Former sheriff, FBI agent discovers relic from his past

 

Long before Hank Hillin served as Davidson County’s sheriff or spent 26 years as an FBI agent, he was a baseball player.

Memories of Hillin’s Nashville days as a 16-year-old came roaring back when he recently discovered a classic relic of his youth.

Hillin, 84, grew up on a farm in Neely’s Bend. He recently found an old photograph of his Madison Legionnaires baseball team posed in front of a woodie station wagon.

“It was brand new and we rode it around that summer of 1947,” Hillin said. “We would pile into that vehicle.”

The vehicle was long lost and forgotten until it was recently discovered and pulled from a swamp in Smyrna. The station wagon has since been fully restored.

“It’s unbelievable,” Hillin said. “That’s the car. The serial number matches. I’d testify in court, that’s it.”

The car brought the surviving members of the old baseball team together for an afternoon at Lipscomb University.

“First time in 68 years this group has been together,” he said.

Players said arriving to a game in the station wagon was like hitting a home run before ever throwing the first pitch.

“Those are the memories you could not trade,” Hillin said. “I wouldn’t trade for anything.”

Copyright 2015 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Terry Bulger has been bringing you stories of the people and places that make Tennessee unique and interesting on News4 since 1990.

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