Contreras brothers join rare fraternity as All-Stars

When the National League takes the field for this year’s All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium on July 19, Wilson Contreras will be behind the plate as the catcher, with his brother William starting as the designated hitter. This would be the 92nd Midsummer Classic game, but only the sixth in which the brothers started together.

For 30-year-old Wilson Contreras, the choice was hardly a surprise. A seven-year veteran of the Chicago Cubs, he is a two-time All-Star and is considered one of the best defensemen in the game. He had an on-base percentage plus .867 to hit 13 home runs on Sunday.

William Contreras, 24, was a more unexpected choice. A former catcher, he didn’t have much success until he stepped into the role of designated hitter for the Atlanta Braves after NL adopted him before this season. He had a .924 OPS and 11 home runs on Sunday and was selected as an NL reserve before being promoted to the starting lineup as a replacement for the injured Bryce Harper.

The brothers have been to the All-Star Game many times together—bret and Aaron Boone most recently for the AL team in 2003—but only four other groups of brothers have appeared in the same game. Only one group of brothers repeated the feat.

Although neither of the Cooper brothers is in the Hall of Fame, they had an unforgettable career. Walker Cooper, catcher, played 18 seasons, won two World Series rings, hit 35 home runs in a season, and was selected to eight All-Star Games. Pitcher Mort Cooper played 11 seasons, also won two World Series rings and won 20 or more games three times. He was the NL’s MVP in 1942 and played in four All-Star Games.

They formed the starting battery for the NL All-Stars in 1942 and 1943. In 1942, Walker went 1 for 2 and Mort was defeated, allowing three tries in three innings. In 1943, Walker also went 1 for 2 and Mort was defeated again, being defeated after four runs in two and three innings.

Dixie Walker, an outfielder, rode for many years before a deal with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1939 cemented his position. In nine seasons with the Dodgers, he won a batting title, an RBI crown, and was selected to five All-Star teams, but he is mostly remembered for his opposition to the integration of baseball, admitting years later that he created a petition to urge the Dodgers not to add Jackie Robinson or any other black players. The Dodgers traded him to Pittsburgh after the 1947 season.

Harry Walker, whose prime years were at St. Louis Cardinals gave up two years of their prime for World War II military service, but still won the batting title, hit .296 in his career and was named to an All-Star team.

The brothers started together in the NL in 1947 with Harry in the lead and Dixie in second. They teamed up to pass 0 out of 4.

1947: American League 2, National League 1

Joe DiMaggio needs no introduction – his Hall of Fame plaque available if you want to view it, but Dom wasn’t lazy. He hit .298 in 11 seasons, losing two years of his prime to military service, and led the AL in runs twice. His seven All-Star appearances may have been inflated by comparison, but in his best 1942 season, he racked up an impressive 5.4 wins over substitutes.

Joe and Dom were on six All-Star teams together, and they both started in the AL in 1949. House, who started from the right pitch, went 2 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Joe, who started at center, went 2 of 4 with three RBIs.

1949: American League 11, National League 7

The Alomar Brothers were a mainstay of the 1990s All-Star Game. Roberto Alomar, second baseman, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011. ineligible for baseball last year after a sexual harassment investigation. He was named to 12 All-Star teams and was the MVP of the game in 1998.

Sandy Alomar, catcher, was AL Rookie of the Year in 1990 and was named to six All-Star teams. He was the game’s MVP in 1997.

Although they made the All-Star Game together six times in nine seasons, they only started together once, in 1992. Roberto was in the lead and went 1 of 2. Sandy won the eighth and went 1 of 3.

1992: American League 13, National League 6.