Summer, 2015 Premier Auction - Closes August 8, 2015
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/9/2015

The 1906 Scranton Miners of the New York State League featured a number of players that would eventually find their way to the Majors, including first baseman Bud Sharpe, infielder Chub Aubrey, and a number of other players who made it to The Show for a cup of coffee.

No cup of coffee was shorter than that enjoyed by outfielder Archibald "Moonlight" Graham, however.  As an outfielder for the Miners in 1906, Graham led the league with a .336 average, while stealing a career-high 38 bases.  It was the prior year, however, when Graham's legend would be sealed.  Shortly after graduating from the Maryland School of Medicine, the speedy outfielder found himself in a New York Giants uniform, sitting the bench for eventual Hall of Fame manager John McGraw.

On June 29 of that season, in the midst of a 10-0 rout of the Brooklyn Superbas, McGraw inserted Graham as a defensive replacement in right field, where he played two innings.  When pitcher Claude Elliott made the final out of the game, Graham was on deck.  Six days later, Graham was sold to the Scranton Miners, never to make it to the majors again.  "Doc" would begin practicing medicine in 1907 after passing the Pennsylvania physicians exam, and a year later retired from the game, relocating to Chisholm, Minnesota and beginning a private medical practice that would last until 1959.  A pillar of his community, Graham provided free eye exams to local children and outfitted them with used glasses that were donated for the cause.

It was 1975 when author W.P. Kinsella famously noticed Graham's entry in the Baseball Encyclopedia and eventually weaved him into the novel Shoeless Joe.  The story became better known with the release of the fantastic baseball film Field Of Dreams, and with it, the name "Moonlight Graham" was immortalized. 

The referenced postcard features the 1906 Miners (Graham is pictured in the middle row, third from the left), and was mailed to Harrisburg area baseball man Harry Prevost on September 14 of that year.  On that particular day, Graham went 1-for-4 with two runs scored, one on a groundout by teammate Hogan Yancey, who hit a game-winning triple in the 8th inning against the Troy Trojans.  The message on the postcard was simple:  "Yancey sends regards. Graham."

Of course the Graham in question is Moonlight Graham.  Extraordinarily rare, this postcard features the only signature from Graham's playing years that we have ever encountered. 

Suffice to say that Kinsella's legend has raised the value of the few memorabilia items from the period that feature Graham considerably, with photos and postcards often reaching the four-figure range.  Autographed items typically date from the early 1960s, just before Graham's death, and typically fetch several thousand dollars.  Baseball-related memorabilia featuring a Graham signature, dating to his playing years, is simply nonexistent.  We are unaware of any other baseball-related item featuring Graham's signature dating this early.  The reference to his teammate Yancey is simply icing on the cake, and a companion piece also featured in this auction establishes the bond between Graham, Yancey and Prevost.

This is an outstanding piece of baseball memorabilia, featuring a name and a story that transcends the game and stretches into popular culture.  Without sinking too far into hyperbole, the existence of this piece is simply astonishing.  One of the most interesting and memorable pieces we have had the pleasure of offering.  Full LOA from James Spence Authentication. 

Extraordinary Moonlight Graham Signed 1906 Scranton Miners Postcard (JSA)Extraordinary Moonlight Graham Signed 1906 Scranton Miners Postcard (JSA)
Extraordinary Moonlight Graham Signed 1906 Scranton Miners Postcard (JSA)
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Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $4,973
Number Bids: 15
Auction closed on Sunday, August 9, 2015.
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