Mickey Shader, the well-known scout for the Cincinnati Reds, didn't forget how well Bernie had played in the Washington State tournament. He had seen many ball players in his day, and had a sharp eye for talent. There were not as many opportunities
to play in professional ball clubs at that time as there are today, so Shader demanded hustle on the ball field and was selective in his picks. Shader thought that Bernie had the skills needed to advance further in his career. His numerous letters
to Bernie document how he mentored the young man to support him in getting started in the minor leagues.
Bernie took Shader's advice and headed south to the training camp in Medford, Oregon. Although 600 youths would participate in the various
camps, only 20 would be selected to continue on the the Arizona farm team.
The local press didn't let Bernie's trip to the training camp slip by. Two Sign for Baseball School headlined the sports
page. The article noted that "two Eastern Washington league baseball players have been signed to attend the Cincinnati baseball school in Medford, Oregon. It described Bernie as "State hospital's hard-hitting shortstop." It reported that... "he
played in 21 games for the hospital team and ended with a batting average of .404. He also heads the league in scoring with 25 runs to his credit."
Bernie's reputation was spreading. the folks back at home
in the San Francisco bay area could follow his progress in the local sports pages. The November 15, 1936 San Francisco Examiner reported "A guy must have something on the ball before Mickey Shader, Cincinnati scout, starts tossing bouquets. Shader
never goes overboard for a baseball player unless he has the goods. Shader is predicting big things for Bernard Mayer, shortstop from Oakland, who did some playing in Spokane, Washington last season. 'I've
seen lots of shortstops," says Mickey, "but this Mayer looks mighty sweet to me."
He played in about 50 games during the past summer and hit .404 in the East Washington league.
Bernie did well at the baseball camp in Medford and was handed a contract to report the following spring to the training camp for the Cincinatti Reds farm team, the Bisbee Bees.
A few weeks later, the December 6, 1936 San Francisco Examiner sport page ran subtitle Tout Mayer with the feature noting... "Bernie Mayer, an Oakland boy who has been signed by the Cincinnati Reds, is touted highly by
those in the know. A shortstop by trade, Mayer has a strong arm and hits well. While playing in Spokane this season in the East Washington league, Mayer batted .404 to lead his team to the pennant. He is a former St. Mary's High School boy.