Rap song showcases road-weary Gators’ togetherness

Devin Shines is a talented baseball player for the San Jacinto (Texas) College-North Gators. The sophomore first baseman is also pretty good at keeping his team loose. During the team’s long bus rides this season, Shines and two other players came up with a rap song that helped the team bond.

Devin Shines doesn’t shy away from a bus ride.

The San Jacinto (Texas) College-North outfielder was a key figure in keeping his teammates sane during the numerous hours the Gators spent on buses this past season.

San Jac didn’t have a home field because of construction, so every game, including “home games,” required a bus ride.

“This team has a lot of individuals who really help to pass the time,” Shines said. “We have
a lot of funny guys, and on long bus trips you need that.”

Shines’ love of baseball comes from a childhood of following his father, Razor Shines, a former Montreal Expos outfielder and current New York Mets third-base coach, around when Razor was a minor league manager in the Chicago White Sox’s organization.

Devin Shines said he learned a lot from watching the aspiring major league players.

Shines said summers were spent traveling the south with teams like the Birmingham Barons and Winston-Salem Warthogs.

Those trips prepared him for the lengthy bus trips that San Jacinto took this past season to Las Vegas and Marianna, Fla.

“We had a lot of team bonding on those trips,” Shines said. “Last year, we had some guys that nobody really could mesh with. This year we have a good bunch of kids.”

But hour after hour on Interstate 10 can provide an interesting inspiration. For Shines, it produced the “San Jac Rap.”

Shines said the team was surfing the Internet when they discovered another baseball team’s rap.

“We were like you know what? We need to make a San Jac rap, so it started right there on the bus,” Shines said. “That’s something we will never forget. We burned a CD, and that’s something we will have for a while.”

Shines ,along with third baseman Danny Hernandez and catcher Mike Ghutzman, put together the “San Jac Rap.”

“(Devin) put it together and it’s quite exceptional,” Gators coach Tom Arrington said. “Being on the bus for every game, the relationships with this team really took off. There was a lot more bonding going on more than any other season.”

But for all Shines’ talent in keeping a team together, the sophomore from Austin shows really shows his talent on the diamond.

Shines has signed to play at Oklahoma State next fall after hitting .358, with a team-leading 17 doubles for the Gators this season.

Shines said his main goal in Grand Junction involves playing late into the week.

“Individually, I want to help lead this team to a championship,” Shines said. “Of course I want to get a hit every at-bat, but we know that’s not going to happen, so I just want to help the team win it all.”

Like most junior college players, one of Shines’ big goals is to play professional baseball.

But for Shines, he wouldn’t mind eventually following his father’s lead in more ways than one.

“I want to play pro baseball and hopefully be successful on and off the field,” Shines said. “If it all works out, I wouldn’t mind following in my dad’s footsteps and coaching.”


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