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Archibald Wright “Moonlight” Graham (1876-1965) lived a significant part of his life as a physician in Chisholm, Minnesota on the Iron Range. He maintained strong links to Mayo Clinic as a patient and for continuing medical education. Doc “Moonlight” Graham was the basis for the fictitious “Moonlight” Graham in the movie Field of Dreams. Graham was a native of North Carolina and a 1901 graduate of the University of North Carolina.
While researching information on Doc “Moonlight” Graham a Mayo physician requested a 1963 article from The Charlotte News (July 18, 1963) that had mentioned Archibald “Moonlight” Graham and was written by Ernie Accorsi. This was ordered through Interlibrary Loan/OCLC but was rejected because I did not have a volume, issue number, and page number. I located a library in North Carolina that owned The Charlotte News, but it was only available on microfilm. Since the publication for July, 1963 was an entire reel of film the holding library was not willing to search. At that point I became determined to find the article so I Googled Archibald “Moonlight” Graham and came up with an article on ESPN.com entitled “Baseball celebrates one-game career” which was written June 29, 2005. The article described how Ernie Accorsi, general manager of the New York Giants football team at the time, was among the last people to interview Moonlight Graham. At the end of the ESPN article was a brief paragraph that read:
“In 1993, Accorsi was going through his mother’s attic in Hershey, Pennsylvania looking for an article he’d written that related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. There in a box, he found the newspaper clipping on his story on Graham and a picture.”
At this point the little wheels in my head started spinning. How could I find Ernie Accorsi? I searched and searched the Internet with no luck until I found that in November of 2012 Ernie Accorsi had been hired by the Carolina Panthers football team to find a successor for the Panther’s former general manager. After searching and searching I decided the only way I might find Ernie Accorsi was to contact the Carolina Panthers football team. My searching led me to a general email address for the Carolina Panthers. I sent an email message explaining my dilemma and asked if they could help me get in contact with Ernie Accorsi. When I arrived at work the following morning I already had an email from Ernie Accorsi!!!
He would be glad to send me a copy of the article written for The Charlotte News, July 18, 1963 once he returned from vacation. The following week I had the article in hand along with a hand written note from Ernie that read:
“Marla. Not exactly Hemingway but I was 21 and exactly 10 days into my career. This story that day is pretty close to the story in the movie (Field of Dreams) ~~ Best, Ernie Accorsi”
The article was entitled “1902 Hornet Returns Charm of Victory to Ball Park”. In this article was the interview between Ernie Accorsi and Archibald Graham. Who would have ever found the actual article without reading the entire sports section of the July 18, 1963 Charlotte News?!
During the time I waited for the article to arrive, Ernie sent me several email messages. First, why did a Mayo doctor want his article? Was Archibald Graham a physician at Mayo? If an article or movie is made at Mayo referencing his article could he have a copy? Lastly, did I know another Mayo physician who is now retired from Mayo as they grew up close to each other in Hershey, Pennsylvania. What a small world!
Coordinator, Interlibrary Loans