Two players of Jewish descent made the Major League Baseball All-Star game rosters this week: pitcher Max Fried of the Atlanta Braves and outfielder Joc Pederson of the San Francisco Giants.
Both will play for the National League side. Pederson, whose mother is of Jewish descent, was named a starter for the NL team, earning the spot through two rounds of fan voting. Fried, whose parents are Jewish and is one of seven selected starting pitchers, was chosen by his fellow players.
All-Star Weekend, which includes the Home Run Derby, kicks off Saturday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
Playing in his first season with his hometown Giants, Pederson has clubbed 17 home runs with 41 runs batted in through the first 75 games of the season.
He was an All-Star with the Dodgers in 2015 and is a two-time contestant in the Home Run Derby. Pederson has the second-most home runs in the competition’s history. This year’s derby participants are still being announced.
Pedersen played for Team Israel in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Fried, a first-time All-Star, has posted a 2.56 earned run average, 6th best in the NL, with nine wins and 105 strikeouts in 18 starts. It has not yet been announced who will start the game, but it is common for all the pitchers to appear briefly throughout.
The left-hander is a Los Angeles native, and his childhood hero was Dodger legend Sandy Koufax, who was honored with a statue outside the ballpark last month.
In addition to Fried and Pederson, Braves prospect Jared Shuster has been named to the roster for the Futures Game, an All-Star game for the sport’s top prospects.
The Jewish representation doesn’t end there: Dodgers legend Shawn Green, considered one of the best Jewish baseball players of all time, will appear in the All-Star Celebrity Softball Game.