The Catcher Was A Spy, a Twice-Signed Moe Berg Personal Check Moe Berg (1902-1972) played 15 seasons of professional baseball as a catcher, mostly for the White Sox, Senators, and Red Sox, however, he was more than a baseball player. A polyglot who spoke at least seven languages and educated at Princeton University, as well as Columbia Law School, he was also a United States Spy during World War II, serving with the Office of Strategic Service (OSS), and later its successor, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Stating it mildly, his career in baseball was uneventful–a third string catcher who could not hit (just a .243 career average with slightly more than 400 base hits) and was just average defensively. Nonetheless, he was chosen by Connie Mack as a member of the famous 1934 All Star Team which traveled to Japan, a group that included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jimmie Foxx, among other stars. Why Berg? Probably to do espionage for the defense department; his extensive movie footage of Japanese military installations during that trip is well documented. After his retirement from baseball he worked as a United States andquot;operativeandquot; during the War, almost exclusively in Europe, and specifically with the task of ascertaining whether the German government and its physicists were close to completion of the atom bomb. He met with every renown German and Austrian scientist involved, his high intelligence allowing him to comprehend the science involved and converse at length with these professionals. This intelligence service was invaluable to the U.S. government and later resulted in the Medal of Freedom bestowed upon him, the highest award given to a civilian who has aided our military in time of war. Berg loved the andquot;high lifeandquot;. He loved the finer hotels, food and restaurants, fine wine, and of course books (which he read incessantly – sometimes 4 or 5 at a time). On a government salary, this was a difficult endeavor indeed. Thus he was alway
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