Joc Pederson’s childhood dream of playing for the team he grew up a fan of became a reality when he signed with the Giants last offseason.
Pederson grew up about 30 miles south of San Francisco in Palo Alto, Calif., and was a die-hard fan of the Giants, Golden State Warriors and San Francisco 49ers.
Years later, nothing has changed. The 30-year-old continues to publicly show his support for his hometown teams and even flew himself out to Boston last year for the intense NBA Finals matchup between the Celtics and Warriors.
“Hostile environment. Those fans are loud,” Pederson said on KNBR’s “Papa & Lund,” which was recorded at Giants Fan Fest on Saturday. “There’s something special about playoff sports, especially the NBA Finals, World Series, Super Bowl -- just the whole atmosphere is really fun to be a part of. And then when it’s a team you’re rooting for, it’s even cooler.
“[The Warriors] have a dynasty over there that they’ve built, and it’s just fun to watch them go out and compete and win and care for each other. It really shows how close-knit of a group they really are because winning is a very hard thing to do, and then winning four titles in six or seven years is even more impressive. And not letting it get to any individual head, it’s a team sport so it’s really fun to watch.”
Pederson has had the opportunity to watch that dynasty of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green up close and personal a couple of times. He was in the building at TD Garden when they won their fourth title in eight years.
After decades of observing his favorite basketball team suffer, Golden State’s Big Three turned things around for the franchise.
But the Warriors weren’t the only Bay Area team to rejuvenate their club and make a run for multiple championships.
After going 56 years without a World Series ring, the Giants won three titles (2010, 2012, 2014) in the span of five seasons. And even though he was in a different city with a different organization at the time, Pederson's loyalty remained.
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Pederson reflected back on one of his first and favorite moments as a young Giants fan.
"The main memory I have is I went to the last game at Candlestick," Pederson said. "And I remember I got a ball. I was sitting on the first-base line ... I was seven. I remember I got a ball and the ball said something like 'Last game at Candlestick,' or something. It was pretty cool.
His goal, now, is to take his childhood team back to the World Series as he continues to live out the dream.