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Daily Sports Smile: MLB brothers set to start 2022 All-Star Game

Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports+

There is a special honor attributed to becoming an MLB All-Star. It is a chance to represent for your team, family and fanbase on a national stage.

For one MLB family, this year will be a celebration unlike any other.

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On Sunday, Major League Baseball revealed brothers Willson and William Contreras both made the National League squad. They also became the fifth pair of brothers to start the Midsummer Classic.

They join Mort and Walker Cooper (1942-1943), Dixie and Harry Walker (1947), Joe and Dom DiMaggio (1949) and Roberto and Sandy Alomar Jr. (1992).

Chicago Cubs' Willson Contreras, right, greets his brother Atlanta Braves catcher William Contreras during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Willson is set to play in his third All-Star game. The Chicago Cubs star is commonly regarded as the top offensive catcher in the league. He’s had 13 home runs and 35 RBIs so far this season. This will be his first All-Star Game appearance since the 2019 campaign.

"I’m proud of the work that I have done so far," Willson told reporters recently. "I am looking forward to keep going and looking forward to keep doing my job. … It’s always great to represent the Chicago Cubs in the All-Star Game."

William received the second-most votes at designated hitter. He replaces Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper, who is out with a thumb injury.

"It’s incredible, I mean it really is," William said through an interpreter. "That’s one thing that I don’t think we've ever really talked about. It is a dream come true and I think it's something we've always dreamed about, but something that it’s crazy that it’s happening. I’m really happy, I’m excited and I can’t wait for the day. I'm counting the minutes."

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William burst onto the scene with the Atlanta Braves this season. He made vast improvements at the plate. Entering Monday, William owns a .273 batting average across 143 at-bats. He also has hit 11 home runs and drove in 22 RBIs while producing a .924 OPS (on-base + slugging percentage).

He settled into a platoon role with Braves teammate Travis d'Arnaud. Ironically, both players are two of five Braves to make the All-Star team.

"I think all that hard work, communication and everything we put in behind the scenes, you have sort of seen the results," William said.

Earlier this season, the brothers exchanged lineup cards at Truist Park in Atlanta. They later played at Wrigley Field and embraced at home plate. Willson told MLB.com that he was moved to tears to play on the same field as William.

"It was the moment of my life, believe me," Willson said. "I always recall those moments when we were growing up together back home, just dreaming to get signed by somebody. And I’m crying because of the job that we put together to get to where we are."

New memories will now be made later this month. The last pair of MLB brothers to play in the same All-Star Game were Aaron and Bret Boone in 2003. 

As a result, the rare moment will be special as the Contreras brothers are set to be in the same dugout again.