For the second consecutive season Devin Williams is an all-star, having been named to the National League squad on Sunday afternoon.
But for the first time he will be able to plan his red-carpet outfit, a big deal for the fashion-conscious Milwaukee Brewers closer.
“I didn't get chosen until the very last minute last year, so I might have some time to figure out what I'm going to wear this year,” said Williams,
named as a replacement the morning of the Brewers’ final game of the first half last year in San Francisco.
It was scramble mode from there as the right-hander figured out the logistics.
Luckily, everything fell into place and his first all-star appearance at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles came off without a hitch – tailor-made threads included.
“It was a quick, 24-hour process,” Williams said. “The guy that made my suit did it in literally 24 hours. He'll have a little bit more time this year.
“I’ve got some ideas. He sent some swatches over to me. I haven't locked down anything, though.”
Williams, 28, has locked down 17 games so far for the Brewers, a body of work that earned him his spot in the Midsummer Classic at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
His latest came Sunday in Milwaukee’s 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park to cap a 7-3 road trip.
“Trevor Hoffman was the first guy that I was fortunate enough to play with,” said manager Craig Counsell.
“I just feel there’s been excellence in that position. Just, excellence. We’re very lucky. The names that I think Devin belongs up there with are those names.
“He’s got a long way to go in his career, but that’s how his career has started. He’s pitching at the level those guys pitched at in their careers, and so we’re lucky to have him.”
Added Williams: “It’s an incredible list of guys. Rollie Fingers, Trevor Hoffman, Josh Hader, K-Rod (Francisco Rodríguez).
Josh kind of passed the torch to me and eventually I’ll do the same for somebody else. “Hopefully we can keep it going.”
In the midst of his first season as a full-time closer, Williams began the final week of the first half with a 4-1 record,
1.52 earned run average and a WHIP of 0.98 to go along with 39 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings over 30 appearances.