Shieber: A glimpse of Moonlight Graham

From SABR member Tom Shieber at on April 20, 2015:

One of the nearly 20,000 books in the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library is a volume published in 1911 and titled “Humor Among the Minors: True Tales from the Baseball Brush.” In the book, career minor leaguer-turned-author Eddie Ashenbach (sometimes misspelled “Ashenback”) reminisces about his two decades in professional baseball. One story he recounts is titled “An Alias That Did Not Last Long.”


Just who was this Graham? Like Ashenbach, he was a minor league ballplayer. But, unlike the author of “Humor Among the Minors”, Archibald Wright Graham managed to crack the big leagues for a brief “cup of coffee.” Though virtually unknown for most of the 20th century, Graham later gained fame as a character in “Field of Dreams,” a movie based on the novel “Shoeless Joe” by W.P. Kinsella.


Recently, the Hall of Fame received the donation of a rare postcard of the 1905 Class B New York State League Scranton (PA) Miners. Nine players, Manager Ashenbach, and his son piled into a 1905 Oldsmobile touring automobile for the team photo. In the back of the car, identified by a number 5 written on his shoulder, sits the 27-year-old Archie “Moonlight” Graham.

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Originally published: April 21, 2015. Last Updated: April 21, 2015.