Hines , Claude Sinclair
Claude S. Hines was born in Portland, Oregon on February 14, 1909, and died on April 7, 1985 in Baker, Oregon. He moved to Baker with his grandparents who emigrate there from Philadelphia in 1885. Eastern and Southern Oregon, during Hine's childhood, was a very difficult area for African-Americans because of racial prejudice. However, the great personality and athletic ability of Claude Hines won over many in the area and he became a very popular individual and great high school and college multi-sport athlete.
In 1928, Baker High School elected him Class President, and whenever his teams traveled in high school or college his coaches and teammates would not frequent restaurants of hotels that would not accept Hines as a patron because of his race. Many considered Hines to be the top all-around high school athlete in eastern Oregon. His high school career was highlighted by many athletic achievements that include:
1925, Lettered in football, basketball and baseball
1926, lettered in football basketball, baseball and track. Team MVP in football and honorable mention All-State in basketball
1927, lettered in football, basketball, baseball. Selected All-Eastern Oregon in football and basketball.
1928, lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track. Selected All-Eastern Oregon in football and basketball.
Baker High School has honored Hines by making his name one of two on Baker Memorial Stadium, and by making him the first athlete elected to the Baker High School Hall of Fame.
His brilliant high school career earned him a full athletic scholarship to the University of Hawaii, but Hines elected to attend Southern Oregon Normal School in Ashland (currently Southern Oregon University.) In spite of apparent racism and the strong presence of the Ku Klux Klan, Hines cast his college athletic lot in southern Oregon and he was preceded in Oregon as an African American college athlete only by Robert Robinson and Charles Williams who had enrolled at the Unviersity of Oregon in 1926 where they participated on the football team. Hines was not allowed to live in campus housing so he lived in the basement of Nininger's Cafe. He was the first African-American athlete at Southern Oregon College and accomplished many athletic feats during his five year career that include:
1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933 he lettered in football, basketball, track and baseball. He was an excellent long jumper holding the school record for some time at 22 feet, and 7 1/4 inches. In football he once completed a 67 yard pass from his wingback position, and the football team voted him Honorary Season Captain in 1931. Also in 1931, he was elected captain of the baseball team and in track he led the 1931 team in scoring with 18 points. The admiring media various called him the "speedy colored boy" and "colored star." In baskeball he played mostly guard and was renowned for his exceptional speed on the court. In 1942, Hines enlisted in the army and served his country. He returned to Baker after the war and worked in the YMCA and was a very productive and respected citizen. Hines was elected to the Soutern Oregon University Hall of Fame in 1992, and inducted into the State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
References: Mike Doherty, January 8, 2001,
Southern Oregon University Athletics,
Baker City Herald newspaper