As the Toronto Blue Jays closed out the final stretch of the regular season and prepared for the club’s first playoff appearance in 22 years, we asked fans to pick the team’s top play of 2015.
We took the 16 best plays from Toronto’s 162 games and asked Blue Jays fans to vote for their favourite in a bracket-style, head-to-head tournament.
And the people have spoken: Kevin Pillar’s Spider-Man climb & catch at the Rogers Centre wall won top play, getting 67.4 per cent of the final vote ahead of Josh Donaldson’s diving grab into the crowd.
The catch came on Apr. 15 vs. the Tampa Bay Rays when Pillar climbed the outfield wall to rob Tim Beckham of a home run. Pillar recently spoke to Blue Jays Central host Jamie Campbell about the play and called it a “life-changing moment” for him.
“Honestly, it sounds cliché, but it was really a life-changing moment for me,” Pillar said. “To be a guy that was fairly unknown, a guy that really hadn’t made his mark in Toronto or in this league, to be able to go up and make a catch like that, that I think people in this city are going to talk about for years, it really changed my life.
“You make a catch like this and all of a sudden it really opened up baseball’s eyes to what I was able to do in the outfield. It changed my season and changed my life, possibly.”
What may have been most impressive about the catch was how Pillar made it look so easy, but the Blue Jays centre fielder admitted that everything needed to line up perfectly to make the catch.
“I thought it was one of those balls that might not get over the fence, but I had a chance to go catch it … It’s just one of those plays where I felt there’s no risk involved: It’s either a home run or it hits the wall, but you’ve got a chance to do something special.”