Why Is Joc Pederson Playing For Israel?
The outfielder Joc Pederson is eligible to play for Israel as the player has Jewish roots from his mom side.
The two-time All-Star of the San Francisco Giants, Pederson has a connection to Jewish heritage from his mom, Shelly Cahn. But WBC and the return rules of Israel also help the slugger.
As per WBC rules, any player doesn't need to be an official citizen of that country nor needs to have been born in that particular country. As per the return rules of Israel, the person needs to have at least one Jewish grandparent to be eligible for citizenship.
This isn't the first time the baseballer is representing Israel in WBC. In 2013, an inexperienced Joc Pederson was part of the Israel squad, but they failed to enter the main tournament.
At the time 20, Pederson's proof he could play for Israel came through his late grandfather, Larry Cahn. Larry had his bar mitzvah, a Jewish ritual that happens on the 13th birthday of a boy to commemorate his religious adulthood at Congregation Beth Sholom Conservative synagogue in San Francisco.
Shelly brought the documents from the synagogue so her son could represent Israel in the WBC. The outfielder, however, wasn't part of the team that had a solid run in the 2017 WBC game.
Pederson will be joined by veterans Ryan Lavarnway and Ty Kelly for the 2023 WBC Classic. Lavarnway even won Pool A MVP for Team Israel in the magical run of the 2017 tournament, which they will hoping to better.