If this county, or area, or city, had a Sports Hall of Fame, Paul Moosmann certainly would be in it. He was a sports personality par excellence of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s in this area, and even after that. He created many local sports memories and it was sad to learn of his passing this past Monday, with funeral services set for Saturday at St. Gertrude in Krakow.
We knew him from the days when we played on the same juvenile baseball team, Mauntel’s Cubs, in our grade school years. Paul went on to be a star basketball player and softball pitcher at Washington High School. He played against Borgia teams in basketball in the mid-1940s and later. He was in the last scheduled games against Borgia in the 1946-47 season, and the two schools didn’t play each other for a period unless in tourney play. After high school, he pitched softball and played some basketball for adult amateur teams until he entered the Army during the Korean War.
Paul was active in sports in the Army, playing softball and basketball. When he returned, he pitched softball for several teams and began coaching basketball at Borgia Grade School as a volunteer. He was a volunteer assistant to Coach Ray DeGreeff at Borgia High. At about the same time, he coached the Washington Jaycee basketball team, which was composed chiefly of former college players, several of whom were high school coaches in this area. The Jaycees played other independent adult teams in a wide area, including an outstanding Army team at Fort Leonard Wood, and the top amateur teams in St. Louis.
At about the same time he was coaching, he began to officiate basketball games. He became a skilled official and was widely known because he traveled a wide area to work high school games. His officiating skill elevated him to state tournament games. Going into the late 1950s, Paul assisted this writer in lining up visits to high schools that had football teams as part of the movement for that sport at Borgia. Paul helped to bring football to Borgia. He was active in the Borgia athletic association for years. He also was interested in the junior college movement and was active in pursuing higher education for this area.
If there was a sports benefit, Paul would assist in any way he could. He worked for Droege’s Super Market for a period and then moved to the insurance field. He was as aggressive in selling insurance as he was on the diamond or basketball court. He became one of the top salesmen in the country for American Family Insurance Co. He became a district manager, and his district usually was among the top five in the country for the company.
To do all he did required a great amount of energy and an understanding wife such as Phyllis. He enjoyed watching his grandson, Alex Moosmann, play at Borgia and in college. Alex also played professional basketball in Germany.
Paul was a close friend to many coaches, especially to two, Ray DeGreeff at Borgia and Glen Cafer at Washington High. DeGreeff and Cafer preceded him in death. Perhaps the three have been reunited. That trio were big names on the local sports scene for years. They are remembered. They left people with many fond memories.