Archibald “Moonlight” Graham

Have you ever seen the movie Field of Dreams? I have to admit that I love this movie–maybe because of my unfulfilled dreams of being a major league baseball player? One of my favorite characters in the movie is “Moonlight” Graham, played by Burt Lancaster. Did you know that the fictional “Moonlight” was based on a real “Moonlight”? The real “Moonlight” was North Carolina’s own Archibald Graham, brother of University of North Carolina president and United States Senator Frank Porter Graham.

Archibald Graham graduated from UNC in 1901, and I’m including an entry from the Alumni History of the University of North Carolina (published in 1924) below:


618 2nd ave., S. W., Chisholm, Minn.; A.B. 1901; s. m. 1901-02; M.D. Univ. of Md. 1905; Johns Hopkins univ. 1905-06; b. Fayetteville, Nov. 11, 1879; p. Dr. Alexander and Kate Bryan (Sloan); m. Alicia Madden, Sept. 29, 1915; baseball; physician and surg. New York and Minn.; player New York Giants 1903-06; Chisholm health officer; trustee, U. N. C. 1893; Kiwanian; Mason; Presbyterian.

He also played baseball at UNC, so I’ve included a team picture and a close up of Graham from the 1900 Hellenian, which was UNC’s first yearbook.

2 thoughts on “Archibald “Moonlight” Graham”

  1. There’s also an article about Moonlight Graham in the September/October 2005 issue of the Carolina Alumni Review, “A Brush with Fame, a Life of Greatness,” p. 116-117.

    The article mentions a potential origin of his nickname, “Some say he played ball to pay for his medical studies – moonlighting while he hit the books.”

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