Contreras brothers to start All-Star Game for NL
From their special lineup card exchange in late April in Atlanta to their emotional in-game embrace last month at Wrigley Field, this year has been filled with wonderful memories for William and Willson Contreras and their family.
None, however, will carry more significance than the one the brothers will get to make on July 19 at Dodger Stadium, when they start alongside each other in the 2022 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.
Two days after Willson was announced as the starting catcher for the National League All-Star team, William learned on Sunday that he was named a first-time All-Star via player voting. With Bryce Harper sidelined for the contest due to a fractured left thumb, William will join his brother among the NL starters at designated hitter, making the 92nd Midsummer Classic one the duo will never forget.
With their selections, the Contrerases will become the first brothers to appear in the same All-Star Game in almost 20 years. The last to accomplish the feat were Aaron and Bret Boone in 2003. As much as the Boones have accomplished in their baseball lives, that moment still stands out about as much as any other.
“It was awesome,” said Aaron Boone, now in his fifth season as the Yankees manager. “One of my favorite pictures I have -- it's hanging in my office -- is of us at U.S. Cellular [Field]. It’s me, Brett, my dad [Bob] and my grandfather [Ray], who all were All-Stars. … It was just a family affair to be there with my brother, his wife and family, [my wife] Laura and my mom and dad and my grandma and grandpa.”
Although the Boones played in that same All-Star Game together, they played on opposite sides, with Aaron Boone representing the Reds and the NL and Bret Boone representing the Mariners and the AL. That makes the Contrerases the first brothers to play for the same team in the Midsummer Classic since the Alomars -- Roberto and Sandy Jr. -- in 1998.
The Alomars also hold the distinction of being the most recent pair of brothers to start alongside one another in the All-Star Game, which they achieved in 1992.
“It’s an exceptional [thing] when you have a chance to play with your brother,” said Sandy Alomar Jr. “[In 1990], I was against him. He was with the Padres and I was with Cleveland. But we played many others on the same team, like when he was with Baltimore and Toronto we played together. But any time you have a family member or brother or dad in the All-Star Game, but most of all all together, it’s just memories you cherish forever.”
As the Contrerases will soon find out.