Debra Stamm Germann
Back in 1976, Debra Stamm Germann received an exemption to play ball with an adult softball team while still a Milstadt High School junior. It marked the beginning of a career that would see Germann win numerous All-Tournament and MVP honors in two softball associations over the next 15 years.
During summers off from playing volleyball and fast pitch for Southern Illinois University and Illinois State University, Germann played slow pitch with Hecker-Miller Lite.
Throughout the early- and mid-80s, Germann won numerous All-Tournament and MVP honors. In 1985, she joined Coors Light out of Champaign. Playing shortstop and batting lead-off, Germann, along with teammates Marion Bell at first, pitcher Carol Stark, outfielder Vicky Winchester and power hitting Carol Moering, won the USSSA Women’s Class A State Title in 1985 and 1986. Coors turned in final four finishes at the USSSA World in Springfield in 1985 and the 1986 World in Parma, Ohio.
Along the way, Germann married Mark Germann, and by 1990 she had new priorities – she was pregnant with daughter, Amy – causing her to hang up the spikes. She is now a physical education teacher and helps run Mark’s construction business.
However, while Germann has forgotten many of the details of her playing career, many who witnessed her athletic accomplishments have not.
“She was the one everyone looked to for leadership and to come through in the clutch,” Marion Bell, a Hecker and Coors teammate, said.
Fellow 2001 inductee Gloria Kolbusz, whose Chicagoans won three USSSA Class A titles, remembers Germann’s Coors team as highly competitive, well-coached and Germann as a force to be reckoned with at the plate, on the base paths and in the field.
“She was one of the best shortstops around,” Tom Burton, Lassies manager, said. “For as tall as she was, she had great range and quickness. [At the plate] she had good power and was consistent.”
Illinois USSSA State Director Brenda Paulson remembers the first time she saw Germann play clearly.
“The first time I ever saw her play, at the Lassies NIT in St. Charles, she stroked a base hit to right, and was standing on second before they got the ball in to the infield,” Paulson said.
Germann is honored by her induction.
“As I sat with Marion Bell filling out the application form, we were laughing at all the memories that came up,” she said. “It was all about the teammates, the camaraderie.”
One more time, it is all about a great teammate and softball player, with Debra Stamm Germann’s induction into the Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame.