Playing With The Enemy A Baseball Prodigy A World At War And A Field Of Broken Dreams
A Baseball Prodigy, a World at War, and a Field of Broken Dreams
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Foreword by baseball legend Jim Morris former Major League pitcher with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.It was true in the 1940s and it is still true today: if you have talent someone will notice. In Gene Moore's case that someone was the Brooklyn Dodgers.Gene Moore was a farm boy living with his family in Sesser Illinois a town so small even map makers ignored it. As a teenager when he wasn't in school or helping his Pop on the farm slopping the hogs and doing other chores with his older brother Ward and five sisters Gene was playing baseball with the guys on the town team. Some were twice his age. The older fellows didn't mind having the Moore kid on their team because he could hit the ball farther than anyone else he was the best catcher anyone had ever seen he could throw men out from his knees and not a ball ever got past him. Gene was 15 years old. Word quickly spread across the United States about the country boy who could hit the ball a country mile. The Dodgers wanted to take a look at this farm kid barely old enough to shave and still awaiting his first kiss but brash enough to call the pitches from behind the plate and motion to the infielders and outfielders as to how they should position themselves for certain hitters. Headed for baseball stardom with the Brooklyn Dodgers Gene's destiny was interrupted by Pearl Harbor. After playing ball for the Navy in the Azores and North Africa Gene and his team were sent to the States for a special and top secret mission: guarding German sailors captured from U-505. Unable to field a team Gene convinced his commander to allow him to teach the enemy how to play baseball while he and his teammates waited for the war to end so they could be called up into the Major Leagues. But Gene's future changed irrevocably in Louisiana. His life . . . and maybe our national pastime . . . was forever altered. Inspired by true events Playing with the Enemy is the riveting story of a depression-era youth and his brush with destiny. Author Gary Moore Gene's son did not learn of his father's remarkable odyssey through World War II and the hardships of minor league baseball until the day before Gene's death. Confronted with evidence of a possible career in baseball Gene finally broke his decades of silence and spent the next several hours relieving himself of the heavy burden he had been carrying. The stunning news sent the author on his own odyssey as he researched his father's life and interviewed dozens of people.
- Savas Beatie, September 2006
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