Shane and Kyle Whitman were born four years apart, but the brothers have been playing baseball together ever since they learned how to walk.
Playing catch or tossing each other a few of those slow-hanging pitches so they can envision themselves blasting one out of the park, they helped each other learn the basics.
Shane, the older of the two, just wrapped up his freshman year at USC-Lancaster and plays second and third base on the Lancers' baseball team. Kyle, a freshman at Nation Ford High School, usually plays shortstop, first or third base for the Falcons.
The pair played plenty of backyard ball growing up, but because of the age gap, it was not until the past two years, when Shane and Kyle signed up for Fort Mill's Post 43 American Legion baseball team, that they had a chance to play competitively on the same team.
"Being able to play with my brother is one of the best parts," Kyle said about the upcoming summer season, which kicked off May 26. "It means a lot to be on the same team."
Shane agreed that it has been exciting to compete side by side with his younger sibling, but for the upcoming college sophomore, it's also a great way to make sure he stays in baseball shape.
"[The Legion team] is a great way to have fun playing baseball over the summer," he said. "It's not quite as intense as a varsity team - just a way to get out and play the game."
Shane said he decided to come out for the team as a way to stay sharp and stay in shape until the next USC-Lancaster baseball season.
It's also a chance to play with longtime friends and teammates.
Kyle Hartley graduated with Whitman from Fort Mill in 2008. They play together at USC-Lancaster and on the legion team, where Hartley is the center fielder.
"A lot of people go off to major colleges and play there all year," Hartley said. "Some people just want to come out here and stay in shape. It's about seeing old friends we used to play with."
Hartley said he played with three of his high school teammates on last year's Legion team, and there will be at least two or three others this year. The team consists of high school players from the Fort Mill area, neighborhoods designated for Fort Mill, Nation Ford and Indian Land high schools, as well as anyone else under the age of 20 who lives in the area and is interested in playing.
"I told them the first day that they just have to be committed and willing to be a part of this team," said Bill Banks, Post 43's athletic director.
Playing with the group is free for the players; The Legion sponsors the league entirely, doing everything from supplying the uniforms to paying the coaches to securing the fields.
"The American Legion league is one of our most important projects. It's a big deal to keep it going," Banks said. "Every year, the boys are excited. They always come out and work hard."
This season, the Post 43 squad will compete against teams from Chester, Rock Hill, Lancaster and Clover, as well as a few other possible match-ups, Banks said.
If you'd like to catch the team in action this summer, the season spans from this week through early July. Home games are played at Fort Mill High School.