1940 Play Ball #30 Morris “Moe” Berg
Just a quick post here thanking fellow Red Sox Super Collector Mark Hoyle for the tip on this eBay auction! I definitely am buying you a couple of rounds one of these days. You see, this 1940 Play Ball card of Moe Berg right now on eBay runs at $105 on the low end all the way north of $750. This “Buy it Now” … $20.00 with shipping!!! Sure the corners are soft and the back has some paper loss and old glue — but this is a tough card to get! Landing it for the cost of an upcoming 2017 Topps Retail Blaster in two weeks, yes please! And hey, not everyday you get to land a card of a World War II spy too.
Over the span of a 15-year career, Berg spent five of those years with the Sox from 1935–1939. Over the course of the 148 games in the Hub, he went .262/.289/.325 … pretty much your typical backup backstop. Three of his six career long balls came in his time here. Moe was an excellent defensive catcher. Possessing a strong arm, was adept at calling games, and his knowledge of the hitters put him in great demand around the league.
“… the strangest man ever to play baseball.”
– Casey Stengel describing Moe Berg
In 1934 Berg’s career took the turn that made him the stuff of legend. Now a member of the team of Americans that took baseball to Japan, he presumably walked the streets of Tokyo dressed in a long black kimono. At this point, if you’ve never read about Berg, here is a good overview on the real mystery of one of the game’s most interesting men.
MLB All-Stars Team 1934 Japan Barnstorming Tour (Berg in red circle)
Top Row, L-R: Doc Ebling, Earl Whitehill, Clint Brown, Eric McNair, Frankie Hayes, Connie Mack, Babe Ruth, Bing Miller, Joe Cascarella, Lefty O’Doul, Lou Gehrig, Umpire John Quinn.
Bottom Row, L-R: Earl Averill, Rabbit Warstler, Charlie Gehringer, Lefty Gomez, Jimmie Foxx, Moe Berg.