Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

June 23, 2013

Lehman to enter Bedford County Hall of Fame

Hyndman baseball, basketball star to be inducted Saturday

HYNDMAN, Pa. — The pitcher’s mound is center stage on a baseball diamond, so it was only natural to find Vohn Lehman there.

The Hyndman ace was at home on the mound, but also in the field, in the batter’s box, and on the basketball court, too.

Soon Lehman will have a new home, of sorts, and that’s only natural, too. He will be inducted into the Bedford County Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, at 4 p.m., during ceremonies at the Bedford Elks.

Lehman’s blazing fastball and hard-breaking curve ball made him a friend to teammates and a nemesis to opponents.

Woody Diehl has memories of both. He and Lehman were teammates in Little League, opponents in high school, and teammates again in the Pen-Mar League.

“When he first came back from the minor leagues,” Diehl said of the mid 1960s, “I was playing shortstop most of the time when he pitched for Hyndman in the Pen-Mar League. And when he pitched you could almost fall asleep out there. He was just that dominant.

“In high school, I remember he had a really good curve ball and struck out a lot of people with it. Not many kids at the high school level could hit a curve ball like the one he had.

“He had all the tools and a lot of natural ability. He was just a super athlete,” Diehl said. “He could run, throw, field, hit for average and hit for power.”

But that’s not all he could do, and that’s not all he did.

He was just about as tough on the basketball court at Hyndman, where he led the Hornets in scoring, steals and assists in 1960. He was 12th in the Cumberland Times-News area in scoring that season with 394 points, averaging 18.4 points per game.

He followed that by averaging 18.1 points as a senior and ended up with 979 career points, a total that would have been much higher had there been a three-point shot at the time.

“He could do it all — shoot from the outside, drive to the basket, and was a great defensive player,’’ said John Topper, a long-time friend and teammate in multiple sports. Topper and Lehman graduated from Hyndman in 1961.

“And he was a fierce competitor.”

At just under 6 feet tall and about 160 pounds, Lehman was never the tallest player on the court or biggest player on the field. But he was almost always the one who stood out the most.

“He’s one of the three best athletes I ever saw,” said Topper, who played baseball and basketball at Hyndman and football at Susquehanna University. His coach at Susquehanna was Jim Garrett, whose son, Jason, is the current head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

The other two that Topper lists in Lehman’s category were college teammates, John Vignone, who played for the Giants in the NFL and professional baseball for the Houston Astros, and Donnie Green, a safety who played in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders.

“Vohn was one of the finest all-around athletes I’ve ever been around. His hand-eye coordination was amazing and in baseball he could do it all, on the mound and at the plate. And he was blazing on the base paths.

“He wasn’t that big, but he was all muscle and could hit a ball a mile as well as hit for average. As a pitcher, he just had a blazing fast ball, a wicked curve and a good change, and his control was good.”

Lehman led Hyndman to the Bedford County League championship in 1959, throwing a one-hitter against Bedford in the championship game.

He played two years in the professional ranks after being signed by the Giants. He pitched for Salem, Va., in the Appalachian League in 1962 and Lexington in the Class A Western Carolina League in 1963.

A shoulder injury helped put the brakes on Lehman’s professional ambitions. When he returned home he continued, as Diehl described, to be a dominant force in the Pen-Mar, leading the league in numerous categories throughout the 1960s and early 1970s.

Lehman won the batting title with a .486 average in 1968 and was the league MVP several times, the last time being 1972. He won over 100 games as a pitcher in the Pen-Mar League, and usually played shortstop when he wasn’t pitching.

The late Bob “Rock” Bryant, a Bedford Hall of Famer himself, caught Lehman many times, and later, during his coaching days, spoke often of the hard-throwing right-hander.

“One of the best I’ve ever seen around here. I guarantee you won’t see any better,” he would tell players, reminiscing. “You could hear his fastball, sort of whistling through the air, as it came to the plate. Then he’d give them the curve, and she’d drop right off the table. Not many hitters around here had much of a chance against him.”

A limited number of tickets are still available for the Hall of Fame dinner. For more information, call Bill Creps at 814-623-9691.

Mike Mathews is a Cumberland Times-News sportswriter. Write to him at

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Trenton Eirich Eirich voted Player of Year

    CUMBERLAND — Trenton Eirich, who led Allegany to one of the most successful three-year runs in school history and finished among the all-time leaders in multiple categories in the storied boys basketball program at the Sedgwick Street school, has had his name added to another pretty prestigious list.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mountain Ridge pitcher Dylan Shimko Sivic’s grand slam powers Allegany past Northern

    ACCIDENT — Colton Sivic’s grand slam secured No.1 ranked Allegany’s 10-5 victory over No. 3 Northern in an Appalachain Mountain Athletic Conference matchup Wednesday evening as the Campers stayed perfect on the season.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Petersburg outlasts Pendleton

    FRANKLIN — Second-ranked Petersburg’s four-run seventh inning propelled the Vikings over Pendleton County 14-10 on Wednesday afternoon.

    April 24, 2014

  • Sports Roundup - 04/24

    April 24, 2014

  • Georgius leads FSU over No. 23 Marietta

    MARIETTA, Ohio — Kenny Georgius scattered six hits and struck out seven over eight solid innings to lift Frostburg State to a 7-1 win over No. 23 Marietta College for a split of their Wednesday afternoon doubleheader.

    April 24, 2014

  • PSC sweeps Westmoreland

    YOUNGWOOD, Pa. — Mariah Martin tossed a two-hitter and Britani Chambers homered in the first game, and Meghan Anderson led a 13-hit attack in the second as Potomac State swept Westmoreland, 5-2 and 6-3, on Wednesday afternoon.
    In the opener, Martin, staked to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, allowed only two hits, struck out eight and walked just one in a complete-game victory.

    April 24, 2014

  • Sports Calendar 04/24

    April 24, 2014

  • Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman NFL players talk about race with Harvard students

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Richard Sherman was called all kinds of names after his raging rant at the end of the NFC championship game. It was worth it, the Seattle cornerback said, because it gave him a chance to talk about the perception of black athletes to a wider audience.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs Party a century in the making for Wrigley Field

    CHICAGO — There was a giant replica cake right next to the Ernie Banks statue, and an old-time band played as fans made their way through the main entrance.
    The famed marquee had a message, too.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Miller, Mtn. Ridge shut out Alco, 2-0 Miller, Mtn. Ridge shut out Alco, 2-0

    Jenna Miller pitched well enough to keep Allegany off the scoreboard and Mountain Ridge scrapped together two runs as the No. 1 Miners topped the No. 3 Campers 2-0 at Carl Belt Field for their 60th consecutive win.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Sports related video