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‘We’re blessed’: The 2022 MLB All-Star Game will be another moment the Contreras family remembers forever

2 years agoAndy Martinez

When William Contreras was recalled by Atlanta from Triple-A in late April, he made a bold statement to his older brother, Willson.

“He told me he’ll be here and won’t go back down,” Willson Contreras said.

That was actually an understatement from William. He never went back down and, in fact, he played at an All-Star level and will start at DH for the NL next week in Los Angeles.

“It was amazing,” Willson Contreras said. “That’s something that I really take pride in with him because it’s not easy to say it and do it, but he’s done it. Hopefully he keeps going.”

Prior to Sunday’s Cubs game in Los Angeles, Willson had a text message from William. It was a picture of an envelope that players get when they’re invited to the All-Star Game. Willson was proud for his little brother, especially given just how unbelievable the last few months have been.

When William was recalled in April, it was prior to the finale against the Cubs in Atlanta, and the brothers exchanged their respective teams’ lineup cards, a moment that went viral.

Then, the pair faced off in Chicago in June, with their parents and older brother Wilmer in attendance. Now, the brothers are All-Star Game starters, the first brothers to do so since Roberto and Sandy Alomar brothers did it in 1992.

“I think we’re blessed,” Willson Contreras said. “We’re blessed to be there and we’re blessed as a family.”

Especially when Willson reflects on their upbringing. Tuesday afternoon, he recalled the time they spent together as kids, playing baseball with a whiffle ball and a stick on their patio at their home in Venezuela.

“We were just kids wanting to play baseball, dreaming of coming to the big leagues, making it to the big leagues and then making it to the All-Star Game,” Willson Contreras said. “That was our dream.”

It’s become a reality, thanks to their hard work and dedication. Both players took strides in the offseason to make that a possibility.

For William, that meant learning his role and establishing himself as a big-leaguer.

“And this year, he’s doing a great job of it,” Willson Contreras said. “He understands that his timeline of playing, it wasn’t gonna be everyday. It might be 1 every 2 days. At this point, he earned to be playing every day. And their manager has done a great job of keeping him balanced between [Travis] d’Arnaud and him.”  

Willson’s success this season has meant blocking out the external noise and accomplishing his personal goals.

He saw what former teammates like Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javy Báez went through with trade rumors last season and he learned from that and notched his third trip to the All-Star Game.

“I take a lot of pride with that,” Willson Contreras said. “That was something that I put in my head before the season started, before the end of Spring Training — how am I gonna be able to block out the noise that I can’t control? I learned from last year a lot.

“Coming into this year, I was trying to enjoy my teammates, enjoy the game as much as I can. Now that I have my whole family here, it’s a big release for me. A lot of weight off of my shoulders and I don’t really have to worry about anything else but just play baseball and make this team better.”

And that’s created a memorable 2022 for the Contreras family.

“I can tell you [his parents are] proud,” Willson Contreras said. “They keep posting things on social media about the game, about their sons, about how awesome it is for the family. Doing this for them is just priceless.”

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