I never pass up an opportunity to find some baseball history when on a trip, be it a baseball related trip, or any other trip.
Recently I was heading to west-central Minnesota with The Mrs. (special thanks to her for humoring me and allowing me the 15 minutes to make this stop) and knew that we’d be passing through Rochester, Minnesota. At some point a couple of years ago I came across a mention of a famous baseball player that was buried in Rochester.
That player is Archibald Graham, better known as “Moonlight.” Graham’s career consisted of one game, and no at-bats (Click here to view his statistics at Retrosheet). The 104th anniversary of his big league appearance was 6.29.09 (the movie has the date wrong). Graham’s not the only player who has had this sort of brief major league career, but his was made famous by the book Shoeless Joe and subsequent classic movie Field of Dreams.
After his baseball career was over Graham worked as a doctor in Chisholm, Minnesota for many years where he had a significant impact on that community.
His gravesite is located in Rochester’s Calvary Cemetery. Thanks to the man mowing the grass there for pointing me in the right direction to find Moonlight’s gravesite. He is buried there with his wife Alecia (she’s also mentioned in the movie). On the day I visited, there were four quarters resting on the marker.
“Go the Distance:” If you want to visit the site start by looking at the entry on Find A Grave.
Googling “Rochester, Minnesota Calvary Cemetery” is not altogether helpful as Google Maps gives an innacurate location of the cemetery (which is obvious by looking at that location via the satellite layer of mapping).
Calvary Cemetery is located at 11th Ave NE and 5th St NE in Rochester, Minnesota. Moonlight is in Section 9, Plot 4, 1E. It is the SW part of the cemetery, not too far north of 5th St, look for the Section 9 sign.