Blue Jays welcome back Kevin Pillar with tribute video

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 23: Kevin Pillar #1 of the San Francisco Giants meets with former teammates Justin Smoak #14 (R) and Randal Grichuk #15 (L) of the Toronto Blue Jays before the start of an MLB game Rogers Centre on April 23, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
It was a warm welcome back for Kevin Pillar in Toronto. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

After 695 games in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform, centre fielder Kevin Pillar was traded to the San Francisco Giants just a week into the 2019 season.

A fan favourite and an everyday part of the Blue Jays teams that reached the ALCS in 2015 and 2016, Pillar bid an emotional goodbye to the place he called home for seven seasons before departing for the west coast.

On Tuesday, the Giants made the cross-country trip to Rogers Centre as part of a two-game series against the Blue Jays, making it a homecoming of sorts for Pillar after playing 18 games with his new club.

Pillar received rousing applause before the game and when his name was announced as part of the lineup, and his former club took a few moments as he took the field to say thank you to the man they called Superman.

Fans rose to their feet and gave Pillar a prolonged ovation during and after the video, which featured some of his greatest catches, hits, and work in the community. He responded with a RBI single and a run scored in his first at bat, which also received strong cheers from the Toronto faithful.

It’s a nice piece of closure on the Kevin Pillar Era in Toronto, and for all his faults, it is right for all involved that it will end off on a positive note.

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