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Playing with the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, World War II, and the Long…

de Gary W. Moore

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1316177,056 (4.18)3
Portrays the life of the author's father, whose budding baseball career with the Brooklyn Dodgers never recovered after his stint as a sailor in World War II, during which he taught top-secret German prisoners of war how to play baseball.
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I really enjoyed this book, despite the narration, done by the author's son. Especially at the beginning of the recording, it sounded like he was reading it, rather than telling it. Sometimes my boys were in the car when I was listening to it. My older son really enjoyed listening to the story too. It had some good messages and events for discussion. This was especially appropriate during the middle of our baseball season. ( )
  CSKteach | Jul 20, 2018 |
Very good story ( )
  brone | Mar 15, 2010 |
I loved this book! It is a great book if you are a war buff and baseball fan. It tells the tale of a young man who is a gifted athlete, who is drafted into the major league, then joins the Navy as part of the Navy baseball team, so as not to be drafted into the Army to fight on the war front. He develops some very interesting friendships with Americans and the enemies. The story takes you all the way back home to America at the end of the war and through the rest of his adulthood and baseball career/saga. A wonderful story, that is actually based on a true story. ( )
  amcgoogan | Jul 6, 2009 |
Author is a phenomenal man we spent a day with at my school. This is such a great mix of sports, family and war. Terrific message about what's important in life. ( )
  GaylDasherSmith | Mar 8, 2009 |
Playing With the Enemy is a true story about Gary Moore's father, Warren Eugene "Gene" Moore. Gene was a boy from small-town Illinois who had an amazing talent for baseball. He was an incredible catcher, could hit the ball out of the park, and he was a born leader. As one of the youngest on his baseball team at The Lumberyard, he encouraged and motivated his older teammates to work together.

Gene didn't go unnoticed. The Brooklyn Dodgers stood up and took notice before Gene was old enough to play in their professional league. They signed him and put him in a farm team where he could hone his skills until he was old enough to be moved up. However, World War II came along and threw a wrench in THOSE plans.

This book is the story of Gene's experiences in baseball, in war, and beyond. He kept these experiences a secret from his children until the day before his unexpected death. Gary retells the story of his father's life as his father told it to him. Probably his very last gift to Gary.

Jim Morris writes the Forward to this book and he says, "Playing With the Enemy is a book about many things on many levels, but to me, it is a heartwarming story about what we do with second changes." While I agree with this, for me the book was also about the power of a love. In this case it was a love for baseball. This love has the power to bond, the power to overcome, and the power to scar.

Playing With the Enemy is about a LOVE of baseball. And I'm not talking about what you see in the Major Leagues. Unfortunately I think the love is lost there - players/coaches/owners/managers are too in love with themselves and with money to remember the love they had for the game. This is about a true, unadulterated love of the institution of baseball. As Gene says,

"...and that's what I love about baseball. When you step onto that field, the size of the man is determined by his heart, not his height."

When that love is present, the members of the team DO come together and form a family bond. As with any family, there's often a member that functions like the glue...keeping all the pieces together when times turn rough. Gene was that glue for his teams. I admired that quality above all else in him. Every team needs a Gene Moore. What's more, Sesser, Illinois, needed Gene Moore as well. Gene was growing up at the tail end of the Depression. Sesser was a very poor town and they had very little, but Gene was able to motivated and inspire them as well as his teammates.

Playing with the Enemy is a non-fiction work written like a fiction work. I often found myself thinking, "Wow! I don't think a professional fiction writer could have come up with the likes of this man's story." Isn't it amazing how sometimes life can create irony and suspense better than our own imaginations?

Gene Moore touched the lives of many. And his inspiration continues to be passed along to others through this book. He has inspired me! ( )
  jenforbus | Oct 26, 2008 |
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Portrays the life of the author's father, whose budding baseball career with the Brooklyn Dodgers never recovered after his stint as a sailor in World War II, during which he taught top-secret German prisoners of war how to play baseball.

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