Former Illini catcher Chris Robinson, who made his Major League debut in 2013 with the San Diego Padres, will headline the 2014 Hot Stove Banquet.
Dec. 11, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois baseball team and the Fighting Illini Dugout Club will host the annual Hot Stove Banquet to kick off the 2014 season with former Illini catcher Chris Robinson as the keynote speaker. Robinson, who made his Major League debut in 2013 with the San Diego Padres, will headline the banquet, which will be held Saturday, Jan. 18, at the I Hotel and Conference Center, with cocktails and silent auction at 2:30 p.m., and the banquet at 3:30 p.m.
Robinson played for the Illini from 2003-05 and became the highest-drafted position player in Illinois history when he was taken in the third round of the 2005 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers. The two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection sits at No. 17 on the career batting average chart at .347. He totaled 18 homers and 87 RBI during his three seasons at Illinois while slugging .529 and boasting a .415 on-base percentage.
The Canadian catcher bounced from the Tigers' organization to the minor league affiliates of the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles before being traded to the Padres in June 2013. He played in eight games with the Padres after being called up for the first time in his career in August. He made his first MLB hit a memorable one by belting a three-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Robinson also has competed for the Canadian national baseball team. Robinson played in the 2002 World Junior Baseball Championship, the 2003 Baseball World Cup, the 2006 and 2013 World Baseball Classic, the 2009 Baseball World Cup and the 2011 Pan American Games.
Banquet tickets can be purchased by filling out the PDF form at the top of the page and mailing it to Fighting Illini Dugout Club, P.O. Box 6777, Champaign, IL 61826-6777 prior to Jan. 15 or by calling the baseball office at 217-333-8605 by Jan. 17. A table of 10, including an Illini player, can be purchased for $500; a table of nine, including an Illini player, can be purchased for $450; or a table of eight, with an Illini player, can be purchased for $400. Also, individual tickets are available for $50 and an Illini player's meal can be sponsored for $50 each.