Joc Pederson is heading to the MLB All-Star game. (Photo/JTA-Getty)
Joc Pederson is heading to the MLB All-Star game. (Photo/JTA-Getty)

Giants’ Jewish slugger Joc Pederson makes the MLB All-Star Game

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Joc Pederson, the San Francisco Giants outfielder and local Jewish boy, made the Major League Baseball All-Star game roster this week. He’s joined on the National League side by one other Jewish player, pitcher Max Fried of the Atlanta Braves.

Pederson was named a starter for the NL team, earning the spot through two rounds of fan voting. Fried, one of seven selected starting pitchers, was chosen by his fellow players.

All-Star Weekend, which includes the Home Run Derby, kicks off Saturday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Playing in his first season with his hometown Giants, Pederson has clubbed 17 home runs with 41 runs batted in through the first 75 games of the season.

The Palo Alto native was an All-Star with the Dodgers in 2015 and is a two-time contestant in the Home Run Derby. Pederson has the second-most home runs in the competition’s history. This year’s derby participants are still being announced.

Joc Pederson practices with his new team. (Photo/©S.F. Giants)
Joc Pederson practices with the Giants in March, shortly after joining the team. (Photo/©S.F. Giants)

Pederson’s Jewish heritage has occasionally played a part in his athletic career. He played for Team Israel in 2012 in the qualifying round of the World Baseball Classic, when one of the team’s coaches was Gabe Kapler, now manager of the Giants.

In November 2019, Pederson was inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Northern California at the age of 27. He took part in the induction banquet at the Four Seasons hotel in San Francisco along with brother Champ, who has Down syndrome and has spoken publicly about the genetic disorder. The following year, Pederson was inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Champ himself will be inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Northern California later this year.

Fried, a first-time All-Star, has posted a 2.56 earned run average, 6th best in the NL, with nine wins and 105 strikeouts in 18 starts. It has not yet been announced who will start the game, but it is common for all the pitchers to appear briefly throughout.

Max Fried pitches in Game 6 of the 2021 World Series, Nov. 2, 2021. (Photo/JTA-Mary DeCicco-MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Max Fried pitches in Game 6 of the 2021 World Series, Nov. 2, 2021. (Photo/JTA-Mary DeCicco-MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The left-hander is a Los Angeles native, and his childhood hero was Dodger legend Sandy Koufax, who was honored with a statue outside the ballpark last month.

In addition to Fried and Pederson, Braves prospect Jared Shuster has been named to the roster for the Futures Game, an All-Star game for the sport’s top prospects.

The Jewish representation doesn’t end there: Dodgers legend Shawn Green, considered one of the best Jewish baseball players of all time, will appear in the All-Star Celebrity Softball Game.

You can find more scheduling and broadcast information about the All-Star Weekend here.

JTA

Content distributed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service.