Cleat Geeks

Pederson puts it into perspective; & the seats

On Friday Mat 1st, an exchange happened between a wounded soldier and his favorite current player, Dodgers rookie outfielder Joc Pederson. And it reads like the script of a movie.

Before the May 1st game against the Arizona Diamondbacks the wounded warrior’s girlfriend set up a phone call with the Dodgers phenom. The wounded warrior was Sgt. Nick Becker. He is a wounded veteran who served his country proudly in both Iraq and Afghanistan while currently undergoing treatment in New York at Columbia Hospital.

“He told me he saw the home run I hit the other night and I said I hope I give you something special to cheer about tonight,” said Pederson, who crushed his first career grand slam in a five-run second inning and made a running catch in the ninth to preserve the shutout in an 8-0 Dodgers rout of Arizona.

He is still a rookie and it is an unwritten law that he will get razed by all his teammates for the entire season. So when Pederson stepped to the plate for that second-inning at-bat that ended so gloriously, it began with his walk-up music being hijacked. Instead of the usual hip-hop he prefers, one of his teammates subbed Hansen’s pop hit “MMMbop.”

“I walked up to the plate laughing,” said Pederson, still wearing a Wounded Warriors Project shirt. “We’ve got jokesters on this team. I told the catcher and the umpire, they got me pretty good. They were all laughing when I got back to the dugout. It was pretty funny.”

After the game was complete Pederson summed the day up this way, “I’m glad it worked out and I hope he was watching. Those guys are fighting for their lives and we’re playing a game for a living. It puts life in perspective.”

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