Johnny Groth, who spent 11 seasons with Tigers, dies at age 95

The Detroit News

Johnny Groth, who spent 11 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, died Aug. 7. He was 95.

Groth, a center fielder, hit .279 in 1,248 games over 15 seasons in the majors. He finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year race in 1949, when he hit .293 with 11 home runs and 73 RBIs in 103 games for the Tigers.

John Groth (right) is shown here with Virgil Trucks.

His enjoyed his best season a year later in Detroit, when he hit .306 in 157 games, with career highs in doubles (30), triples (eight), home runs (12) and RBIs (85). He led all American League outfielders in fielding percentage in 1951, at .993.

Groth spent his first seven seasons in Detroit before he was traded in December 1952 to the St. Louis Browns in a six-player deal that also included pitcher Virgil Trucks. Groth also played for the Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators and Kansas City Athletics.

Groth returned to the Tigers in 1957, spending his final three-plus seasons in Detroit.

According to his obituary, Groth is survived by his wife of 72 years, Betty, and 11 children.