The primary layer to the Contreras Brothers story today is simply one of love and appreciation.
What these two brothers, Willson and William, have accomplished is incredible when you think about how difficult it is to reach the big leagues, much less succeed in them. That, in addition to good-old-fashioned brotherly love, is why they were so thrilled to get to start against each other today. This is something so special that it goes beyond the two of them, and winds up touching so many of us.
Also consider how long it’s been since these two could actually play together in person:
So, that is all to say, the primary layer today was a really wonderful moment between two brothers. It made me very happy, especially to see each have a great game today.
But this other part made me laugh.
As two brothers playing high-level sports against each other, you KNOW there’s another layer to all of this, too. They are competitors! They want to win! They don’t want to lose to each other, specifically. You can’t ever live that down.
Look just how much Willson did not want his brother to be able to claim bragging rights, even if a little tongue-in-cheek (via Marquee):
“Before the game, (Contreras) told me: ‘It’s your pitch-calling against my brother. I’m not calling a pitch. It’s strictly what you want to throw,’” (Justin) Steele said, laughing. “That was kinda funny when he told me that. We were going over the lineup and instead of saying, ‘Contreras,’ I was like, ‘your brother.’”
So Willson didn’t give Steele any pointers on how to get his little brother out?
“After I told him what I wanted to do facing his brother, he was like, ‘I’m not saying anything. I’m not calling the pitches. You throw what you want to throw to him,’” Steele said.
Willson wanted to be sure he wasn’t comprised in any way. (All in a light-hearted way, of course.)
“I was joking with him: ‘Call your game against my brother because if he gets a basehit, it won’t be me,’” Willson said.
“Yeah, you go two hits today, bro, but I didn’t call those pitches! That wasn’t on me! I still get the biggest piece of pie at dinner!“
Big bro got three hits today, plus the W. I’d say Willson wins the day.
Honestly, in addition to laughing at this, I also do find it sweet. Just a couple brothers still being brothers, even when playing at the highest level of professional baseball. Makes me want to call my brother.
… and tell him I was always better at baseball.