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Dodgers surprise Joc Pederson's brother Champ with World Series ring

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Joc Pederson spent six years with Los Angeles Dodgers, which culminated in a World Series championship in 2020. He signed with the Chicago Cubs in the offseason and couldn’t be present for the Dodgers’ ring ceremony and banner raising in April.

But when the Cubs traveled to L.A. on Thursday, it was a night to remember. Chicago threw a team no-hitter and Pederson could finally share in the revelry with his former teammates. He received his first ring, but he wasn’t the only Pederson brother going home with some new jewelry.

The Dodgers also had a ring for Champ Pederson, Joc’s older brother with Down syndrome who had been included in several activities with L.A. over the years. Champ threw out the first pitch – to Joc – on his brother’s bobblehead night.

Chicago Cubs' Joc Pederson, left, receives his 2020 World Series ring from Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw before a baseball game in Los Angeles, Thursday, June 24, 2021.
Chicago Cubs' Joc Pederson, left, receives his 2020 World Series ring from Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw before a baseball game in Los Angeles, Thursday, June 24, 2021.

Champ and Joc are as close as brothers get, so it was only fitting that the Dodgers had a ring made for their honorary teammate. Champ had been along for the ride long before L.A. won the World Series.

“Just before I could take in how surreal the moment actually was, I saw my brother Champ across the room. Goggles on. Pouring champagne on his head right along with the guys,” wrote Joc in a 2016 piece for The Players’ Tribune. “Of course, he’s not a player, but it was just natural to see Champ there. Our executive VP, Lon Rosen, went out of his way to find Champ and bring him to the locker room.”

Joc detailed how Champ has done everything with him and that he is always hanging out in the locker room before games, getting to know his brother’s teammates. Clearly Champ had become enough a part of the Dodgers team that they felt he earned a token of the World Series’ celebration.

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Champ wasn’t shy to show off his ring to during a broadcast interview, saying he’s very proud to have received one from the Dodgers. He had no idea that when he showed up to watch his brother’s new team play his former team, he’d be going home with a Championship ring on his finger. The bling is certainly cool, but for Champ, it’s always been about supporting Joc.

“Everything that entails with the Dodgers, they’re a great organization and a great team,” said Champ. “I’m very happy to be Joc’s older brother.”

Contact Alyssa Hertel at ahertel@usatoday.com or on Twitter @AlyssaHertel.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dodgers, Joc Pederson honor brother Champ with World Series ring