Most baseball fans know the name Archibald “Moonlight” Graham. He was made famous in the Kevin Cosner film Field of Dreams. Archibald made it to the big leagues, played one inning in the field but never got a chance to bat for John McGraw’s Giants. Did you know that Archibald Graham played some minor league ball for the old Scranton Miners in the NY-Penn League.?
Archibald “Moonlight” Graham graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1902, after attending there for some of the period 1895-1902. Graham played with Nashua in 1903 and Manchester in 1904. He played with Charlotte and Scranton in 1905, and Scranton and Memphis in 1906. Some sources say he played for years with Charlotte before coming up to the Giants, and one sportswriter says he remembers interviewing Graham in 1903 when he was with the Charlotte team. One source says Graham was invited previously to play for the Giants, but turned down the invitation because he was attending medical school.
Archibald was a fleet footed outfielder who could hit. He led the New York State League in hitting in 1906 with a .336 mark for Scranton. The Scranton Miners won the pennants in 1906 .He also played for Scranton in 1907, becoming the first player in the New York State League to tally 100 hits. The local newspapers called Archibald , “Doc” because he attended medical school in the off-season.
“Archibald Graham of the Baltimore Medical College to join New York Giants when he gets his degree. Nicknamed Moonlight by fellow players on account of his speed.”
Brooklyn Eagle, 3/22/05
A lesser known story is that of Scranton’s own Jerry Lynn. Jerry Lynn was born on Friday, April 14, 1916, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lynn was 21 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 19, 1937, with the Washington Senators. He played second base that day and went 2 for3 with a double. He also played a flawless second base having 7 total chances. 4 putouts, 3 assists and 2 double plays.
Jerry earned his call-up by tearing up the Old eastern Shore League with the Salisbury Indians. He led the league in hitting. Jerry batted .342-7-60 in 93 games. Salisbury won the Eastern Shore League that year. Salisbury’s achievement in 1937 is unbelievable. They forfeited 26 games due to violating Baseball’s old class rule. The Indians played an ineligible player and thought the right thing to do was to forfeit all of the games he was on the roster. The Indians went from a 0-26 record to capture the pennant.
Jerry did not make the Senators roster the following years. Lynn played for Williamsport (Eastern) in 1940, then spent five years in the service. After the war, he played three years in the Class B Tri-State League never again making a major league roster.