Item description for Playing with the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, a World at War, and a Field of Broken Dreams by Gary W. Moore...
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.
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.
About the Author: Gary W. Moore is the president and managing partner of Covenant Air and Water, LLC, a motivational speaker, and an accomplished musician. Gene Moore was his father. Gary lives in Bourbonnais, Illinois.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25" Weight: 1.2 lbs.
Release Date Sep 15, 2006
Publisher Savas Beatie
ISBN 1932714243 ISBN13 9781932714241
Reviews - What do customers think about Playing with the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, a World at War, and a Field of Broken Dreams?
Inspiring and heartwarming... Sep 9, 2008
A wonderful book, I couldn't put it down! It made me very sad that Gene Moore never was able to fulfill his dream of playing in the majors, it was the game's loss, not just his, as he would've probably been in Cooperstown by now. However, he accomplished so much by the friendships he formed in his town, in the Navy, and in the minor leagues. Gary Moore did an excellent job of telling his story, it made me laugh, it made me cry, and I will definitely read it again! His writing made me feel like I was right there observing the story firsthand. Not only do you get an appreciation for Gene's amazing baseball ability and love for the game, but the story about life and relationships in a small town and the impact that WWII had on so many lives all combine for an excellent read.
Playing with the Enemy Sep 8, 2008
I suppose given the choice between being a vacuum sweeper salesmen or a major league baseball player most of us would chose the latter. I know I would. And I'm sure Gene Moore would have made the same choice as a 15 year old boy in a small town in Illinois in 1940. Now, don't misunderstand me. Vacuum sweepers are important. I own two. But they are not the stuff dreams are made of.
In his book, Playing with the Enemy, Gary Moore relates how his father, Gene, had dreams like all young men and how the choices he made caused those dreams to become something very different in reality. The book is full of twists and turns that you will find hard to believe. That is until you near the end of the book and he reveals the way in which his father told him the story and what happened to his dad the day after he told him.
At first glance, there seems to be nothing special about Gene Moore. But as we come to know this young boy and watch him become a man we see that he is a very unique person. His ability to adapt to his situation and cause others around him to work for the common good is truly extrodinary and inspiring.
The book caused me to stop and think about my parents and the sacrifices they made during WWII. The world is a very different place today and I don't know if I can really comprehend what they went through. But I'm glad they did.
The book also reminded me of a truth that has been with me for a long time and a truth I try to pass on to my children. That truth is that our lives are not determined by the dreams we dream but by the choices we make.
Band of Brothers Meets The Rookie Sep 4, 2008
A wonderfully written story that grabs your heart. Gary Moore paints a brilliant picture of life, baseball and friendships in this story about his father and life lessons. The characters develop on the pages and pull you onto the field at the Lumberyard, and carry you through the end of the war. A must read for any baseball fan. You will not be disappointed. It is one of those special books you will keep in your library to share with your loved ones.
Heart-warming tribute to the author's father Sep 1, 2008
This captivating book is more than a baseball story or a history lesson; it is a story of family relationships, difficult choices, and unconditional love. This book would be in the hands of my "reluctant middle school readers" if I was still teaching. They'd love it!
Belongs in the Cooperstown of Books Aug 21, 2008
This is a terrific book about small town family life after the Depression, baseball in the "Golden Age", and friendships. Also there is a great history of World War II and special military troops to entertain our troops. The friendships that evolve in this biography are endearing to all.