Most people are nesters. They wiggle and squirm through life until they find a nice warm spot to burrow their heads in. For work, it’s as simple as finding something reliable that doesn’t make you completely miserable—a little misery is expected. Moe Berg wasn’t most people. He was an all-star baseball player, a published writer, the Ken Jennings of a 1940s quiz show, a polyglot, and an international spy for the OSS.
With a future like that ahead of him, it may seem strange that Berg started with baseball. When you occasionally hear about these celebrities with high IQs, you can’t help but wonder why they’re wasting time in front of a camera when they could be bringing back the dead, or whatever it is that smart people do. For Berg, it was simple: he was good at baseball, so why not? In his spare time, he was a voracious reader and never let his success make him too comfortable. When America joined the WWII fray, Berg, like many of a healthy age, felt compelled to do something. He ended up being recruited by the OSS (Office of Strategic Services), which officially made him a spy. His intellect rendered him invaluable during the war and even led to him attending a speech in Switzerland by Germany’s most happening physicist, Werner Heisenberg, who may or may not have been working on an atomic bomb. With Berg were a pistol and a cyanide tablet. Read More