John Thomas Groth (July 23, 1926- ) When the Detroit Tigers signed Johnny Groth in 1946, the press touted the 19-year-old as the next DiMaggio. That pressure may well have been a factor in his performance, which never met those lofty expectations. However, the US Navy veteran did carve out a solid career. A .279 lifetime hitter, his best season was in 1950 when he batted .306 with 173 hits. A good defensive outfielder, Groth finished his 15-year MLB career with a .987 lifetime fielding percentage. His two stints with the Tigers were separated by four trades in five years. During this period, while playing for St. Louis, Groth scored the last run in the Browns’ team history. After he retired as a player, Groth managed in the minors for a few seasons and scouted for the Atlanta Braves for 27 years.