Joc Pederson in his new pearls with Star of David, a birthday gift from Team Israel. (Photo/Twitter via @ILBaseball)
Joc Pederson in his new pearls with Star of David, a birthday gift from Team Israel. (Photo/Twitter via @ILBaseball)

Team Israel says happy birthday to Giants slugger Joc Pederson — with a pearl necklace

Two years ago, San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson started wearing pearls on the field. Now, he’s got a new strand, courtesy of Israel’s national baseball team.

The Jewish slugger and Bay Area native first donned a pearl necklace as a “nice fashion statement” when playing right field for the Atlanta Braves back in 2021, to confusion and some ridicule from fellow major leaguers. But the pearls stayed through Pederson’s stellar postseason and the Braves’ World Series win against the Houston Astros later that year.

The gems were retired when Pederson was traded to the Giants in 2022, reappearing briefly when Pederson picked up his World Series ring in Atlanta last summer. The iconic necklace later entered the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

Now Pederson has a replacement.

Team Israel, the country’s national baseball team, gave Pederson a new string of pearls, complete with a Star of David pendant. The necklace was a present for Pederson’s 31st birthday on April 21. He received the gift in the dugout at Oracle Park.

“We love Joc Pederson and we don’t care who knows,” the team tweeted.

The Star of David and pearl necklace came from Happy Jewelers in Fullerton in Southern California. It’s the same jeweler that supplied Pederson’s first pearls.

Pederson, who was born and raised in Palo Alto, previously played for Team Israel in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifiers at the age of 20. Pederson also starred for Israel during the 2023 WBC in March.

In 25 games this season with the Giants, Pederson is batting .256 with two home runs. The team placed him on the 10-day injured list on April 12 with inflammation in his right wrist.

Lillian Ilsley-Greene
Lillian Ilsley-Greene

Lillian Ilsley-Greene is a J. Staff Writer. Originally from Vermont, she has a BA in political science and an MA in journalism from Boston University. Follow her on Twitter at @lilsleygreene.