After Bernie graduated from Saint Mary's High School, he headed north to Spokane, Washington to look for work and stay with his sister Ce and her husband Jimmy Cleveland. Bernie's passion for baseball landed him his
first spot on the Rosalia team in the Idaho-Washington League.
It didn't take long for the local scouts to spot Bernie's talent on the ball field. He was recruited to the semi-pro Eastern Washington League to play
for the State Hospital (Medical Lake) Baseball Club. The Spokane Spokesman-Review published the sport's headline:
Smith recently uncovered a new shortstop in Bernie Mayer, but the latter's talents drew inquiring eyes from out-of-town. Now Bernie is playing with
the fast Medical Lake Club, with an all-year job provided as an inducement.
By 1936, local baseball in the northwest was increasing in popularity. The April 27 Spokesman-Review
headline proclaimed "Two Baseball Leagues Open the 1936 Season with Games on Spokane Fields." Bernie was still playing for the State Hospital-Medical Lake team. They fought to the finish with the Sons of Italy, and scored
such headlines as "Hospital Squad Stretches Lead." The accompanying article reported that: The league-leading Eastern State Hospital team slipped further out in front of the Eastern Washington circuit yesterday when it pounded over a double victory
against Sons of Italy and Silver Loaf at Natatorium Park. The first game was 16 to 8 and the second 5 to 4."
State Hospital won their league title and went ot the play-offs where they
clashed with the Hecla Miners from Montana. The newspaper reported that over 1,000 fans attended...
"Mayer, Hospital shortstop and Kelley, third baseman, led the hitters getting three for four respectively."
Eastern State Hospital won the Washington state semi-pro baseball tournament. Bernie had made a lasting impression
on many including the Montana team and the famous Cincinnati Reds Scout, George "Mickey" Shader.
Bernie played with Medical Lake for several more years. He was constantly mentioned in the
sports pages of the local newspapers. His records was a favorite topic: "The winners slammed out 16 base hits, headed by Mayer, shortstop, who clouted a home run," and "Mayer poled out a home run for the visitors with two on, and clinched the