"It's hard to add anything to the legend of Moe Berg, backup, spy and linguist, though certainly not in that order" A catcher and a spy, what's not to love.
There's also first baseman Hank Greenberg, a star player in Detroit, where Henry Ford was doing his best to make Jews feel unwelcome.
"Ford published a newspaper that unceasingly railed against Jews, and a collection of the newspaper's columns was published in book form as The International Jew- the World's Foremost Problem. Reportedly, Hitler was one of his readers and admiers. Ford went on to blame international Jewish Bankers for WW II after receiving the highest award a foreigner could recieve from Hitler's government."
With all of that going on Greenberg put up some very nice numbers and he lost some years fighting in the war. So baseball fans can truly appreciate how good Greenberg was, the author uses Baseball Prospectus EQA, comparing his numbers to hall of famer Willie Mays and current stars like Albert Pujols.
Finally I'll end with a story too good not to share about second baseman Jimmy Reese.
"Reese grew up Hymie Solomon, and changed his name, as many Jews did, to avoid anti- Semitism. The decision worked out well - in a charity game, catcher Ike Danning and pitcher Harry Ruby decided to forgo signs and communicate in Yiddish. Reese the covert Jew, went 4 for 4"
The Baseball Talmud is a must for all baseball fans. This would make a great Mitzvah gift. Ages 12up