SANTEE, Calif. — Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove had his start in Little League teams throughout San Diego.
Scott Lagace said he used to umpire for the Padres player at Santana National Little League when Musgrove was just 12 years old on this very field.
“This is where I stood when Joe Musgrove pitched,” the ex-Little League umpire said.
Memories flood for Lagace as he returns to the field where he met Musgrove.
“How good he was. Believe me, he showed it on the field. Like I said, he was an all-around very good player: pitching, hitting, fielding. Even at that young age,” Lagace said.
Lagace says he umpired when Musgrove played for the Santana National Little League back in 2004. He also even got a chance to meet Musgrove again at the Waves game this past weekend.
“I just stopped him and told him congratulations on his last game against the L.A. Dodgers and then all of a sudden I told him, I umpired for him. He kind of looked at me like ‘Oh, that’s cool.’ He shook my hand. I asked him for a selfie and then I said, ‘Good luck against the Phillies,’” Lagace said.
Santana National Little League still plays on the field., where the players there look up to Musgrove.
“I learn how to get my proper stance when I’m pitching and I watch him, see how he pitches. See how he throws the ball,” Little League player Aiden Gaut said.
Players say the East County native shows them they too can follow their Major League Baseball dreams.
“It means to me that I know I can do it cause he used to play on this field,” Gaut said. “Yeah, he’s an inspiration to me.”
The Santana National Little League hosts their games every Sunday in the Fall. They say they will be watching and supporting the Padres on Tuesday.