Look good, play good.
That seems to be the mantra for Joc Pederson this postseason.
The Atlanta Braves outfielder debuted a pearl necklace in late September and has been wearing it throughout the team’s run to its first World Series appearance since 1999. While chains and other jewelry commonly shine on the diamond, what led Pederson to rock pearls?
The 29-year-old didn’t offer much of an explanation after the Braves clinched their NL East title on Sept. 30:
Pederson homered during his final regular season appearance, a 6-5 win over the New York Mets. Following the game, he dove a smidge deeper into his “mystery.”
“There’s not much behind [the pearl necklace],” Pederson said (H/T MLB.com’s Mark Bowman). “I like it. It looks good.
“It wasn’t something that was supposed to get this much media attention. It’s just something that I like. It’s getting blown way out of proportion.”
On one other occasion, Pederson responded to a question about the pearls by saying he’s a “bad b****.”
On top of being a “bad b****,” he’s been a bad man at the plate when given the opportunity in the playoffs. He got a hit in his first three postseason plate appearances, all as a pinch-hitter, and ripped two home runs. The second long ball was a three-run shot that made up all the offense in a 3-0 Game 3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. That victory gave the Braves a 2-1 lead in the NLDS and they knocked out the Brewers the next evening.
Pederson kept his hot streak going in Game 2 of the NLCS against the team he played for from 2015 to 2020, the Los Angeles Dodgers. He took Max Scherzer deep with a game-tying, two-run homer in the fourth inning of a contest the Braves wound up walking off.
The pearls trend has spread throughout the Braves franchise. The team began selling replica pearls around Truist Park and Braves legend Dale Murphy pulled a set out of his pocket before throwing the ceremonial first pitch before the Game 2 win.
The Braves eliminated the Dodgers in six games to earn their trip to the Fall Classic, where they are now matched up against the Houston Astros. Pederson has faced the Astros in this stage before, losing to Houston in seven games with the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series. His power was on display in that series, too, as he crushed three home runs.
Beginning with Game 1 on Tuesday, Pederson has a chance to earn his second straight championship and get another World Series ring to match his pearls.