The MLB free agency period, as we have seen exemplified by this offseason, can so often be a flurry of heartbreak and unmatched happiness.

Your team can have the highs of signing Trea Turner, like the Phillies, or the lows of being told your team is signing Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa, only to have both yanked from under you. Seriously Giants fans, sorry for your pain.

As San Diego Padre fans, our offseason has mostly been blissful with the signing of star Xander Bogaerts and top-tier bench and rotations options like Seth Lugo and Matt Carpenter. But this last week, in our weird way that few from the outside may understand, we had our low when Wil Myers signed away to the Reds on a one-year, 7.5-million-dollar contract.

For some, the departure of Myers won’t mean much, but for many here in San Diego, it was saying goodbye to a beloved player who defined an era of San Diego Padres baseball.

As all in town I’m sure are familiar, back in 2014 Wil Myers was acquired in one of the many off-season deals that would also include Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Derrick Norris, and Craig Kimbrel, by then first-year GM AJ Preller.

None of those trades work, and two years later, all of those names would just become ghosts of Padres past. Except for the North Carolina kid, Myers.

For the next nine seasons, Myers would dawn the Padre’s uniform. In that time, Wil was a part of some of the worst baseball teams I’ve ever watched; they were laughable and often embarrassing, even if I still did love them.

But through all of it, until the arrival of Manny and Fernando Tatis Jr. in 2019, Wil was the only constant. Year after year, Myers was the only person on the Padres worth mentioning or boasting significant talent. And while some in the fandom questioned his commitment, hustle, or “care” due to his laid-back personality, in reality he showed he was quite the opposite.

In his nine seasons, Wil started at five spots at one point or another in the field while also hitting in every single spot in the lineup during his Padre tenure. He did everything in his power to try to make an impact and was willing to do whatever it took to help the Padres win. Even moving from 1B, where he was a 2016 All-Star so that Eric Hosmer could “play” there.

For William Bradford Myers there most likely won’t ever be a statue built out in Gallagher square of him, or a retired number stamped below the Jerry Coleman Press box in his honor. But there will be plenty of moments, like the two-homer performance in the 2020 Wild Card game, a double in the 2016 All-Star game here in San Diego, or him buying entire bars drinks in the Gas Lamp after the 2022 NLDS Victory over the Dodgers, for Padres fans to look back upon and smile at.

And for those reasons, he will always hold a small part of the Padres history. He may not have been a perianal all-star, but he was and will always be ours. And I wouldn’t have changed any of the Wil Myers experience.

VOL. 112, NO. 52 - Dec. 28, 2022

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