Samuel Mason Graffen was born in 1845 in Philadelphia. It appears that he was an accountant by trade and was a member of the Olympic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia. Graffen was most likely hired by the Brown Stockings in 1875 upon the recommendation of Al Wright, who was originally reported to have been the Brown Stockings manager but backed out of the job.
In January of 1875, Graffen took the Brown Stockings into training at a gymnasium in St. Louis. It appears that Graffen was the first to introduce this kind of baseball training, which consisted of two hours of calisthenics and handball each day, in St. Louis.
I have a note that Graffen was the manager of the Brown Stockings in 1875 but it's unknown what his specific role was that season. Bad Dickey Pearce is listed as the manager of the club in 1875 and was likely running the club on the field. Graffen was most likely the business manager, arranging matches with other NA clubs and taking care of the travel arrangements, ticket sales, etc. Of course, Graffen was again the manager of the club in 1876 until his resignation in September.
Graffen was a sportsman in 19th century sense of the word. Besides baseball, he was a top-level cricket player, playing in both Philadelphia and St. Louis. After he left the Brown Stockings, he was involved in yachting in St. Louis and Keokuk, Iowa.
It appears that Graffen, after leaving St. Louis, was living in Sedalia, Missouri and was working as an accountant with a railroad company. He died on November 18, 1883 in Silver City, New Mexico.
As mention previously, Graffen was married to Sarah Matilda Barnes and had three sons, Charles, George and Paul.