Devon White impressed by Kevin Pillar’s ‘outstanding’ defence

Kevin Pillar crashes into the centre field wall

Devon White’s eyebrows are up, and he’s shaking his head.

Yes, the former Blue Jays gold glove centre fielder saw that Kevin Pillar catch on Tuesday. And despite the fact that this is Devo—the seven-time Gold Glove winner who made every catch look like a piece of cake—his reaction to Pillar’s latest grab was probably similar to yours.

“Outstanding,” White said, grinning. “You’re just always hoping that he gets up, because he goes into the wall so hard and he plays so hard.”

“He’s an excellent centre fielder.”

That’s high praise from one of the best ever.

The three-time World Series champion, who’s in Toronto for Joe Carter’s annual golf tournament, did point out that he and Pillar are very different players, something anyone who grew up watching him would know well.

“He’s gung-ho, hard-going,” White said. “Seems like I did it a lot easier, but the end result is catching the ball. Doesn’t matter how you do it. I think at that age, I ran a little faster so I got to a lot of balls.

“But he’s done a great job in centre field for the Blue Jays. Just like the fans, I enjoy watching him play. And they’re winning with him, so you have to give him a lot of props for that.”

White, one of the best ever at tracking balls and getting to them without breaking a sweat, said the key to making big grabs like that is practice.

“You gotta do it every day, over and over,” the 53-year-old said. “When you think your work is done, it’s not. There’s wind ball, there’s sun ball, there’s so many different balls. You have to practice.

“And we talk about Kevin, he’s been doing a great job.”

White and Pillar have met, but they’ve never sat down and had a conversation about baseball.

“I’m the old-timer, so I can’t push the issue,” White said. “I have to sit back and watch him. If he ever wants advice, then I’d help him out.

“But I don’t think he needs any help at all at this time.”

White is, like the rest of Blue Jays fans, coming to expect Pillar to make spectacular highlight-reel grabs on a nightly basis.

“You gotta keep it up. When you put yourself in that crowd of being the Gold Glover, you’ve definitely gotta make those plays.”

Added White, grinning: “That latest catch was pretty good.”