The Spy Behind Home Plate is the first feature-length documentary about the enigmatic and brilliant baseball player who turned spy for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. Berg not only played for the last Washington Senators team to play in a World Series (1933), but he also trained with the OSS not far from the team’s home — Griffith Stadium.
The Spy Behind Home Plate features rare historical footage as well as revealing interviews with an All-Star roster of celebrities and other individuals from the worlds of sports, spycraft, and history.
Berg, the erudite Major League catcher who played on five different baseball teams in the ’20s and ’30s, spoke a multitude of languages, earned degrees from Princeton University and Columbia University Law School, and attended the Sorbonne. Earlier this year, Berg and the 13,000 heroic men and women of the OSS finally received a well-deserved Congressional Gold Medal during a moving ceremony where Berg’s heroism was cited.
Berg may have only had a .243 batting average during his 13-year Major League player career, but it was the stats he collected for the OSS that made him a most valuable player to his country during World War II. Berg grew up in Newark, New Jersey. He played for the Brooklyn Robins (which became the Dodgers), the Chicago White Sox, the Cleveland Indians, the Washington Senators and the Boston Red Sox during baseball’s Golden Age. Berg also had a secret life spying on the Japanese during an All-Star players trip to Tokyo, and later worked for the OSS playing a prominent role U.S. efforts to undermine the German atomic bomb program. After WWII, Berg remained elusive and later reclusive.