Monday, July 16, 2018

Champ Pederson Will Have a 2018 Allen & Ginter Baseball Card!

There is a fantastic surprise in this years Allen & Ginter set. Not only will it be filled with the typical group of players, it will also include the older brother of a current Dodger. The 2018 Allen & Ginter base set includes Champ Pederson, and Topps was kind enough to forward along a mock-up of the card to share here (Thanks, Susan!). BTW, there are also autographed inserts of Champ available, as well. Check out the base card above.

Champ has been very active with various charitable groups the past few years, and even started his own effort dubbed "Living Like A Champ." Per his website (link here):
I am 28 years old and live in Palo Alto, Ca. For those of you that don’t know me, I also have Down Syndrome. This doesn’t define me, it fires me up. I am proud of everything I’ve achieved having a disability, and having a voice to be an advocate for individuals with disabilities. Sports are my passion and I’ve been fortunate enough to be a motivational speech writer and speaker.
(Pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers at Dodger Insider)
So, what is "Living Like A Champ?" A couple of years ago both Champ and his brother Joc wrote about this at The Players Tribune (link here):
That’s the way it’s always been with Champ. He brings this happiness out of people all the time. They see how much fun it is to have him around. And what’s more, he’s always done everything with me. He’s in the locker room before games, he’s hanging with all the players. So this time was nothing different. Nothing special. Nothing put on. Champ’s just always been there. 
Every person who meets him immediately knows what it means to “Live Like a Champ.” It means you stay positive, even on the tough days. Because let’s be honest, in between the champagne celebrations and the Dodgers games, life isn’t always so easy.
Over the years Champ has worked closely with Albert Pujol and his foundation -- even accepting the Community Philanthropy Award on behalf of Pujols at the 24th annual ETTA Gala last year. He also became the first Little League® Challenger Division graduate to be inducted into Little League’s Hall of Excellence. Per at
“It’s a huge honor,” said Champ. “I want to thank my mom for being my first coach and my dad for always being there to support me.” 
Growing up with two brothers and a sister, Champ, who was born with Down Syndrome, a genetic condition caused by the presence of an extra chromosome, was surrounded by sports. From the Palo Alto (Calif.) Little League Challenger Division to competing in the Special Olympics, he has always been actively involved in sports and takes pride in his competitive personality. 
“There was always competition [growing up]. We were always wanting to compete, always talking about sports, always baseball,” Champ said. All of the Pederson children are athletes: Tyger played baseball in college and the minor leagues, brother Joc plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, and sister Jacey currently plays soccer at UCLA.
BTW, I decided to make a handful of fantasy BAseball cards of Champ to share here. Check them out below.

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