The Catcher Was a Spy-the Mysterious Life of Moe Berg

Buckocaster51

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Now I have been to a rodeo, Vegas, and countless MLB games (dating back to 1957) but I can‘t remember ever hearing of Morris “Moe” Berg. Princeton educated, polyglot, world-traveler, perpetual third-string catcher, and OSS operative.

Casey Stengel called him “the strangest man to ever play baseball.” THIS is from a man who knew Yogi Berra.

Berg appeared several times as a guest on “Information Please” a radio quiz show. His only stipulation was that he never be asked a question about law. (He was a Columbia educated lawyer that never really practiced law.)

During WWII he was sent to Europe to meet Werner Heisenberg and assassinate him if Berg thought the Germans were close to developing nuclear weapons.

AND I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THE GUY!
 

Wildcard_35

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Now I have been to a rodeo, Vegas, and countless MLB games (dating back to 1957) but I can‘t remember ever hearing of Morris “Moe” Berg. Princeton educated, polyglot, world-traveler, perpetual third-string catcher, and OSS operative.

Casey Stengel called him “the strangest man to ever play baseball.” THIS is from a man who knew Yogi Berra.

Berg appeared several times as a guest on “Information Please” a radio quiz show. His only stipulation was that he never be asked a question about law. (He was a Columbia educated lawyer that never really practiced law.)

During WWII he was sent to Europe to meet Werner Heisenberg and assassinate him if Berg thought the Germans were close to developing nuclear weapons.

AND I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THE GUY!

That just goes to show how good of a spy he was!
 

burntfrijoles

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Very interesting!!

Casey Stengel called him “the strangest man to ever play baseball.” THIS is from a man who knew Yogi Berra.
Are you implying that Yogi was strange?

He was certainly the king of malapropisms but he surely wasn't strange. Earthy yes. Strange no!

Also a decorated WWII vet.
 

Buckocaster51

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I was listening to a podcast from the International Spy Museum last night. They said Moe Berg is mentioned in the CIA museum.
 

uriah1

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Sounds like his life would make a great Movie.
Stranger than Yogi ! That is cool too.
 

burntfrijoles

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One of the few things I know about baseball is that catchers are a different breed.

They have to be. Yogi was my first sports hero. I remember him jumping in Don Larsen's arms after the WS perfect game. (Yes, I'm that old although I was just a little boy at the time)

"It ain't over 'til it's over" is masterful philosophy of never giving up whether in competition or life. Not bad for a "strange" guy.
 

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Great book. I read it years ago. I didn't realize they had made a movie of it. I seem to remember PBS did an excellent documentary of his story also.

Wasn't much of a player, but he managed to stick around in the majors for 15 years.
 

P Thought

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They have to be. Yogi was my first sports hero. I remember him jumping in Don Larsen's arms after the WS perfect game. (Yes, I'm that old although I was just a little boy at the time)

"It ain't over 'til it's over" is masterful philosophy of never giving up whether in competition or life. Not bad for a "strange" guy.
You just exposed for me the real depth of my baseball ignorance. Of course I knew who he was, but I never knew Yogi Berra was a catcher! Deep zen.

I just read about the game you mentioned, in the Wikipedia biography (a great read). I was three years old, and we didn't have a teevee then, so I didn't see the game.
 
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Honga Man

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Book recommendation: Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee by Allen Barra (no relation), published in 2010. I tried to post a link to the book at Amazon but it looked like it wouldn't work in the preview screen.

I got the audiobook from the library and then bought the hardback book for my teenage daughter for Christmas this year. She hasn't started it yet but I really enjoyed the book. That's probably due in large part to my father telling me about going to Yankees games with his parents in the late 1940s and early 1950s and seeing Yogi and the other greats from that era play.

P Thought said:
One of the few things I know about baseball is that catchers are a different breed.

Agreed. My daughter started catching this year in the Spring softball league that just ended last weekend. She went from never having played catcher to being the team's only catcher for all fourteen games. It made her a much more serious competitor than she was when she played infield positions in previous leagues.
 

Papanate

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He reads like a disturbed man - who did some important things - then faded into obscurity - pretty weird kind of describes him - really quirky and weird describes him - who knows what he did really as a spy - he was awarded the Medal of Freedom - so he must of done something. Probably too smart for his own good - I especially like his view of Newspapers - Alive until he finished reading them - then dead and anyone else could read them.
 




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