1920, with 86 runs, 28 doubles, 12 triples, 49 RBIs, 60 walks and a .768 OPS. He hit a career high .331 in 97 games during his last season with the Reds (1921), finishing the year with 54 runs, 25 extra-base hits, 48 RBIs, 22 steals and an .815 OPS. He was a contract holdout that year until signing on June 1st, with the understanding that the Reds would eventually trade him. He was traded to the Giants for two players and $150,000 cash after the 1921 season concluded.

When the Giants won the 1922 World Series, Groh hit .474 in the postseason, with four runs scored in the five-game series. His regular season performance that year was down from his normal. He hit .265 over 115 games, with 63 runs, 27 extra-base hits, 51 RBIs, 53 walks and a .703 OPS. The 1923 Giants returned to the World Series for the third straight time during a four-year run of National League pennant wins. Groh hit .290 over 123 games that year, with 91 runs, 31 extra-base hits, 48 RBIs, 60 walks and a .763 OPS. He batted just .182 in the World Series, though he contributed to five runs. He hit .281 during the 1924 season, with 82 runs, 32 doubles, 46 RBIs, 52 walks and a .713 OPS in 145 games. A knee injury put him on the bench during the postseason, where he got a hit in his only at-bat. He spent the 1925 season as a bench player for the Giants, hitting .231/.296/.292 in 72 plate appearances over 25 games. He had a .229 average and a .556 OPS in 12 games for the 1926 Giants, then spent the rest of the season with Toledo of the Double-A American Association (highest level of the minors at the time), where he put up a .304 average and 27 extra-base hits in 104 games.

Groh opened the 1927 season with Rochester of the Double-A International League, where he had a .319 average and 11 extra-base hits in 55 games. He was named the team manager in mid-June, only to be traded to the Boston Braves two weeks later. Instead of accepting the trade, he bought his own release from Rochester, then signed with the Pirates two days later. He hit .286/.324/.314 in 37 plate appearances over 14 games in Pittsburgh, finishing with two runs, a double and three RBIs. He returned to the minors in 1928, then played until 1932, while serving three of those seasons as a player-manager. Groh dropped down to Charlotte of the Class-B South Atlantic League in 1928, where he hit .333 in 68 games, while collecting 11 extra-base hits. He had a .317 average, 15 doubles and two triples in 90 games for Hartford of the Class-A Eastern League during the 1929 season. He then hit .329 over 96 games for Canton of the Class-B Central League in 1930, with 16 doubles, five triples and one homer. His last two seasons were spent with Binghamton of the Class-B New York-Penn League, where he hit .338 over 112 games in 1931, with 18 doubles and two triples. He had a .247 average and four extra-base hits over 45 games in 1932. He finished his big league career with a .292 average, 918 runs, 308 doubles, 87 triples, 26 homers, 566 RBIs, 180 steals and a 696:345 BB/SO ratio in 1,676 games. Groh never came close to getting elected to the Hall of Fame, but he did get votes in eight different years. His brother Lew Groh played for the 1919 Philadelphia Athletics.