Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
A few former Los Angeles Dodgers teammates were together for the sixth annual Justin Turner Golf Classic earlier this month, and more of them recently reunited at a surprise birthday party for Joc Pederson.
Austin Barnes, Walker Buehler, Andre Ethier and AJ Pollock were among those in attendance as Joc’s wife, Kelsey Pederson, organized the surprise party for his 30th birthday. Pollock shared photos and videos from the event on his Instagram account.
Pederson began his career with the Dodgers when he was taken in the 11th round of the 2010 MLB Draft. Pederson was on the verge of enrolling at the University of Southern California but came to terms late on a signing bonus to begin playing professionally.
His time with the Dodgers organization overlapped with that of Barnes, Buehler, Ethier and Pollock. Though, Ethier retired before the remaining three players could help the Dodgers win a World Series in 2020.
Despite being relegated to a platoon role, Pederson was instrumental for the Dodgers throughout the 2020 postseason. He put a subpar regular season behind him and hit .382/.432/.559 with two home runs and eight RBI in 37 plate appearances over 16 playoff games (10 starts).
Pederson hit one home run each in the National League Championship Series and World Series, and drove in three runs during the six games against the Tampa Bay Rays. That wound up being his swan song with the Dodgers as the Chicago Cubs signed Pederson during the offseason.
However, Pederson was then traded to the Atlanta Braves during the 2021 season and went on to become the ninth player in MLB history to win back-to-back World Series with different teams.
Joc: Dodgers fans deserve parade
One drastic difference in winning a championship with the Braves was Pederson got to enjoy a World Series parade. The Los Angeles Rams winning Super Bowl LVI sparked conversations of the Dodgers and Lakers potentially joining them for a celebration, which Pederson advocated for as he noted players, fans, organization and city as a whole were deserving of the experience.
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