Hanahan's Bret Hines continues the Hines' Citadel baseball tradition
If Lee “Bunkie” Hines were to write a book about his family’s athletic accomplishments, he could title it “My Three Sons” or, perhaps, “Father Knows Best.”
Hines played baseball for The Citadel back in the 1980s and went from performer to parent as three of his sons played for the Bulldogs: Bryce, Ryan and Bret. Bryce and Ryan graduated a while back, but Bret is still playing the sport that provided a family bond – and a scholarship to the military college.
Now, the curtain is about to fall on this talented generation’s time at the school. All three Hines also excelled on the diamond at Hanahan High School.
“When I was a freshman, being a senior was something that was so far away you wouldn’t give it much thought,” Bret said. “The last four years have passed by so quickly. It’s kind of like I’m a top dog now. But it wasn’t always that way.”
Hines cherishes the springs, summers and falls that he tagged along with his older brothers to pursue the game of baseball. Although they were older and better, Bret would somehow make his way on the field and prove that he had potential even if it was just a practice session.
Hines, who will graduate in May with a degree in business administration, remembers when he was a knob at The Citadel. What happens to freshmen at the school is half fact and half fiction. Hines says it’s all beneficial.
Still, Hines wanted to attend the school. He said his father put no pressure on him. Once he decided on The Citadel, Hines was proud to follow in his father’s – and brothers’ – college path.
“Honestly, when you have two brothers who went there, you know what it’s about,” Hines said. “But you want to see what’s out there, and know your options.”
Hines, who graduated from Hanahan in 2012, played varsity baseball for coach Brian Mitchell’s Hawks. He was All-Lowcountry and all-state and was the state MVP in Class AA his junior year. He also played for the nationally acclaimed Diamond Devils travel team in the summer.
But it was his effort in the Palmetto Games that attracted The Citadel’s attention. He was a pitcher in high school and played the infield when he wasn’t on the mound.
Hines said the disciplined lifestyle that Citadel cadets experience is a plus now and will be even a bigger benefit when he enters the real world.
But for now, it’s time to savor the springtime of his favorite season. Hines’ parents have been regulars in the stands for almost a decade to watch their sons play.
What will Mr. Hines do with life without his sons in college baseball?
“He will probably enjoy life a little more,” Hines said. “And, he’ll enjoy having us out of the house.”