Old Missoula

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'Bullet Joe' Bush, Hugh Campbell, Cliff Blankenship (discoverer of Walter Johnson) and the Gladsome Rug

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Missoula's Hugh Campbell (President of the Missoula Highlanders and former sheriff of Missoula County) signed 'Bullet Joe' Bush to his first contract with the Missoula baseball team, Missoula Highlanders, which played in the Union League at that time. Bush went on to a fabulous major league career. Missoula player/manager and organizer Cliff Blankenship taught Bush the 'rudiments of pitching', according to Bush. Blankenship was also credited with first discovering the great Walter Johnson in Idaho. Campbell is also remembered for singing the National Anthem at Missoula events. Below are links to a couple of great articles on Joe Bush, the second one by Missoula's Kim Briggeman.

Blankenship on Johnson from Baseball reference.com

Blankenship is remembered as a scout of sorts - while injured with the Senators he was sent to check out Walter Johnson in Idaho. Per the legend, he was told to bring his bat and, because he wasn't much of a hitter in the majors, to sign Johnson only if it wasn't possible to even hit a foul ball off of him. Blankenship wired back: "You can't hit what you can't see." The Senators did sign Johnson and the rest is history.



Last Updated on Sunday, 13 December 2015 01:04