Joc Pederson, who wore No. 24 for the Chicago Cubs and No. 31 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, revealed the awesome reasons why he chose No. 22 for the Atlanta Braves.
Some ballplayers like to keep the same number no matter where they play. Others opt for a new number and a fresh start when they suit up for a new club.
After making his Braves debut on Friday night, Pederson explained to The Athletic‘s David O’Brien why he picked that number. The answer? He wanted to honor former teammates and good friends Jason Heyward and Clayton Kershaw.
Pederson chose No. 22 in reference to Heyward, Kershaw
Pederson’s jersey number in Atlanta shows his admiration for his friends and former teammates. Heyward wore 22 when he was with the Braves and still wears it for the Chicago Cubs. Kershaw has worn No. 22 throughout his 14-year career with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Some baseball players like to wear the number of their childhood heroes. Pederson chose to honor his friends, but it probably doesn’t hurt that Kershaw is a living legend with three Cy Young Awards, a National League MVP trophy, and a World Series Championship to his name.
Pederson’s Cubs number (24) was already taken by Braves catcher William Contreras, who is on the 40-man roster but currently playing in the minors. His Dodgers number (31) was available, but instead, he chose a new number altogether.
Pederson is batting .230 with 11 home runs and 39 RBIs in 74 games this season.