Baseball season is just around the corner so it seems fitting to talk about baseball. More specifically, a mediocre baseball player that was known as the “brainiest guy in baseball.” A guy that graduated from Princeton and Columbia Law. A guy that went on to become a spy for the US government in Word War II. I’m talking about Morris “Moe” Berg.
It wasn’t until the last year or so that I heard about Moe Berg. Actually, it was when I was browsing the IMDB credits of actor Paul Rudd that first brought Berg to my attention (more on that later). If I’m only looking at his baseball career, there’s really no reason for me to know him. He was an average player that played at the beginning of the 20th century and never played for any St. Louis teams. It’s his post-baseball life that I’m surprised never caught my attention.
Berg joined the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. By this point, his baseball career was over, both as a player and a coach. Berg was seen as an asset due two previous trips to Japan with other ball players. He then went on to join the Office of Strategic Services, and the branch within the OSS called Secret Intelligence. He helped evaluate various resistance groups in Eastern Europe to determine who was the best suited to resist the Nazis.