Director of Baseball Operations
Joining the Great Lake Canadians program in its inception as the Director of Baseball Operations after nine years of playing professionally with the Tigers, Cubs, Orioles and Padres organizations, and a college career with the University of Illinois, among an impressive array of accomplishments with Team Canada, the former catcher wanted to find a way to provide young Canadian players in the area opportunities and experience beyond what he was afforded as a teenager, and help shape a piece of the future of Canadian baseball.
Originally drafted by the New York Mets in the 30th round of the 2002 selection process, Robinson opted to join the Fighting Illini, with whom he was named First-Team Big Ten in 2004 and 2005, and earned a degree in sports management with a minor in business before becoming a third-round draft pick of the Tigers and starting his professional career in 2005.
In 2009, he was named the Triple-A Iowa Cubs Player of the Year, also securing a starting spot behind the dish in the All-Star Game that same season.
Robinson made his major league debut with San Diego in 2013, and sent his first major league hit out of PETCO Park, cementing his name into the baseball encyclopaedia forever before retiring from the game – outside of a brief cameo appearance on the Canadian Senior National Team at the Pan American Games in Toronto in 2015, where Robinson and his Team Canada teammates won their second consecutive Pan Am gold medal.
The former backstop and native of Dorchester, Ontario has been a member of 13 different national teams as a player, and has taken numerous trips as an instructor with the Junior National Team. Robinson represented his home and native land in the Olympics, at World Cups, in the Pan Am Games, and at the World Baseball Classic. He has been inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys on two separate occasions, with the rest of each of his Pan Am teammates and coaches, and gold-medal winners. Beyond his home run with the Padres, Robinson’s time in the red and white has made for some of his favourite moments, and he feels fortunate to have been a part of something so special as the program that Baseball Canada provides, with those teams and those players.
Robinson has always enjoyed coaching and working with kids at the younger age groups, an avenue that was originally provided to him by Adam Stern in opening Centrefield Sports, allowing him to come back and develop a background in coaching that has since helped him with the Canadians program. He is also very proud of what they have built in Dorchester, after growing up there and now being able to assist in growing the game in his hometown, with one of the best facilities in the province, and is excited that he will get to see his own kids play on that field because of the relationship that has been built there.
Joining Great Lake was an unbelievable transition out of playing for Robinson, allowing him a chance to stay on the field. He especially enjoys guiding families through the process as they come through the program and continue past it, because there is so much to navigate and so many questions, and he likes being able to answer them, or utilizing the contacts the program has developed because of their players to get answers.
He is very proud that the program has gone from being about the coaching staff, where the coaches had been and what they had done, to being about the players who have graduated and moved on, turning it into what it is and putting them on the map.
Robinson is a father to son Griff, and daughters Laine and Norah, and husband to Amy.
“Coming to the Great Lake Canadians this year, the main factor was for Chris. I’ve worked with him since I was 13 years old and everything we’ve done has been great and he’s helped me improve my game a lot already. Since I’ve been here full-time, I’ve had coaches tell me that my game’s improved a ton from a catching standpoint.” – Owen Diodati, GLC 17U catcher