The Catcher Was A Spy

For a while I’ve been meaning to write a post on Nicholas Dawidoff’s The Catcher Was A Spy.

The story focuses on the life of Moe Berg, a back-up Major League catcher who later became a spy for the OSS (precursor to the CIA) during World War II.

I received the book over 11 years ago on my 14th birthday (Seriously? That was 11 years ago?!), but after a previous false start back in 1997, didn’t get around to reading it until this past Christmas.

Part of the reason for it taking me so long to get around to reading the book was a poor assumption on my part. When I tried to read it the first time around, I abandoned the book at the point when Berg retired from baseball, not realizing that his work as a spy would be considerably more fascinating than his life as a ballplayer.

Rather than post a series of quotes from the book, I’ll leave off with the main effect that the story of Moe Berg produced in me.

Sometimes, I feel like I live a small life. My work can seem unimportant and unnoticed, my life unspectacular and relatively obscure. I think a lot of people feel the same way.

As a professional athlete and an undercover spy, Berg experienced not one, but two exciting, storybook careers. He was an immensely talented individual who had a number of famous friends and acquaintances and his own share of fame as well. In short, Moe Berg had the type of life that most people dream about having.

Despite all that, the portrait that Dawidoff paints is of a largely unhappy man who never really fit in anywhere and was never able to develop deep long-lasting relationships with anyone.

The Catcher Was A Spy is a fascinating biography that I would recommend to anyone with an interest in baseball, espionage or nuclear physics (Berg’s WWII spy work centered on the Nazi Atomic Bomb project), but that wasn’t why I liked it so much.

I liked it because, at least for me, it served as an invaluable reminder about what really matters in life.


The Doc File © 2006-2012 by Luke Dockery

  © Blogger template 'Fly Away' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP