MLB Players

Insight On Why Joc Pederson Is Playing For Israel And Parents Ethnicity

By / 13 March 2023 04:52 AM

Joc Pederson will represent Israel in the 2023 WBC Classic tournament because of his mother Shelly's Jewish roots.
Source : instagram

Joc Pederson will represent Israel in WBC 2023 thanks to his Jewish roots. Pederson is connected to his Jewish heritage from mom Shelly.

The two-time All-Star and World Series Champion, Joc Pederson, comes from Jewish heritage and has previously represented Israel in the 2013 qualifiers round. A decade later, the 30-year-old is more than ready to lead his team to glory.

Pederson was reported to present Israel in WBC last year in July. He will be one of many MLB stars in the WBC Classic Tournament, featuring the likes of Miles Mikolas, Kyle Freeland, and Patrick Sandoval

Joc comes from a family of athletes, with his father, Stu Pederson, previously playing for the Dodgers and his brother also having been drafted by the team in 2013.

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.

Joc with former teammates Luke Jax(second from left) and Ian Anderson(second from right) poses with the 2021 World Series Trophy which they won with Braves.
Source : instagram

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.

Joc Pederson is hoping to lead the Israel Baseball Team to glory in the WBC Classic tournament.
Source : instagram

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. 

Joc Pederson Comes From Jewish Ethnicity

Joc Pederson has Jewish ethnicity and his family settled in the US during the 19th century.

Pederson has no Jewish ancestors from his dad's side, with all the connections coming from his mother, Shelly Cahn. His Cahn ancestors came from France and settled in New Orleans in the 1840s, but that's not it.

Most of his Jewish family connection has been well described by the website, Jewish Journal, tracing his roots back to paternal and maternal great-grandparents. 

Joc Pederson waves to the crowd after winning the World Series Title with the Braves in 2021.
Source : instagram

Last year in July, when it was announced that Pederson would be representing Team Israel in the 2023 WBC Classic, many baseball fans hadn't heard about the California native Jewish, considering he had once already participated in the tournament.

Pederson has been quite an inspiration for the youngsters coming through in the Israeli squad. Speaking to Sports Rabbi, the 22-year-old pitcher Josh Wolf said he owned a Pederson jersey while in middle school and thought it was now cool for him to play alongside the veteran. 

Joc Pederson family pictured together in 2016 in a Facebook post shared by Shelly.
Source : facebook

In the 2021 World Series, a record four Jewish baseball players played which included the likes of Max Fried, Alex Bregman, and Garrett Stubbs alongside Pederson. In more than a century-long history of MLB, 173 Jews have played in the majors.

Joc Pederson Parents Shelly And Stu Come From Sports Background

Joc Pederson parents Shelly Pederson and Stu Pederson have been married for 37 years. They raised four kids in California.

The two-time World Series Champion, Joc Pederson, had all the support necessary from his family growing up that helped him pursue his passion. On Instagram, the outfielder can be seen giving his fans a glimpse of his family life.

Though many of the posts are that of his better half and kids, the baseball player doesn't forget to give shoutouts to those who helped him in his formative years. 

Joc Pederson Mom Shelly Pederson Raised A Baseball Family

Jod Pederson's mom Shelly Pederson is a former athletic trainer.

The mother-of-four Shelly Pederson has fit in perfectly in the shoes of a former baseball player's wife and now as a mother of a baseball player. Nobody has seen the life of a baseball player as closely as Shelly.

Joc Pederson pictured with his parents, Stu(left) and Shelly (second from left) and other family members in 2020.
Source : instagram

On Twitter, Shelly would be seen tweeting photos and videos of her son's on-field antics. In 2013, the former athletic trainer didn't leave any stone unturned when finding the papers that would prove her son's credibility for representing Israel on big stages. 

In a photo shared by Joc in 2014, the outfielder captioned the post, "Mama's boy." And it makes perfect sense knowing Shelly would drive him to practice, prepare his lunch, and ensure he ate it on time. 

Joc Pederson with his parents Stu and Shelly Cahn Pederson.
Source : facebook

In an interview for the MLB Network in 2015, Shelly said she didn't want Joc to give her much credit. She has been married to Stu for the past 37 years and said being a baseball mom is tougher than being a baseball wife. 

Dad Stu Pederson Is A Former Dodgers Player

Joc Pederson's dad Stu Pederson is the former outfielder of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Though Stu didn't taste the same level of success as his son, he had a major role to play in his son's development into the player he is today.

Stu Pederson shares a picture of him wearing a baseball hat on his Facebook handle in 2021.
Source : facebook

Stu lived most of his life more as a baseball coach than a player. Stu, with his son, Tyger, made a batting cage in their backyard, which helped Joc sharpen his swings. The father-of-four is available on Facebook and Twitter and often appears on his kid's social media handles.

After retiring from coaching full-time in 2013, Stu returned for a second stint with Niagara Power in 2020 but has since been replaced. His baseball career ended as a player in 1992, the same year as Joc was born.

Joc(right) pictured with his family member including siblings Tyger(left), Jacey(second from left) and Champ(third from right) in 2021.
Source : instagram

With Shelly, Stu has raised four kids, Joc, Tyger, Champ, and Jacey. Even Tyger was drafted by the Dodgers in 2013 but chose not to continue his professional baseball career.

His daughter, Jacey Pederson, is a former soccer player at UCLA and graduated in 2020. Champ Pederson, the oldest of the bunch, suffers from Down syndrome and has shared his inspirational journey with millions of baseball fans worldwide. 

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