Willson Contreras breaks down in tears after exchanging lineup card with brother
Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras had an emotional night Thursday. The Cubs traveled to Georgia to take on the Atlanta Braves. Contreras' brother, William, is a catcher with Atlanta. The game marked the first time the two brothers would play against each other in the majors.
The two teams selected the Contreras brothers to exchange lineup cards at home plate before the game. The two players met, shook hands and shared an extended hug. When they released from the hug, Willson was wiping away tears.
Brothers @Wcontreras42 and Willson Contreras exchanged lineup cards before tonight's game. 🥰 pic.twitter.com/YQ2qSGgsLy
— MLB (@MLB) April 28, 2022
Willson was asked about that moment after the game. He got emotional a second time while giving his explanation.
I also asked #Cubs Willson Contreras about what made him emotional in the moment. Here’s what he had to say: pic.twitter.com/ho5XVopFg3
— Taylor McGregor (@Taylor_McGregor) April 29, 2022
Willson's full comments read:
"I remember watching him play Little League. And we we were always close. We're brothers. We never fought. And we support each other. Those are memories that I will never forget. I always recall those moments when we were growing up together back home just dreaming to get signed by somebody. And then dreaming to get to the big leagues. I'm crying because I'm proud of the job that we put together to get to where we are."
Willson and William Contreras reached majors a few years apart
The two Contreras brothers grew up in Venezuela hoping to get signed by an MLB team. Willson, the older sibling, got his shot first, signing with the Cubs as an undrafted free agent in 2009. He worked his way up through the team's system, eventually making his debut in 2016. The team won the World Series that season. Since then, Willson has anchored the Cubs' lineup. He's a two-time All-Star.
William signed with the Braves as an undrafted free agent in 2015. After a few strong seasons in the minors, Contreras made his major-league debut in 2020. He was a member of the team's World Series run in 2021, but only appeared in one postseason game. William made the Braves out of spring training in 2022, and is expected to serve as the team's backup catcher.
William did not play in Thursday's game, but his team came out on top. The Braves defeated the Cubs 5-1. Willson went 0-for-3 in the contest.