ROCHESTER, Minn. — Feb. 7, 2014 — Most people are at least familiar with the name "Moonlight" Graham as a character in the book Shoeless Joe and the film “Field of Dreams," but fewer people know that "Moonlight” Graham was an actual person, not a fictional character. And long-time residents of the Chisholm, Minn., area who remember Dr. Archibald Graham as their beloved hometown doctor will have an opportunity to provide photos, film and other information as part of an upcoming documentary film on this remarkable man.
Mayo Clinic is producing a film about Dr. Graham and his professional association with Mayo Clinic. As a right fielder for the New York Giants, "Moonlight" Graham had one of the shortest careers in major league history. As a beloved physician in Chisholm, "Doc" Graham had a long career of exceptional dedication and service. An intriguing character in “Field of Dreams,” he is an exemplar of professionalism and ethics in support of Mayo Clinic values. He was inspired by and contributed to the work of Mayo Clinic as a solo practitioner far from Rochester. His little-known story shows that professionalism, ethics and values resonate with community practices as well as large referral centers.
Dr. Graham's career spanned World War I, the influenza epidemic, the Great Depression, World War II and the Space Age. Over the course of his career, "Doc" Graham visited Mayo Clinic more than 90 times to attend continuing education courses, observe surgery and confer with colleagues. His 15-year study of blood pressure in children was co-authored by Mayo researchers and the published work set the standard in the medical profession.
Dr. Graham completed his medical degree from the University of Maryland in 1905. While there, he also played on the school's 1904 and 1905 baseball teams. He obtained his medical license the following year and began practicing medicine in Chisholm, Minn. and served the people of Chisholm for 50 years. Dr. Graham died Aug. 25, 1965. He was 85 years old. He is buried in Rochester, Minn.