Meet San Diego's Favorite Family
If I were to pick one word that epitomizes Diane Musgrove’s main focus in life, it would be “Family.”
Born and raised in San Diego, Diane’s parents were first-generation Italian Americans who settled in Little Italy. As a young girl, much of Diane’s youth centered around her horses. “I loved my horses, and at one point, I was boarding several horses, plus the two I owned, caring for them and numerous horse-related duties daily before school. They definitely kept me out of trouble as a young girl.” A graduate of Grossmont high school, she is one of four children, with two sisters and a brother.
Diane knew at a young age that there was one thing she wanted, “ I knew from day one that I wanted to be a mother and have a family because, in my eyes, my mother was the perfect example of what a mom should be and how you should raise your children. I can recall Mom always had a home-cooked meal on the table at five o’clock. On rainy days Mom would greet us with hot Italian donuts to brighten our day. Her family was always her main focus.”
In 1986 Diane married Mark, who was in law enforcement and would later become a National City Police Department Homicide Detective. Over the next few years, Diane’s family would eventually grow to four children, Aaron, Marisa, Terra, and Joe.
Joe and his Dad forged a close relationship that centered around baseball. His Dad, Mark, always kept him focused on baseball and would serve as his coach through much of his young career, and before too long, his talents emerged. “Much of our free time was spent traveling to different counties and states for baseball, but it wasn’t just Joe and his Dad that traveled; his sisters loved it just as much as we did, and they made every trip.
Keeping up her Mom’s tradition, she always had a delicious hot dinner where her family would congregate and share their experiences of each day. On Sundays, they gathered for big family dinners with the entire extended family.
In 1998, Mark and Diane met with their close friends (and eventual Caffe’ Adesso business partners) Jim Fitzpatrick and Rita Rodriguez, and Caffe’ Adesso was born. After many locations were scouted, Alpine was chosen, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. The relationship between the Alpine community and Caffe’ Adesso was a perfect marriage, and the relationship has continued for 25 years.
The four partners were new, proud parents of a coffee business. Mark & Jim would be the players behind the scenes, while Diane and Rita handled the day-to-day operation.
In the summer of 2008, Aaron had already graduated from Grossmont High School. He had also made his way across parts of Europe on a Post-High School vacation and had worked in the construction industry before beginning his college education at UCSD.
Marisa attended San Diego Christian College getting her Bachelor of Science, followed by her dual teaching credentials while also directing musical shows for San Diego-based community theaters, which has been her passion since she was a kid. Her passion for theater continues today.
Upon graduation from Grossmont High in 2009, Terra would be recruited to the Chicago area, where she would play D-3 Basketball at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois while working towards her degree in Sports Management.
In June of 2008, Mark was stricken with Guillen-Barre Syndrome, leaving him hospitalized and paralyzed—a shocking event for the Musgrove family.
Diane’s days were now filled with getting to the hospital to be with Mark, rushing to Alpine to handle business issues, then returning to the hospital to check up on Mark and spend time with him. She would then rush home to prepare dinner for the family, and maybe if time allowed, she would take a few minutes for herself.
After three months in the hospital, Mark was able to return home. Diane had acquired a hospital bed and other items to furnish one of their rooms as a makeshift hospital room for Mark.
Diane definitely had her hands full. She had a household to maintain, a business to run, and now she was also a nurse. True to form, she handled everything like a champ, once again illustrating to her family that she could overcome and succeed no matter what the obstacle.
This did, however, create another hurdle. Joe and Marisa were spending nights at the hospital with their Dad. They would alternate nights, sleeping on a hospital-provided cot beside Mark’s bed.
Joe was spending a tremendous amount of time with his Dad at the hospital, and the repercussions of this began to surface. His academics were falling, and his interest in baseball was at risk. Joe was trying to figure out his role within the home and how he could best help the family. Diane and Mark began reinforcing the need for Joe to return to his studies, which was the best way to assist. Mark also had a talk with Joe about continuing to focus on his baseball. Along with improved academics, he might be able to get into college with financial help from a scholarship. Joe was able to turn these issues around, and he graduated from Grossmont in 2011.
During Joe’s senior year of high school, his baseball skills improved so much that professional scouts began showing a great deal of interest in him for the 2011 Baseball Draft. During Joe’s senior year at Grossmont High, the flurry of scouts attending the Grossmont Baseball games led to these same scouts visiting the Musgrove home for “Family Home Visits.” The Musgrove home visits became a circus…A pleasant and exciting circus, but a circus nonetheless. The Pro-Scout visits would occur after games, which were usually twice a week. On “Pro-Scout Visits,” Diane’s days went a little like this…
Diane would start her very early day by getting lunches ready.
