18 Things to Know About Jewish Baseball Player Joc Pederson

The Atlanta Braves slugger has an entire month named after him.

When Joc Pederson is on the baseball diamond, it’s hard to take your eyes off of him. The Jewish baseball player, who’s been in the MLB for over seven years, is known for his eccentric style choices and being a power hitter when it really counts. But, there’s so much more to know about Joc!

Here are 18 things to know about Joc Pederson:

1. Joc Pederson was born in Palo Alto, California to a non-Jewish father and a mother of Jewish heritage. 

2. Joc has three siblings: older brothers Champ and Tyger, and a younger sister named Jacey.

3. Joc grew up in a fairly secular household.

According to Joc’s brother Tyger, they “sometimes went to bar mitzvahs or experienced Hanukkah at a friend’s house.”

But he does still claim his Jewish identity. More on that later…

4. Joc graduated from Palo Alto High School in 2010 and later that year was drafted into the MLB by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

5. OK, later is now! In 2013 he played for Team Israel in the World Baseball Championship.

6. Since he is an American citizen, Joc had to prove his eligibility for the team. Meaning, he had to provide proof that he has a Jewish parent or grandparent.

A New York Times article outlines how he was able to do it: “His mother, Shelly Pederson, was delegated the job of sleuthing for documentation, which she found with the help of a dedicated archivist at her father’s synagogue.

7. After playing in the minor leagues for a few years, Joc made his MLB debut appearance on September 1, 2014.

Check out his first-ever plate appearance:

It’s OK, Joc! The best was certainly yet to come!

8. He is a self-declared mama’s boy. Awww.

9. Joc was named to the 2015 MLB All-Star Game on the National League Team.

10. In 2018 Joc married his wife, Kelsey:

11. And they now have two children:

OK family goals!!!!!!

12. Joc has a whole month named after him! It’s true!

While playing for the Dodgers, Joc’s teammates renamed the month of October to “Joctober” because of how well Pederson typically plays during the post-season.

“They don’t call it ‘Joctober’ for no reason,” baseball player Max Muncy once said. “That guy performs on the big stage. It’s just what he does.

13. Joc is a World Series Champion with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

And he even shares his championship ring:

Very sweet!

14. In 2021, Joc signed a one-year deal to play with the Chicago Cubs.

“On one hand, I’m just beyond ready for this next chapter of my career. I’m jacked for the opportunity,” Joc wrote for The Players’ Tribune. “But on the other hand, you spend 10 years somewhere, and saying goodbye is never going to be easy. You make friends for life. You build amazing memories. Those things are hard to let go of.”

Then, in July of 2021, Joc was once again traded to the Atlanta Braves.

But it doesn’t look like he minds too much:

15. Joc has been inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Northern California and the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Nice! And a special shout-out to California for really covering all their bases in terms of Jewish Sports Hall of Fames.

16. Joc is extremely stylish! 

Check out some of his coolest looks below:

17. Speaking of style, during the 2021 MLB post-season, he started wearing a string of pearls.


Click here to learn the fun reason why Joc Pederson wears pearls!

18. Joc is having himself an incredible 2021 post-season!

First, he helped the Braves win Game 3 of the 2021 National League Division Series, and they would later go on to win the entire series.

Check out his three-run home run here:

Then, he and the Braves went on to win the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers, leading to this incredible celebratory moment on the field:

And now, the Braves are in the World Series playing against the Houston Astros!! Mazels to Joc, and the three other Jewish players: Max Fried of the Braves and Alex Bregman of the Astros.

We’re rooting for all of you…but especially Joc!!

Want more Jewish sports news? Sign up for The Jewish Sport Report.

Evelyn Frick

Evelyn Frick (she/they) is a writer and associate editor at Hey Alma. She graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. In her spare time, she's a comedian and contributor for Reductress and The Onion.

Read More