He was given the name Wilbur H. Johnson at birth, but he was known throughout the baseball world as Moose.
The man who gave 55 years of his life to baseball passed away on Monday night. Having been placed in a Hospice near his home in Arvada, Co., a week earlier, Johnson died of heart failure.
Born in Lead, S.D., Johnson graduated from High School in Butte, Mont., and attended Gonzaga University. He began his professional baseball career in 1951, spending his time in various minor league cities, and then began to make his mark in 1961 when he first served six years as a minor-league manager, and then 41 years as a scout with Philadelphia, Toronto and San Diego.
As an area scout with the Phillies in 1973, he was instrumental in the first-round selection of catcher John Stearns. As a crosschecker with the Phillies he worked with area scout Bill Harper to get Phillies to select Ryne Sandberg, one of the nation's top quarterbakc prospects, in the 20th round in 1978.
With Toronto, he teammed up with Colorado area scout Bus Campbell, one of his closest friends, to convince the Blue Jays to use the 17th selection in the first round of the 1995 draft.
``Bus tipped me off on Halladay,'' Johnson later explained. ``A lot of people were sure on him. ... But and I had a lot of faith in him.''
But then over the years, the organziations Johnson worked for had a lot of faith in him, too.