Pederson expects boos from Dodgers fans when Giants visit LA

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Joc Pederson has seen both sides of the heated NL West rivalry between the Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. He's about to get an even closer look.

Pederson, who graduated from Palo Alto High School, grew up a diehard San Francisco fan. Apparently, that didn't make his prep scouting report because he was selected in the 11th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Dodgers and spent the first decade of his professional baseball career with the organization.

Pederson was called up to the big leagues in 2014 and played seven seasons in Los Angeles, batting .230/.336/.470 with 130 home runs in 748 games. Suiting up against his beloved hometown team became a regular occurrence in heated division battles.

“It’s awesome to see the fans come out and really sell out, passionate,” Pederson said of the rivalry in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Laura Britt. “Those series are always really fun.”

In 93 career games against the Giants, Pederson owns a .241/.337/.500 slash line, 14 home runs and 15 doubles. But after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Cubs and later, after a trade, winning a World Series title with the Atlanta Braves, Pederson decided to pack his bags and head home to the Bay. He signed a one-year deal worth $6 million with San Francisco in March and earned a spot in the Opening Day lineup.

Giants fans who he once stood among in the stands are now cheering him on. But they were known to give Pederson a hard time during his Dodgers tenure.

“I’m happy to be on this side of [the rivalry] now and stop getting yelled at in the outfield,” Pederson joked. “That’ll be nice.”

When San Francisco visits the Dodgers for a quick two-game series May 3-4, it won't be Pederson’s first time facing Los Angeles – he did so with the Cubs and Braves last season – but it will be his first taste of the NL West rivalry in a Giants uniform.

“I’m sure the Dodgers fans will yell at me now because I’m with the Giants,” Pederson said. “But my past reunions there, with the Cubs, they were really nice. They were welcoming, I guess.”

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Pederson’s relationship with Dodgers fans was put to the test last October – or "Joctober" -- when his Braves ended the Dodgers’ quest for back-to-back championships by winning the NLCS in six games. Pederson started all six of those contests and collected five hits, the most notable being a game-tying, two-run blast against Max Scherzer in Game 2, which Atlanta eventually went on to win.

“With the Braves, we were kind of beating them up a little bit so [Dodgers fans] weren’t so nice," Pederson said. "I was getting booed a little bit.”

He can expect that same treatment when the Giants arrive at Dodger Stadium.

“I loved my time there,” Pederson said of Los Angeles. “It was an awesome experience. But I’m excited for this right now, and it’s going to be a fun ride.”

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