ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — At the end of a memorable season for Albuquerque Isotopes star outfielder Joc Pederson, he’s going to make it memorable for a somewhat lucky fan Aug. 29.
In a clever nod to the creativity of minor league promotions, the Isotopes will allow Pederson to give away his 1994 Buick Century “as is” – with 166,000 miles on it, one operating window and no air conditioning – at their 7:05 p.m. home game vs. Las Vegas.
Isotopes general manager John Traub said Pederson bought the car in Albuquerque – he believes for around $1,000 – after camp broke this spring just specifically for getting around town this summer. Traub said they since have been talking about giving it away during the season’s final homestand.
Fans can enter for a chance to win the car during that night’s game on the concourse in front of the Isotopes Pro Shop.
Of course, the winner of the car will have a collectible – not for the car itself, but because of who once owned it. Think the “Seinfeld” episode when George Constanza buys a clunker only because he thinks it previously was owned by actor Jon Voight. It turns out that the previous owner was somebody named John Voight. Note to Isotopes fans: It’s Joc, not Jock, and Pederson, not Peterson.
In what is shaping up as the worst Isotopes year record-wise (58-74 heading into Friday night’s game at Colorado Springs) in the 12-year franchise, Pederson is putting the finishing touches on a season of historic proportions.
He’s closing in on the first 30-30 (home runs and steals) campaign by a Pacific Coast Leaguer since 1934. He went into Friday’s game hitting .300, with 31 homers and 28 steals.
“May not be a classic car,” Traub said, “but he’s had a classic season.”
The Dodgers have already said they will select his contract, and Pederson will be called up when the major league rosters expand Sept. 1. It is highly anticipated that they’ll fly him to wherever the Dodgers are playing.
And Pederson, who signed for a reported $600,000 as an 11th-round draft pick in 2010, is so highly regarded as a prospect that the Dodgers are expected to make room for him in 2015.
So no more need for the vehicle that Pederson calls “Little Chucky.”