Jaylin Davis Played for the Foresters in 2014 before his time with the Boston Red Sox. | Credit: Courtesy

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Hugs for Cubs/Santa Barbara Foresters Hall of Fame Hot Stove Dinner will return on Sunday, February 5.

The event is highlighted by the induction of three outstanding Foresters players, Jon Duplantier, Jaylin Davis, and Aaron Bates , all of whom played in the major leagues. It promises to be an evening filled with baseball, memories, and great food. Tickets are on sale now at the Foresters website at sbforesters.org for the event, which will run from 4-8 p.m.

Local baseball hero Ryan Spilborghs, who played collegiately at UCSB before moving on to a successful career in the major league with the Colorado Rockies, will be a special guest, along with former Foresters player and MLB All-Star Morgan Ensberg. 

The Hugs for Cubs/Foresters Hall of Fame Dinner also returns to its former home at the newly renovated Cabrillo Pavilion.

“We’re so excited to be able to restart this great tradition,” said manager Bill Pintard of the 10-time national champion summer ballclub. “We’re so proud of what our inductees have done with their careers, and we look forward to seeing everyone together again for what will be our 11th Hall of Fame class.”

Pitcher Jon Duplantier was part of the Foresters’ 2014 NBC World Series national-championship team. Foresters fans will remember Duplantier for his fireball arm; he had 74 strikeouts in 55 innings in 2014 before going on to Major League action with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Duplantier signed in 2023 with the Philadelphia Phillies organization.

Jon Duplantier 6/25/14 pitching against the SLO Blues. | Credit: Courtesy

Along with being one of the top hitters on that 2014 team, San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox outfielder Jaylin Davis was part of one of the most famous plays in Foresters history. His incredible outfield assist cut down a possible winning run in the title game, allowing the ’Sters to win in extra innings.

Aaron Bates was a slugging catcher and first baseman for the Foresters in 2003 and 2004, posting a .320 average in 2003. In both seasons, Bates helped the Foresters reach the national championship game. After eight minor-league seasons; Bates played with the Boston Red Sox in 2009. He then moved into coaching, and in 2022, he was named the hitting coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

That trio will join more than 25 other people (and the 2006 national championship team) in the Foresters Hall of Fame, a group that includes 11 major leaguers. The Hugs for Cubs program that helps kids and families battling cancer is represented by the late Eric Pintard and Chris Messier. Other HOF members include longtime volunteers and supporters. 

Those special guests and the new inductees will join Foresters fans, family, and friends at the Hall of Fame event, which will include food, wine, and beer provided by many generous local sponsors. Tickets are $75 for adults, $25 for kids 5-17, and kids 5 and under free. Groups can also buy a table of eight. Highlights of past Hall of Fame events will be shared, along with stories from the Foresters’ 2022 national championship, the team’s third in a row.

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