Time Out by John Bernhardt

Time Out is a column written by John Bernhardt that addresses topics and themes associated with the world of sports.

Time Out: August 13, 2014

By John Bernhardt
In another day, in another time, in another era, baseball was king. In community after community across Delaware County, nearly everyone played. Locally, there was a time in Margaretville when a youth baseball House League swelled to well beyond 100 kids.
Times change. Demographics shift. New passions erupt. Soccer exploded on the local sports scene, stretching its influence from autumn through spring. Over time, like a slowly leaking faucet, local interest in baseball eroded until in recent years only traces of the grand old game remained.


Time Out: August 6, 2014

Unless you’re a high school athlete attending a sports camp, team sports activity slows to a crawl in the summer in the Catskills. In days of old, summer baseball was huge in almost every small community in our county. At its peak, American Legion baseball was everywhere and almost every Delaware County town or hamlet fielded a youth baseball team. Sixteen teams represented Delaware County communities during its zenith. For the most part, Legion baseball in rural New York State is a thing of the past.

Baseball was king


Time Out: July 30, 2014

He was a man without a country, a baseball fan decked out in the traditional orange and blue of the New York Mets enveloped in a sea of Atlanta Brave gray and red hearing “y’all” everywhere he turned. Styrofoam tomahawks bounced off his head and shoulders as thousands of Brave fans broke out in a chorus of their all to familiar tomahawk chop.
IDOL CHATTER — Randy VanKeuren (in uniform), chats with one of his idols, former Mets’ star Darryl Strawberry in Cooperstown on Sunday. — Contributed photoIDOL CHATTER — Randy VanKeuren (in uniform), chats with one of his idols, former Mets’ star Darryl Strawberry in Cooperstown on Sunday. — Contributed photo


Time Out: July 23, 2014

“They were just regular guys. The nice thing was that they were as interested in us as we were interested in them.” That was Cooper Reither’s assessment after meeting two Binghamton Met baseball players at a post-game picnic Sunday afternoon at NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton.


Time Out: Matt VanValkenburg Daily Star's top soccer player

Matt VanValkenburg gets it. On Saturday, the Margaretville soon-to-be-senior was named the Oneonta Daily Star 2013 Boys’ High School Soccer Player of the Year. The opening of sportswriter Rob Centorani’s story announcing the Player of the Year selection says a lot about the soccer player and the person who is Matt VanValkenburg. Here’s how Centorani started.
TOP HONORS — Margaretville’s Matt VanValkenburg heads the ball into the nets as he ties the score with the second of his three goals leading the Blue Devils to a 3-2 overtime victory against Charlotte Valley in the November 2, 2013 sectional finals contest. — Photo by Dick SanfordTOP HONORS — Margaretville’s Matt VanValkenburg heads the ball into the nets as he ties the score with the second of his three goals leading the Blue Devils to a 3-2 overtime victory against Charlotte Valley in the November 2, 2013 sectional finals contest. — Photo by Dick Sanford