Games 1, At Bats 0
NEW YORK •
JUNE 29, 1905 –
It’s the stuff of legend, except it’s all true. In the late innings on this date in 1905, Archibald “Moonlight” Graham made his major league debut in right field for the New York Giants. They were playing the Brooklyn Superbas (now the Dodgers). The game ended a couple innings later with the Giants winning 11-1, but without Graham coming to bat.
He never got another chance. He was sent down to the minors after the game. Moonlight Graham spent enough time in the minors, he was almost 28 years old, so rather than report to the farm team, he called it a career. He came oh so close to coming to bat, but it was not to be, until
Hollywood came calling long after his death.
Archibald Moonlight Graham was a key character in the movie, "Field of Dreams." The movie was fiction, but the Moonlight Graham part, played by Burt Lancaster, was real. Well, most of it was real. Graham really did become a doctor in Chisholm, Minnesota, but the part about a young Archie Graham, played by Frank Whaley, living out his dream by coming to bat against the re-incarnated Black Sox remained a dream.
Moonlight Graham had about the shortest, and let's be honest, most insignificant stint in the major leagues, until author W. P. Kinsella came upon these stats thumbing through a record book:
Archibald Moonlight Graham:
Batting record Fielding record
SLG / PO
1905 NY n
Kinsella was so intrigued by a man who came so close to living out his dream that he put the character in his book of fiction, “Shoeless Joe”. The movie, "Field of Dreams" is based on the book, "Shoeless Joe."
Archibald Moonlight Graham was born in
North Carolina in 1877. He died in Chisholm in 1965, unaware that his story would be told over and over.