Then it was making breakfast.
After which, she would set her dinner table for that evening.
Next was making her meatballs for dinner and selecting the right entrée pasta, usually spaghetti, Ravioli, or Penne.
Then prepare dessert.
She would assist Mark with preparing for the day.
There would be some time set aside to vacuum & dust, etc.
Then head to Alpine to coordinate with Rita on the day’s duties, including Inventory, staffing issues, customer issues, purchasing, banking, etc.
Diane would return home to assist in getting Mark and herself to the day’s baseball game.
Rush home after the game to complete the dinner menu (salad, garlic bread, Etc.)
The evening was then spent with dinner, dessert, and a discussion about what this scout feels about Joe’s future in professional baseball.
You see, the importance of these visits was not only Diane’s personal pride in her home and cooking skills, but she was aware that the scouts were evaluating the home environment and family unit during these visits.
Of course, the scout began sharing the quality of Diane’s cooking and her graciousness as a host, so there was no surprise that a few scouts felt the need to return for a second visit.
At this time, Tony Gwynn was the Head Coach at SDSU, and he recruited Joe to attend San Diego State University. In November, Joe signed a National Letter of Intent to attend San Diego State University. Tony was very instrumental in assisting and motivating Joe with his academics and baseball future. Tony was more than a College Coach. He would become, and remain, very important in the lives of the Musgrove family.
In early June of 2011, Joe, Mark, and Dominick (Dominick Johnson, Diane’s Cousin, and Joe’s Godfather. Dom was, and remains, Joe’s personal pitching coach) were sitting in Mark’s office about to watch the MLB Draft live on television. Diane and several family members were gathered in the front room doing the same.
Joe was eventually selected in the 1st round of the MLB Draft. As expected, Diane and the rest of the family were thrilled beyond description. The San Diego Media, numerous family, friends, and neighbors began to converge on the Musgrove home to congratulate Joe and his family. Diane was in her glory. This is a family that loves baseball, and this was the highlight of Joe’s baseball career…Thus Far!
Over the next few years, Joe would make his way through the minor leagues, and Diane would take several trips around the country to watch Joe play. In July of 2016, Joe was promoted to the Major Leagues, where he remains to this day.
In the Fall of 2017, Diane, Mark, and the family would make flights between San Diego, Houston, and Los Angeles. Joe was pitching in the 2017 World Series. Houston would win the Series, and of course, Diane was there leading the way.
In 2021 Joe was traded to the San Diego Padres, which brought Joe home to San Diego, and Diane was once again in her glory to have her son nearby. Since he arrived, Diane has been the focus of several interviews and special interest stories regarding her involvement in Joe’s baseball life. Diane also remains intimately involved in the lives of Aaron, Marisa, and Terra.
Although a good part of her time was spent supporting Joe during his early days and even as his career continued to skyrocket, she always found time to share in the passions of all of her children. “Before Mark got sick, I managed the summer shows Atop Mount Helix for 14 years. It was the most beautiful venue in all of San Diego in which to see a show. With a faithful following, there were often 1200 people in the seats, and my kids were always up there either set dressing, helping with quick changes, or participating as a working crew; they did whatever they could to help. It all became another family activity. So, we all did this together. “Unbeknownst to most, Joe enjoyed following in his sister’s footsteps in the theater business. Terra is an accomplished singer. Marisa is an actress and director. So, Joe got involved in school plays and went to a performing arts school. The three of them tap danced in competitions at the Delmar Fair. We still tease Joe about this because he came home one day and said, ‘Dad, I think I’m gonna stick to baseball.’”
Diane’s love of baseball has never wavered to this day; she hasn’t missed many of Joe’s pitching starts, but her love of the sport began as a young girl “I grew up in a family where my cousin was Professional Baseball Player Deron Johnson, so at a young age, we were going to baseball games a lot. So that’s always been a passion for our family.”
Anyone who has any dealings with Joe Musgrove realizes what a stand-up guy he is. He is focused and cares so much about others. I have personally been around the game of baseball for many years and have been in contact with many players who are only focused on themselves. Joe Musgrove gives his time and attention to many different charities and organizations and is integral in supporting the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
I was lucky enough to attend a special fundraiser that Joe held that raised almost $100,000 for CAF. Fans were invited to join him on his journey to Antarctica to set a Guinness Book of World Record for the fastest pitch ever thrown there. All proceeds from the event and the trip went to the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Since the fundraiser was a success, Joe was able to invite 16-year-old Landis Sims, who was born without arms and lower legs. A friendship had begun, and Joe participated in the movie “Landis: Just Watch Me,” featuring Landis and his amazing baseball career over the last eight years. He also brought along two other CAF athletes, Roderick Sewell, a double above-knee amputee who became the first to finish the Ironman World Championship. Joe, cheered on by his girlfriend Arica Christensen, took some warm-up pitches aboard the boat, The Ocean Victory, which transported them from Ushuaia in Southern Argentina to Antarctica. His first try was a 79-mph fastball, followed by his record-setting 86-mph fastball.
