When Walker Buehler tells his grandkids of Home Run Derby legends, he will not begin with the 2019 Joc Pederson show. Indeed, the story begins a lot sooner than that.
On Monday night – courtesy of Jorge Castillo on Twitter – we learned that Buehler had seen Pederson put on a power display in a derby before. In an interesting nugget, Castillo tweeted that Buehler was a spectator for the 2015 contest in Cincinnati. What’s more interesting is that Buehler left with a souvenir that night off the bat of Pederson.
Here's a #funfact: Walker Buehler said he was at the 2015 derby in Cincy when Joc Pederson finished in 2nd place and he caught a foul ball Pederson hit. He had just gotten drafted and was in town to finish off the details for his signing bonus.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) July 9, 2019
Apparently – you read that right – Buehler was in Cincinnati to finish off the details of his signing bonus.
Without question, it’s extremely unlikely for Buehler to see both of these performances live. On the other hand, getting a ball hit by Pederson in 2015 is even more incredible.
Of course we all know how the 2015 contest turned out for Joc. While it was a similar tale of heartbreak in 2019, there’s a silver lining.
Joc was thrilled to be there with his brother Champ and family, and he treated us all to the greatest derby in the history of the contest.
What’s more, teammate Walker Buehler was able to share that he has enjoyed Pederson’s power as a fan like the rest of us. Not to mention it took place in the same great state of Ohio. Baseball can be stunning, unpredictable, and random in this way.