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War & Espionage - Morris Moe Berg War & Espionage - Morris Moe Berg
A true American Hero, Moe Berg lived a life of danger while spying for the US government ----- SS, 2B, Catcher; Brooklyn Dodgers 1923; Chicago White Sox 1926-30; Cleveland Indians 1931; Washington Senators 1932-34; Boston Red Sox 1935-1939

Once upon a time there was a baseball player named Moe Berg who lived a life that many of us find truly amazing:

Baseball Historian

Morris Berg may have been only a third string, part-time baseball player for 17 seasons but he was certainly one of the most intelligent men ever to wear a major league uniform.

Berg was an alumnus of three universities and read and spoke 12 different languages. He played shortstop and studied math while attending Princeton. In 1926, he reported late to Chicago White Sox for spring training in order to complete his term at law school. 'Moe' Berg played SS, 2B but mostly was a reserve catcher.

In 1934, a team of American All-Stars including Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig traveled to Japan on a good-will tour and 'Moe' Berg was added to the squad - his mission - spying for the U.S. Government. He made a speech before the Japanese Legislature in Tokyo. Berg's main mission was to photograph key military buildings and other potential targets.

Eight years later the U.S. Military used the photographs when making their first attack on Tokyo during World War II. After Berg retired from baseball in 1939, he worked in the Office of Strategic Service (CIA), his primary objective was to determine Germany's Nuclear potential. 'Moe' Berg undertook several dangerous tasks behind enemy lines to keep track of German scientists. By using his intelligence and gift for languages he was always able to return safety.

Morris Berg's career stats: played 663 games in a career that spanned 17 years, batted .243 in 1,813 at bats. Baseball Historian - archives - Research Dept.




Dave Philley Dave Philley
Outfielder, Switch-hitter - Chicago White Sox 1941, 1946-51, 1956; Philadelphia Athletics 1951-53; Indians 1954-55; Orioles 1955-56, 1960-61; Tigers 1957; Phillies 1958-60; SF Giants 1960; Red Sox 1962

Enlisted in the US Army at onset of World War II in 1942

Quote by Dave Philley: 'I was proud to join the army when the war broke out and I never regretted my decision.'

A well-traveled and well-regarded clutch-hitter, Dave Philley played for eight (8) different teams in his long 18-year major league career that was interrupted by military service. He played in three decades after starting with the White Sox back in 1941.

Philley lined 20 or more doubles in seven consecutive seasons, 1947-1953, his high being 30 in '53, and he chalked up even 1700 lifetime hits. A great batting-eye, he walked more times in his career than he struck out - 596-551. And, as a pinch-hitter late in his career, the switch-hitting Philley lined an amazing 93 hits in 311 pinch-at-bats.

He explained his successful ability to come up as a pinch-batter this way: 'When I went up to the plate I felt the pitcher was in a jam, not me. I made it a point to study pitchers, knew what they threw to players that hit like I did. I was ready for them.'

Dave Philley career-stats: .270 BA, 276Ds, 72Ts, 84 Hrs, 789 Runs, 729 RBIs, 102 stolen bases... Born in Paris, Texas... baseballhistorian.com - Major League Baseball History




Sibby Sisti Sibby Sisti
Third Baseman, Second Baseman, SS & Outfielder, RH - Boston Braves 1939-1953, Milwaukee Braves 1953-1954

US Military 1942-1946 World War II Baseball History

A hustling all-around athlete, the 5-ft, 11-inch, 185-pound Sibby Sisti was one of the Boston Braves fans favorites all thru during the 1940s. He broke into the majors with the Braves as a 19-year old rookie back in 1939, and was the team starting third baseman the following year - batting .251, scored 73 runs, lined 19 doubles, 5Ts, 6 homers and had a solid .353 on-base-pct in 123 games.

In 1941, Sisti posted career-highs with 140 hits in 541 games spanning 140 games, and a career-best 24 doubles. An outstanding pivot man on the double-play he anchored second base as well as anyone in the NL.

Sisti proudly served in the US Military during World War II, missing almost four seasons before returning to Braves Field, this time playing the shortstop position. A good hit-and-run man, he collected a lifetime .324 on-base-pct... Sebastian Sisti career stats: .244 BA, 121 Ds, 19Ts, 27 Hrs, 732 hits in 2999 at-bats, 401 Runs, 260 RBIs in 1016 games. Baseball Historian




Sam Dente Sam Dente
Senators Ironman 1949-1950

Shortstop helps Washington propel upwards in AL Standings

A 9-year major league veteran, 1947-1953, Sam Dente played 46 games at third base as a rookie with the Red Sox in 1947. Traded to the old St Louis Browns and moved to the shortstop position the next Year, he hit a solid .270 with 11 doubles in 98 games.

In the winter of '48 he was sold to the Washington Senators and played a major role in the team's success - going from last in the standings in the league to a 5th place finish in 1950.

During the regularly schedule 154 game season during the 1950s, Dente missed just one game for his new team in the next two seasons. In 1949 he batted .273, with a career-best 24 doubles, scored 48 runs with 53 RBIs... and in '50 batted .239, with 20 doubles, 56 Runs and 59 RBIs, while playing SS and second base.

