Playing With the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, a World at War, and a Field of Broken Dreams

Overview

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 ...
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2008-04-01 Audio CD Book Good. No dust jacket as issued. X-Library 8 CDS with usual markings/attachments. Normal shelf and display wear...

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Overview

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. The astonishing story of Gene Moore’s life in and out of baseball is an exciting and often heart-wrenching saga that will capture the heart of every red- blooded American who can still smell the fresh-cut summer grass or remember how it felt to tie on the cleats while dreaming of making it to the big leagues. Jammed with memorable characters from an extraordinary time in our country’s history, Playing with the Enemy is a story that will be read and reread for generations to come. And it is one you will never forget.
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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Gene Moore, from tiny Sesser, Illinois, was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers at age 15 in 1940. After Pearl Harbor, the Dodgers arranged for him to be a member of a traveling U.S. Navy baseball team to entertain troops in the European theater. Eventually, the team was assigned stateside to guard a select group of German prisoners in Louisiana. The Germans had been captured when their submarine, the U-505 (now a featured attraction at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry), experienced mechanical problems in the vicinity of Allied warships. The story of the relationship that developed between the prisoners and their guards is a fascinating one. Because the Allies captured key code-breaking information with the sub, the existence of the prisoners was kept secret. Author Moore, son of Gene, also tells the heartbreaking story of how his father tried to recapture his major-league dream after the war but did not succeed. A moving profile of one, nearly unknown member of the Greatest Generation. Wes Lukowsky Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Library Journal

In his first book, Moore (president, Covenant Air & Water, LLC) writes of his late father, Gene Moore, a small-town boy who was said to have prodigious baseball talent and who was scouted by the Brooklyn Dodgers when he was still a teenager. Then Pearl Harbor intervened, and everything changed. Moore joined the navy and ultimately assumed a new role: as a guard for the German sailors caught from the captured and highly prized U-505 submarine (the submarine is now one of the most visited holdings of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry). To pass the time, Moore taught these men how to play baseball and in the process learned a new role as a teacher. Owing to war injury and the passage of time, his talents may have faded (he did get a second look from the Pittsburgh Pirate organization after the war). This is a very touching book about new roles and second chances. The author has used fictionalized dialog to move the story along and increase readability. Both history (especially war) and baseball buffs will enjoy this work, which is recommended for larger collections.
—Paul Kaplan

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598593723
  • Publisher: Oasis Audio
  • Publication date: 4/28/2008
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary W. Moore is the president and managing partner of Covenant Air & Water, LLC, a motivational speaker, and an accomplished musician.
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