All-Star Berth with Brother ‘Priceless’ – NBC Chicago
Family matters: Contreras ASG brothers have a ‘priceless’ place originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The beginning of Willson and William Contreras’ baseball journey was playing together on their family’s patio in Venezuela, with a plastic ball and a piece of bat as equipment.
“We used to do this every day,” said Willson, the Cubs receiver, said Tuesday. “We were just kids wanting to play baseball, dreaming of making it to the majors, getting into the majors, and then making the All-Star Game.
“It was our dream.”
A dream that came true on Sunday. William earned his first career All-Star selection and was announced as the DH replacement in the National League starting lineup for injured Bryce Harper.
The news came three days after Willson was named the National League starting catcher.
The Contreras brothers have already shared several special moments this season. They took the same big league field for the first time in April, trading roster cards and a hug before a Cubs-Braves game.
Last month they faced each other in the majors for the first time, when visiting Atlanta at Wrigley Field, and each delivered impressive performances at home plate.
“Now we’re the All-Star Game starters,” Willson said. “It feels good. I think we are blessed. We are blessed as a family.
The Contreras brothers will only become the fifth pair of brothers to start in the same All-Star Game lineup the same year, and the first since 1992.
And with Braves manager Brian Snitker at the helm of the NL side, they may be in back-to-back spots.
“I would love to hit eight or nine,” Willson said with a smile. “I don’t care. It will be amazing to spend time with my brother on the same pitch.”
That July 19 at Dodger Stadium is the brothers’ best time yet is an important occasion for the family. Willson said his parents were “proud” and posted about the All-Star selections and play on their social media accounts.
“Doing this for them is priceless,” Willson said.
This is the first season that Willson has had his whole family with him in Chicago, which makes the moment of shared success for him and William even better.
Willson said the whole family will also be heading to the Midsummer Classic.
“They deserve it more than me, especially my mom and dad,” Willson said. “They did everything to raise three children in a poor neighborhood, and it’s not an easy task.”
Willson said he didn’t tell William anything about what to expect with the All-Star Game experience. He wants him to experience it for himself without any pre-existing notions, as he did.
Says Willson: “I just can’t wait to enjoy it with him, to enjoy the All-Star Game as much as possible and I hope a lot of them come too.”