Joe then handed the ball to Landis, who managed to throw a 44-mph pitch, which just so happens to be Joe’s uniform number. Knowing of this charitable contribution and others he is happy to participate in, I had to ask Diane how she instilled this type of caring and giving nature in her children.
“I think a lot of it was being a stay home mom. I worked outside the house when Marisa was young, but luckily, I had my Mom and Dad close by, and my sister lived in the house up on the cul-de-sac. So, I had my family watching Marisa when she was young. When Terra came along, Mark asked me, ‘What do you think of being a stay-at-home mom?’ I was so excited because I wanted to earn while I could and help out financially, but still, I wanted to see them take their first steps. So, my dream of being a stay-at-home mom and watching them grow every step of the way was realized, and I am so grateful because I know many women don’t get that opportunity. Generally, the experiences we take away are from how we were brought up.”
Diane added that communication is key in parenting, and she always tried to have important and meaningful conversations with all her children, as did her husband, Mark. Joe never lost his focus on the game he loved, and he was always the first one in the car when heading to a game. His sisters were not far behind him. “Throughout the years, we always focused on the importance of family and closeness. Yes, as a parent, you must discipline them, but what they always remember are the good times they had together as a family.”
Diane shared a conversation that she and Mark had with their children as young adults. “We were talking, as a family, with my kids at the table, and I said that the experience we had been through with Dad’s illness was a perfect example of why you choose the partner you choose. It is for what is in their heart, not any other reason. Because having gone through this experience together provides a perfect lesson on what life’s about; sticking together through the really tough times, that’s what brings you closer.”
I asked Diane to share more about Caffe’ Adesso. “It has been a big blessing for us. The Padre Fans and Friar Faithful are so supportive.” This became even more evident on April 9th, 2021, only Joe’s second start as a Padre. Joe threw the Historic No-Hitter, the first in the Padre’s 54-year history. His family was not at this particular game since it was an away game against the Texas Rangers. The entire family gathered around the TV holding their breath as it became evident that a No-Hitter was definitely a possibility. When that final pitch was thrown, the family erupted in joy, hugging, screaming, and jumping up and down, so proud of what Joe had accomplished.
This event had a huge impact on Caffe’ Adesso, as a new level of interest developed. They soon had lines around the block, especially when Terra suggested adding some special items to the menu in honor of this historic event. Diane directed her baker to create special 44 and Padre-themed cookies. Specialty drinks were also added, including Joe’s favorite drink, “The 44,” which is cold brew with vanilla syrup and cream. They also featured one for Mark Grant, who lives in the area and is a regular at Caffe’ Adesso, and also one for Don Orsillo. After hearing this, I have decided that our next magazine outing for my staff will be a visit to Caffe’ Adesso to pick up a bunch of Padre Cookies and specialty drinks to have in hand while we watch the next Padre game.
Although Joe is synonymous with the number 44 now, it was not his first choice as a pro player. Diane adds, “His first number was 59, but when he came to San Diego, the number was taken, so he chose 44 in honor of Jake Peavy, one of his favorite players.”
Not only is family so essential to Diane, but they have increased their family to include the Padre organization. Diane’s daughter Terra is an accomplished baker who has shared this love with the Padre organization. “At every home start for Joe, Terra makes some goodies for the clubhouse. We believe in taking care of the people that take such good care of us. Terra will come home from working her full-time job and head into the kitchen, where she manages to get everything done and packaged up for the night game.”
I asked Diane if she had ever thrown the ball around with Joe. She laughs and says, “I used to until he took two wood boards out of my fence with a fastball” Yes, his fastballs are killer, but then so are his curve balls that are so often unhittable.
San Diegans, even the transplanted ones, love our Padre team, and we at San Diego Woman Magazine wish them much success throughout their season.
Over the past 16 years, I have had the opportunity to interview some amazing women. Diane Musgrove is undoubtedly one of my favorites. Diane has managed to raise a beautiful family and run a successful business, and through all the turmoil and tragedy, she has always been kind and loving to everyone around her. During our interview and photo shoot Diane was so gracious to our staff. She is not only a great woman, but she has truly made me feel that I have made a lifelong friend. She is certainly a woman we should all emulate.
The journey from Little League to the pros is one that few families get to experience. After spending time with Diane and Joe, I must say that it is well deserved and could not have happened to a nicer family!
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