NORMAL — Seven-time All-Star relief pitcher Lee Smith will be the keynote speaker for the Normal CornBelters' second annual Hot Stove banquet on Jan. 22 at the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in uptown Normal.

The reception and silent auction will begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner starting at 6 p.m. The silent auction will help raise money for the Miracle League of Central Illinois.

Smith spent time with the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals during his 18-year career. The right-hander held the major league career record for saves with 478 until 2006 when San Diego Padres reliever Trevor Hoffman passed him. Smith is tied for the Cardinals single-season saves record with 47 in 1991.

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“Lee is a guy that should be in the Hall of Fame and is a class act,” said CornBelters president Steve Malliet. “I'm excited for all Cubs, Cardinals and CornBelters fans to get to meet Lee Smith and get to know him up close.”

The Miracle League of Central Illinois provides children with physical and mental disabilities the opportunity to play baseball in a safe controlled environment. The league is in the process of building its own stadium on the CornBelters property. It is set to open in the spring.

Sponsorships are available at the gold ($1,000), silver ($500) and table ($400) levels. For details on sponsorships or other information contact the CornBelters at 309-454-2255.

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