Kevin Pillar's one season with the Giants will last a lifetime.
Pillar played against his former team for the first time this season as the New York Mets came through Oracle Park for a three-game series. Following the Mets' 6-2 extra-innings win over the Giants on Wednesday, Pillar couldn't help but show his admiration for the Giants as a whole.
"I’ve got nothing but love for this organization," Pillar said to reporters. "The players over there, the city of San Francisco and this organization embraced me at probably the most difficult time of my career.
"Being traded for the first time and leaving everything that I knew back in Toronto -- a team that drafted me, developed me and brought me to the big leagues. A place that I brought my daughter to for the first time. A place that me and my wife were really happy. So I got nothing but the utmost respect for the Giants organization. What they've been able to accomplish, the players over there and what they've been able to do this year."
The Giants acquired Pillar in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays early in the 2019 season. He became an instant spark and fan-favorite in San Francisco. Over 156 games as a Giant, Pillar hit .264 with a career-high 21 homers.
Pillar was beloved for his hustle, diving plays in center field and surprising power for a struggling team. In his one and only season in San Francisco, he was honored as the recipient of the Willie Mac Award. But in a surprise move, the Giants did not bring Pillar back for the 2020 season.
Though Pillar did hit a career-high .288 with a .798 OPS, also the best of his career, between the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies, the Giants were just fine in the outfield last season, especially with Mike Yastrzemski playing at an MVP level.
Pillar has struggled with the Mets this season, but did enjoy every moment of hitting a clutch homer in the 12th-inning Wednesday against his old team.
"Definitely a good moment for me to be able to go out there and remind the guys what kind of year I did have for them in 2019," Pillar said.