For the second consecutive season, Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani was elected to the American League All-Star team as a pitcher and hitter, while brothers William Contreras and Willson Contreras will both start for the National League.
Ohtani, 28, was voted in as the designated hitter for the AL team then selected by MLB as a pitcher. He’ll showcase his talents not far from his Angels home when the All-Star Game takes place down the road at Dodgers Stadium on July 19.
Joining him in Los Angeles will be Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw who made his ninth All-Star team and first since 2019. Kershaw was an MLB selection while William Contreras was voted in as a designated hitter by his peers.
Phillies slugger Bryce Harper won the vote by fans to start the game at DH for the NL but is injured so William will join Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras in the starting lineup. It’s the first time two brothers will start in an all-star game since Roberto Alomar and Sandy Alomar Jr, in 1992.
“We were just two kids dreaming of making it to the big leagues and now making it to the All-Star game,” Willson said. “It’s a dream. “There are a lot of brothers that would love to do the same. Being able to play with my brother against each other than with each other will be the best time of our lives.”
The Contreras brothers faced each other twice already this year when the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs played each other during the regular season but this marks the first time they’ll be putting on a uniform for the same team in the big leagues. Harper will be replaced on the roster over the next few days.
The New York Yankees lead the way with six All-Star selections while the Houston Astros have five, including 39 year-old righty Justin Verlander who missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Like Kershaw, this is Verlander’s ninth time making an all-star team.
Other notable veterans making the team include Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado who joins teammate Paul Goldschmidt as seven time selections. Yankees starter Gerrit Cole made his 5th All-Star team while Brewers closer Josh Hader made his fourth.
In all, the American League has 18, first time all-stars including nine pitchers and both catchers. The NL team features 12 first timers and a total of 23 first or second time selections.
Joining Ohtani, Verlander and Cole on the AL pitching staff are righties Paul Blackburn, Emmanuel Clase, Clay Holmes, Jorge Lopez and Alek Manoah. Lefties Nestor Cortes, Shane McClanahan, Martin Perez, Gregory Soto and Framber Valdez also made the team.