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Debs Garms

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Debs C. Garms

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[edit] Biographical Information

Debs Garms was the first player to get a hit off Johnny Vander Meer after he threw 21 2/3 consecutive innings of no-hit baseball; this included his back to back complete game no-hitters. Garms played twelve years in the majors, appearing in two World Series and winning the 1940 National League batting championship.

His real first name was Debs (after Eugene Victor Debs, a prominent socialist leader of the day), and he was from Texas - hence his nickname "Tex". After college at Howard Payne University from 1926-1928, he made his minor league debut in 1928 with the Abilene Aces, hitting .317. Through 1932 he always hit near or over .300, and in 1932 he hit .344 in the Texas League, getting him his major league debut in August 1932.

Garms spent 1932-1935 with the St. Louis Browns, but didn't last long in 1935 under manager Rogers Hornsby. Garms spent most of 1935 and 1936 back in the minors with the San Antonio Missions, and after his 1936 season was drafted away from the Browns organization.

He spent 1937-1929 with the Boston Bees (managed in 1938 and 1939 by Casey Stengel) and was then sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates, for whom he won the batting championship while getting 385 at-bats in 1940. After a less-impressive 1941 season, he spent 1942 in the minors with the Sacramento Solons, hitting .314.

Garms was with the St. Louis Cardinals for 1943 to 1945 and had a strong final major league season in 1945, hitting .336 in 180 at-bats at age 38. He spent 1946 with the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League.

He was named "Debs" by his parents after socialist Eugene Debs, and his brother was also named after a prominent socialist. His older sister married the only other major league player out of Howard Payne University, Slim Harriss. After baseball he ran a farm, worked at a quarry, and served on a school board.

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