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Valley Baseball's Bernie

Blake's impact might best be summed up in the words of Corcoran's legendary coach Bob Southworth.

"We knew that when Bernie died last November we would miss him, and we do. It never hit home how much he did until this spring when we got to the field and it wasn't raked, had no bases and wasn't lined. Then it hit me how much we depended on him. Bernie did everything."

Southworth looked at the sign to be erected on the backstop of the ball field and read the words under Blake's likeness: "Took care of the little things ."

"I'm glad it says that," said Southworth.

And as "The Star Spangled Banner" played to herald the beginning of a new baseball season in the Valley, the flag that had covered Bernie's coffin on a cold November morning now waved above the centerfield fence in the glorious warm spring sun.

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