Moe Berg, catcher turned spy, gets an exhibit in Baseball Hall of Fame

(JTA) – Moe Berg is going into the Baseball Hall of Fame – as a spy, not a catcher. The shrine to the national pastime in Cooperstown, N.Y., recently opened an exhibit on the Jewish player, who gained more attention for his espionage than a 15-year career in which he finished with a batting average of .243 and six home runs. Berg, following his baseball days in the 1920s and ’30s, worked for the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS – a precursor to the CIA. He went on missions in then-Yugoslavia, where he tracked resistance groups, and Italy, where he interviewed physicists about the German nuclear program.

The Cooperstown exhibit, titled “Moe Berg: Big League Spy,” looks at his exploits in both worlds through baseball artifacts and wartime documents. A New Yorker who spoke more than 10 languages (seven fluently) and graduated from Princeton, Berg was the subject of the film “The Catcher Was a Spy,” released in June. Jewish actor Paul Rudd portrayed Berg, who died in 1972 at 70.

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