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The Catcher Was a Spy

The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg
Narrated by: Jeff Kramer
Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
4 out of 5 stars (105 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The only Major League ballplayer whose baseball card is on display at the headquarters of the CIA, Moe Berg has the singular distinction of having both a 15-year career as a catcher for such teams as the New York Robins and the Chicago White Sox and that of a spy for the OSS during World War II. Here, Dawidoff provides "a careful and sympathetic biography" ( Chicago Sun-Times) of this enigmatic man.
©1994 Nicholas Dawidoff (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Baseball & Espionage: A Few of my Favorite Things

I only discovered this book after someone shared a short article about Moe Berg and I decided I wanted to know "Moe".

Another review complained about the incessant interruption of baseball statistics, but I found that to be pertinent in describing Berg's career ups and downs. Plus, I love statistics as any real fan does. But, honestly, they are neither a distraction nor overwhelming for even a novice fan of the game.

Where the other review did get the book right was the later half. Although I didn't stop listening nor was I tempted, the entire last half of the book focused on the rest of Berg's life; the part that wasn't about Baseball or Espionage. Berg lived a life of a Vagabond after WWII, living off the good will of others who thoroughly enjoyed his company and stories. However, the book becomes rather dull, much like Berg's repetitious stories that became tiresome after hearing it over and over again. For that, the story received a four star rating from me.

The first half of the book is really the heart and soul of this story. Regardless of the veracity of Moe's anecdotes as well as his proficiency as a baseball player, this is an inimitable tale of an eccentric, yet interesting person.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

An interesting topic made horribly dull!

When I saw this book, just the title made me intrigued, and the premise sounded really fascinating, so I purchased it, to my regret. I wasted too many hours listening to this book.

The main problem is that the author goes into way too many details that are completely unnecessary. I really didn't need to know, or frankly care to know, Moe Berg's box scores for each and every game he caught in his long baseball career! Fortunately, he didn't play very often, so I didn't have to muddle through hundreds of games.

I stuck with the book, hoping the section on his work for the OSS would be more interesting, but I was disappointed yet again. Once again, the author made a fascinating subject become extremely boring!

This topic has so much potential to become a really interesting book! Moe Berg actually went to law school at the same time that he was playing catcher in Major League Baseball! His nickname to everyone was "The Professor," and he was very brilliant. Periodically, I saw so many areas where I thought the book would have done well to expand on, only to find it making another abrupt turn back to the box scores of his games. The section on the OSS could have been really interesting too, but once again, the author was too interested in including every single detail, which overwhelmed and drowned out the interesting parts.

I finally gave up on the book about 3/4 of the way through it, and I almost never give up on a book! I gave the story 2 stars just because there were things that I thought were interesting, but I'm not sure that it really deserves even those, sad to say!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Need some editing

Audible needs to go and edit thus production. There are numerous times that the narrator repeats sections.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

It’s hard to know what to make of this book. First of all, the story regarding baseball is pretty interesting. The story about his spy work is also interesting. The story about his being a deadbeat is awful. Sounds like he was a very good fabricator making up stories about things that may or may not of happened. Too bad he wasn’t born in a different era. He could’ve been the star of a reality TV show and then going on to be president of the country. Sometimes you feel sympathetic towards Mr. Berg. And sometimes you feel like you’re such an ass.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting listen

My head is still a jumbled mess of words as I try to figure out exactly what the life of Moe Berg was. He was an odd fellow, and some of his habits made me uncomfortable. It could be a generational disagreement that I have with how he lived his life, but no one can deny that he lived it under his terms. It's a interesting piece of baseball and US history.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The catcher was a spy

Very interesting book. yet a sad, almost tragic life which was a life in which berg frritted away the last third, sans happiness, sans love, sans joy.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • GW
  • 08-12-16

Excellent, except for the last chapter

If you are interested in Moe Berg, this is a great book. Just throw out the last chapter with all of its psychological belittling of Mr. Berg.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

So boring!

This book just went on and on. It could've been about five hours long and still had too much nothingness

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

The catcher was a spy
Tracing this you might even know why
He carried a gun to shoot down Germans
And some are Horst
And some were Herman’s

0 of 1 people found this review helpful