Field of Dreams
BY BILL RUBIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Do you recognize the name Archibald Wright Graham? Would his nickname “Moonlight” Graham help? How about the novel, Shoeless Joe, or the movie, Field of Dreams?
Moonlight Graham was a real life person. He played professional baseball, mostly at the class “c” and “b” minor league levels. In late June 1905, Graham appeared in his only major league game with the New York Giants, not as a starter, but as a late-game substitute in the outfield. Baseball records show he was left in the on-deck circle when the batter ahead of him recorded the final out of an inning. Regrettably, Graham only played a couple of innings in the majors but did not record an official at-bat.
When he left baseball, Moonlight Graham became “Doc” Graham and practiced medicine in Chisholm, Minnesota for decades.
In the novel-movie storylines, Moonlight/Doc was asked what he’d wish for if he had one to make. He simply wanted that missed chance of batting against a big league pitcher, and maybe stretching a double into a triple.
Throughout the novel and movie, deceased major leaguers, including Shoeless Joe Jackson, come to life at a magical baseball field carved out of an Iowa cornfield. Still eager to play even on a field in Iowa, Jackson’s major league career was halted in its prime following the 1919 World Series. He and several teammates were found to have fixed, or thrown, the series, resulting in a lifetime ban from baseball. It was not Heaven as the players would discover. Alas, it was Iowa.
Having grown up near the Minnesota-Iowa border, I can say with some authority that hometown Elkton, Minnesota or even Dyersville, Iowa, the home to Field of Dreams, doesn’t have anything over the St. Croix Valley.
It’s here. Quiet, small town charm. Identifiable main streets. Restaurants and shops. Micro-breweries. High quality of life. Natural resources like the St. Croix, Kinni, Willow, and Apple Rivers. Access to a major metro area. Taprooms in breweries (see above). Hospitals and clinics. Great schools. Post-secondary options. Best in class services. Good transportation, starting with an interstate, U.S. highways, and state highways. A pro-business environment. Numerous business and industrial parks. And the list goes on.
Life is good in the St. Croix Valley.
It’s even better in St. Croix County, Wisconsin.