Paul Hines (1855-1935) was born in Virginia and died in Maryland, but no player was more associated with the Providence Grays during that team’s major league heyday.
Hines played in 1659 games in three leagues from 1872 through 1891, made 2,135 hits, batted over .300 eleven times, and posted a career average of .302. He ranked twelfth among all 19th century players in total bases (2884) and tenth in total hits (2135). He played for Washington and Chicago in the National Association from 1872 through 1875; then for the Chicago Cubs in 1876 (the National League’s inaugural season); and next for the Providence Grays of the National League.
From 1878 through 1885, the entire span of the Gray’s status as a major league franchise, Paul Hines was Providence’s starting centerfielder. In that position he recorded statistics that should have earned him induction to baseball’s Hall of Fame. In 1878 and 1879 he led the National League in batting average (.358 and .357, respectively). In the former year, Hines also won baseball’s first triple crown by leading the National League in batting average, home runs and runs batted in. In 1878, he was also credited with major league baseball’s first unassisted triple play in a game against the Boston Red Caps.
During Providence’s legendary World Series championship season in 1884, Hines hit .302. In 1891, he ended his twenty-year professional career back in Washington. After long service as a federal government employee, Hines died in 1935 in his eightieth year.