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September 13, 2005

Moe Berg: The Catcher Who Came In From the Cold

If you want the full goods on Morris Berg, try here for starters.

Not a great catcher, but a decent spy and a first-rate patriot.

In 1934, five years before he retired as a player, Berg made his second trip to Japan as part of a traveling major league All-Star team. One might wonder what the seldom-used catcher, a .251 hitter that season, was doing playing with the likes of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

Berg, who spoke Japanese, took home movies of the Tokyo skyline that were used in the planning of General Jimmy Doolittle's 1942 bombing raids on the Japanese capital. The U.S. government wrote a letter to Berg, thanking him for the movies. Biographies, magazine articles and word of mouth have elevated this story into the stuff of legend.

Go to Don Myers for a thorough debunking of the Japanese Empire's supposed "sneak attack" plans for the US.


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posted by Ace at 05:42 PM

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