An always hustling baseball player here's how 'Who's Who Magazine' described Sam Dente in 1949 & 1950 Editions -

'The surprise success at short last season after his purchase from the Browns in '48. He did a great defensively, hit .273 and was rated by many as the Senators most valuable.'

'The club's ironman played every game last season - proving himself good at both short and second. His hitting fell off - but he will snap back this season, he says.

Born in Harrison, New Jersey... Nickname - Blackie

Sam Dente career stats: .252 BA, 78 doubles, 16 triples, 4 Hrs, 205 Runs, 214 RBIs, 585 hits in 2320 at bats spanning 745 games... Red Sox 1947; Browns 1948; Senators 1949-1951; White Sox 1952-53; Indians 1954-55. baseballhistorian.com - All-Rights Reserved - 1949-1950 Washington Senators



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Veterans of World War II Veterans of World War II
War Ends - Baseball Comes Back - Check Out Major League Baseball History

Hundreds of baseball players served our nation during 1943-1945. Listed below are a few of the ones that returned to the big-leagues after the War ended:

World War II Veterans:

* Dom DiMaggio, Boston Red Sox Centerfielder, RH - played 11 major league seasons all with the BoSox - 1940-42, 1946-53... A splendid outfielder, he led the AL in runs scored twice and tallied over 100 runs in six different seasons... The Red Sox leadoff hitters, Dominic DiMaggio hit a robust .301, scored 81 times as a 23-year-old rookie in 1940. He posted four seasons of higher than .300 batting mark, and finished with a .298 career batting mark. The youngest of three DiMaggio brothers.

* Danny Murtaugh, Philadelphia Phillies & Pittsburgh Pirates Second Baseman, RH - a gusty baseball player, he was rated as one of the best defensively at turning the double play. Started his major league career with the Phillies. Led NL with 18 stolen bases in rookie season, 1941. Batted .219... .241 and .273 from 1941-1943, then proudly served almost 3 years in US Military. Was traded to the old Boston Braves in '47, played there Just three games then got injured. Found a home in Pittsburgh - 1948-1951... Career stats: .254 BA in 9 seasons. Returned too manage Pirates and won 3 divisional crowns, two pennants and two World Series Titles, and 3 of his teams finished 2nd in four different tours with The Pirates.

* Marvin Rickert, Chicago Cubs & Boston Braves Outfielder, Bats Left, Throws RH - Played 8 games as 21-year old rookie back in '42... spent next three years, in military... returned in 1946 to Cubs and had a solid season, batted .263, with 18 two base hits, 3 triples, 7 homers, 44 Runs, 47 RBIs in 111 games. Shipped to Cincinnati in '48, played 8 games than was traded to Braves in time for their late-season pennant run. In The 1948 World Series against Cleveland Marv Rickert went 4-for-19 and in Game 4 smacked a solo homer in the 7th inning in a losing 2-1 cause - spoiling Tribe's Steve Gromek attempt for a shutout. Rickert batted .292 In 100 games for Braves in '49. Played with Pirates and White Sox in '50.

* Hank Majeski, Red Sox/Athletics/White Sox/Indians Third Baseman, RH - His 13-year major league career was interrupted by three years in the military, 1942-45. Played rookie season with Red Sox in '39... left for military duty in '42 returned in time for '46 season with old Philadelphia A's in'46. Majeski a contact hitter posted batting marks of .280, .310, .277, .309, .282 from 1947-51, and was a lifetime .279 average with an .342 on-base-pct.




Tommy Byrne Tommy Byrne
Starting Pitcher, Left-handed - New York Yankees 1943, 1946-51, 1954-57; St Louis Browns 1951-52; White Sox 1953; Senators 1953... Military 1944-45

Pitcher Tommy Byrne could fire a fastball and when he was on his game was a big winner for the New York Yankees. He debuted in the 'Big City' in 1943 at age 24, then served in the military for two years before rejoining the team in '46. He pitched in the majors 13 seasons - 10 1/2 with the Yankees, and pitched in four World Series 1949, 1955-57.

Byrne came into his own in 1948 with an 8-5 record, a 3.30 ERA. Although, the 6-ft, 1-inch, 182-pound lefty led the league in walks the next three seasons he rang up a silvery 15-7 record in '49 (179 Walks, 129Ks) and a 15-9 mark in 1950 (160Ws, 118Ks in 203.3 innings). He was traded in mid-'51, and after pitching for several teams returned to the Casey Stengel managed Yankees team prior to the 1954 season.

Byrne led the AL in winning percentage in 1955, going 16-5, .762 pct - a 3.15 ERA - and in the World Series singled home two runs in the 4th inning of Game 2, while pitching the Yankees to a 4-2 win over the Brooklyn Dodgers 4-2 - in a complete game 5-hitter. Byrne started and lost the final Game 7 of the Series 2-0 - Johnny Podres winning his 2nd game of the Series for Brooklyn.

Tommy Byrne career stats: 85-69 record, 4.11 ERA, 1138 hits, 1362 innings in 281 Games, 170GS, 65GC, 1037 Walks, 766 strike outs, 12 shutouts... Batting stats: .238 BA, 143 hits, 14 home runs.




 




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