Morris “Moe” Berg was an amazing character. Fluent in several languages, he reportedly read ten newspapers a day and was a successful contestant on the radio quiz show Information, Please. After graduation from Princeton University and Columbia Law School, Berg played 15 seasons in the major leagues as a backup catcher.
Upon completion of his professional baseball career, he worked for the Office of Inter-American Affairs on assignment in the Caribbean and South America in 1942-43. In 1943 Berg joined the Office of Strategic Services as a Paramilitary Operations Officer. In the fall of 1943, he parachuted into Yugoslavia to evaluate resistance groups operating against the Nazis. In late 1943, Berg was assigned to an OSS operation interviewing Italian physicists to see what they knew about Nazi nuclear weapons research.
In December 1944, Berg was assigned to attend a lecture in Zurich by the German physicist Werner Heisenberg with orders to kill Heisenberg if convinced the Germans were close to developing an atomic bomb. Deciding the Germans were not close, Berg returned to the United States and resigned from the Strategic Services Unit in April 1945. Awarded the Medal of Freedom on October 1945, Berg rejected the award (though his sister later accepted it on his behalf after his death).