John Thomas Groth (born July 23, 1926) is a former professional baseball player. Johnny married Betty Stoll of Chicago Illinois. Together they had 11 children, nine girls and two boys. They have 30 grandchildren.
He played outfield in the Major Leagues from 1946 to 1960. He was born in Chicago, Illinois. He played for the Detroit Tigers (1946–1952, 1957–1960), St. Louis Browns (1953), Chicago White Sox (1954–1955), Washington Senators (1955), and Kansas City Athletics (1956–1957).
Groth was signed by the Tigers in 1946 as an amateur free agent. He was lauded by the Tigers as "the next DiMaggio" when he arrived on the major league scene in 1946 at age 20. 
Groth did not play in more than six games until 1949. In 1948, he hit .340 with 40 home runs for Buffalo in the International League. Time, Collier's, The Saturday Evening Post, and Life all tabbed him for superstardom in 1949. 
In 1949, Groth hit .293 with a .407 on-base percentage, a .451 slugging percentage and 73 RBIs in only 103 games. In 1950, he hit .306 with career-highs in home runs (12), RBIs (85), hits (173), and runs scored (95). At one point during the 1950 season, he had eight consecutive hits.
On April 19, 1949, rookie Groth hit home runs in two of his first three at bats, helping Hal Newhouser to a 5–1 win.
Groth played 10 more seasons, but never equaled his 1950 totals. In all, he spent 11 of 15 M.L. seasons with Detroit.
On December 4, 1952, the Tigers traded Virgil Trucks‚ who tossed two no-hitters during the year‚ along with Hal White and Groth‚ to the Browns in exchange for Owen Friend‚ Bob Nieman‚ and Jay Porter.
Groth bounced from the Browns to the White Sox to the Senators to the A's in the mid-1950s. In 1957, the Tigers bought Groth from the A's, and he finished his career as a backup outfielder with the Tigers from 1957 to 1960.
Over the course of his career, Groth played in 1,248 games, 964 as a center fielder, 121 as a left fielder, and 83 as a right fielder. He had a career batting average of .279 with a .352 on-base percentage, 1,064 hits, 480 runs scored, 486 RBIs, 419 walks, 197 doubles, and 60 home runs.
By Dean Hanley
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