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Debs Garms

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Debs C. Garms (Tex)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Debs Garms was the first player to get a hit off Johnny Vander Meer after he threw twenty-one and two-thirds 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 (probably after Eugene Victor Debs, a prominent politician of the day), and he was from Texas - hence his nickname "Tex". After college at Howard Payne University in Texas from 1926-28, he made his minor league debut in 1928 with Abilene, 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 1932-35 with the St. Louis Browns, but didn't last long in 1935 under manager Rogers Hornsby. Garms spent most of 1935-36 back in the minors with San Antonio, and after his 1936 season was drafted away from the Browns organization.

He spent 1937-39 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. After a less-impressive 1941 season, he spent 1942 in the minors with Sacramento, hitting .314.

Garms was with the St. Louis Cardinals for 1943-45 and had a strong final major league season in 1945, hitting .336 in 180 at-bats at age 38. He spent 1946 with San Diego.

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. Source for this paragraph: SABR biography of Debs Garms, which is quite detailed.

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