Joe Musgrove: Hometown Kid to Throwing the Padres First No-Hitter

Hollywood couldn’t have made a better script. In his first year after being traded to his hometown team he made history by throwing the first no hitter for his team.

In the second year of the San Diego Padres becoming a major league franchise, the Padres had a chance to make major league history.

Padres pitcher Clay Kirby had been through eight no-hit innings when he was taken out for a pinch hitter in the bottom half of the inning. Padres were losing 1-0 to the New York Mets despite having a no-hit bid. In attendance at the game was a twelve-year-old Padres fan named Mark Musgrove.

“I just went: ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!'” Mark Musgrove said in an interview with AJ Casavell.

The Padres would end up losing the no-hitter the next inning starting the infamous “Curse of Clay Kirby.” That curse would last for a ridiculously long time (over fifty years). That was long enough for that same Padres fan to grow up, get married, have a son, watch him get drafted, and play in the big leagues.

Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove and catcher Victor Caritini celebrate after throwing a no-hitter. The no-hitter is the first in padres history, coming against the Texas Rangers at Arlington. (Taken from San Diego Union Tribune)

His son’s name is Joe Musgrove; he would be the one to break the curse and throw the first hitter for the Padres. The no-hitter happened against the Texas Rangers in Arlington on Apr 10. Musgrove allowed a baserunner after hitting Joey Gallo by a pitch. He was obviously on his game and his catcher Victor Caritini knew that it could be something special. 

 

“It was his day,” said Caritini in an interview with AJ Cassavell.  “He had all his stuff. Everything was working, and I’m really happy for him at the end of the day.”

This past offseason the Padres traded big-name pitchers like Yu Darvish and Blake Snell. However, acquiring Musgrove, a deal that may have gone under the radar may prove to be one of the more important moves they have made. 

Padres and Grossmont High School partner up to paint a mural of Joe Musgrove the moment after the final out of the no-hitter was recorded. Grossmont High School is the high school Musgrove attended and the fact that Musgrove pitched for the hometown Padres when he threw their first no-hitter in history made the moment worthy of being immortalized as a mural. (Taken from NBC 7 San Diego)

“There’s a motivation,” said Padres General Manager AJ Preller in an interview. “ He’s a Padres fan, grew up in the city. Him wanting to win for his hometown club, we viewed that as a positive.”

Musgrove grew up in El Cajon and attended Grossmont High School. After Musgrove pitched a no-hitter, his high school partnered with the Padres to paint a mural in his honor, capturing the moment after the final out was recorded. 

Musgrove has deep ties with the city of San Diego. His family had season tickets when he was growing up. His number is forty-four the same number as his favorite pitcher growing up, Padres pitcher Jake Peavy. Hell, he even has a baseball tattoo with SD in the middle of it.

“What I’m looking for is a team that will contend for a playoff spot,” said Musgrove in an interview. “It just happens to be in my hometown which makes it that much more special. The place where my dream is being a professional baseball player started was at Qualcomm [Stadium].” 

High School Pitcher Joe Musgrove receives the Breitbard Athlete of the Month Award, presented by former Padres Star Adrian Gonzalez. This would be Musgrove’s first time receiving an award at Petco Park, however, it wouldn’t be the last. (Taken from East County Sports)

 

Musgrove now seems to be a key piece in the Padres rotation playing for a team that hopes to make some noise and reach the postseason for the second year after missing the playoffs for fourteen years.

“He’s a huge part of the future,” said junior Shane Sakata. “If he continues to pitch like he has, he can lead the Padres to a few World Series.”

Hollywood couldn’t have made a better script. In his first year after being traded to the Padres made history by throwing the first no-hitter for his hometown team. It’s almost like all these years he’s been waiting for a no-hitter and when it didn’t happen, he decided to do it himself.