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Myers enjoying opportunity to play 1B again

Padres outfielder returns to his old stomping grounds in Hosmer's absence; MLB umpires hold 10th annual charity auction
MLB.com @AJCassavell

DENVER -- Wil Myers spent the entirety of the last two seasons anchoring first base in San Diego.

But from the moment Eric Hosmer signed his franchise-record eight-year deal in February, Myers hadn't taken a single grounder there. Until Wednesday morning, that is.

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DENVER -- Wil Myers spent the entirety of the last two seasons anchoring first base in San Diego.

But from the moment Eric Hosmer signed his franchise-record eight-year deal in February, Myers hadn't taken a single grounder there. Until Wednesday morning, that is.

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"I don't think it'll be that difficult," said Myers, before Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Rockies. "I played there for two years. It's like riding a bike."

He paused a second, adding: "Hopefully."

Myers filled in for Hosmer, who is currently on the family leave list, and he held his own at first base -- though it wasn't without a seventh-inning misadventure. As he ranged to his right for a grounder and attempted to start a double play, Myers tripped over his own feet, yet somehow still threw accurately to second.

Video: SD@COL: Myers gets force at second despite tripping

When Hosmer arrived, the Padres committed to remaking Myers as their long-term right fielder. The sample size is limited, but he's been solid in right thus far.

In Spring Training, manager Andy Green noted that he'd shy away from using Myers at first base, but the Padres have since walked that back. Had it not been for Myers' right-arm injury, he would've played first base earlier this month, while Hosmer served as DH for a day in Houston.

"It's a position I really enjoy, and I'm looking forward to talking to some people," Myers quipped. "It's too boring out there in the outfield."

In Myers' debut season at first, he posted an outstanding defensive 2016, finishing among the National League's three Gold Glove Award finalists. He took a step back in '17, then moved away from the position entirely with four-time Gold Glover Hosmer on board.

Hosmer is expected to return to the lineup on Friday against the Mets, meaning Myers will soon return to the outfield. But he could see a few more games at first as the season progresses, possibly in American League ballparks.

Charity auction underway
MLB umpires are offering more than 300 items -- including priceless autographed sports memorabilia, one-of-a-kind VIP experiences, and upgraded ticket packages -- during its 10th Annual UMPS CARE Charities Online Auction.

The auction is currently underway at www.mlb.com/UmpsCare and closes at 7 p.m. PT on Monday. Some of the items up for bid include signed bats, cleats, jerseys, photos, and baseballs from some of the biggest stars in baseball. There are also opportunities to watch batting practice up close on the field at many MLB ballparks, hotel stays with game tickets, opportunities to have lunch with an MLB umpire, suites and tickets from Minor League Baseball clubs, golf foursomes and more.

All proceeds from the Online Auction support UMPS CARE Charities youth programs to provide Major League Baseball experiences for children awaiting adoption, Build-A-Bear Workshop® experiences for hospitalized children coping with serious illnesses, college scholarships for deserving young adults who were adopted as children, and financial assistance for families in need.

"Each year thanks to the support from our friends in Major League Baseball and throughout the sports world we get some fantastic items for our auction, and this year is no exception," said Gary Darling, former MLB umpire and Board President for UMPS CARE Charities. "This is the biggest fundraising initiative that we have to help so many children in need, and we can't thank everyone enough for all of the support. Please tell all of your friends, bid early and bid often to help this great cause."

Among the Padres items up for bid are a batting-practice experience and game tickets for four, and a two-night stay at the Andaz Hotel with two tickets to see the Padres.

Padres to attend Monarch School fundraiser
A number of prominent Padres will be on hand Thursday night for the Monarch School's annual fundraiser. Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman, Green and executive chairman Ron Fowler will take part in the "Building Bright Futures" event, with the aim to raise more than $500,000 to educate homeless students in San Diego.

Hoffman and his wife, Tracy, will serve as chairpersons for the event. It's expected to be the largest fundraising event in the 30-year history of the Monarch School, which exclusively serves homeless students, students at risk of being homeless, or students impacted by homelessness.

"You realize how blessed you are, and you realize the opportunity you have to bless other people by partnering with them, watching what they do and how they do it and how much they love those kids," Green said. "It's tremendous perspective, and it's a great mission down there."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Wil Myers