Clifford Douglas Blankenship
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10½", Weight 165 lb.
- Debut April 17, 1905
- Final Game August 18, 1909
- Born April 10, 1880 in Columbus, GA USA
- Died April 26, 1956 in Oakland, CA USA
"I've got to go up in Idaho and inspect a pitcher named Johnson. He's probably some busher that isn't even worth the car fare to scout." - comment by Cliff Blankenship to Clyde Milan about Blankenship's assignment to look at some fellow named Walter Johnson
Cliff Blankenship hit fairly well in the minors but not so much in the majors. His major league career consisted of three separate seasons - 1905, 1907 and 1909, the first with the Cincinnati Reds and the last two with the Washington Senators. Blankenship was a catcher, and also a first baseman, at a time when first base was an important defensive position. In the minors, he played some third as well, and in both the majors and minors he was in the outfield on occasion. He also umpired one American League game in 1907. Cliff was with Seattle from 1904-1906 and hit around .310 each year. His first year as a minor league manager was 1909, and he managed for 11 minor league seasons.
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 was not possible to even hit a foul ball off him. Blankenship wired back: "You can't hit what you can't see." The Senators signed Johnson and the rest is history.
Year-by-Year Managerial Record
|1910||Tacoma Tigers||Northwestern League||73-84||3rd||none|
|1911||Salt Lake City Skyscrapers||Union Association||85-58||2nd||none|
|1912||Missoula||Union Association||83-51||1st||none||none League Champs|
|1913||Missoula||Union Association||--||none||--||replaced by Nig Perrine|
|1914||Murray Infants||Union Association||31-42||6th||none|
|1915||Salt Lake City Bees||Pacific Coast League||108-89||2nd||none||none|
|1916||Salt Lake City Bees||Pacific Coast League||99-96||3rd||none||none|
|1920||Spokane Indians||Pacific Coast International League||56-58||5th||none||none|
|1921||Victoria Bees||Pacific Coast International League||--||none||--||replaced by Elmer Hansen|
|1922||Greenville Spinners||South Atlantic League||50-82||6th||none||none|