Moe Berg (1902–72)
Catcher and Spy
A remarkable figure who played major-league baseball and served in the OSS in the Second World War, Moe Berg was one of the most unusual individuals ever to graduate from the Columbia Law School. As a ball player, he played 17 seasons, from 1923 to 1939, with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, and Boston Red Sox. Fluent in several languages, Moe Berg was perhaps the most intelligent man ever to play professional baseball. Unfortunately, he was a journeyman ball player. It was said of Berg that he could speak 17 languages but he couldn't hit in any of them.
After his playing days were over, Berg served in the wartime OSS, the Office of Strategic Services. Working behind enemy lines, Berg undertook secret missions to determine what progress the Nazis had made toward the development of the atomic bomb. He would later undertake espionage assignments during the Cold War for the CIA.
Submitted by Rudy Carmenaty, School of Law 1990, who is solely responsible for the content.