Photo by Taylor Jackson/Arizona Diamondbacks)

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski | April 7, 2021

Google Diamondbacks outfielder Tim Locastro and a myriad of topics comes up. “Why Tim Locastro should be your favorite weird player” is a video, as well as why he’s frequently plunked. Finally, his nickname is the fastest player in baseball.

Ask Locastro about any of them and he deflects the attention from him and onto the team.

“I’m just trying to go out there every day and do whatever it takes to help the team win,” Locastro says. “We didn’t win as many games as we had hoped last season.”

The home opener is Friday, April 9, and Locastro’s excitement and dedication is palpable. Case in point: He emerged from his COVID-19 quarantine and showed up 90 minutes early for a Spring Training session.

“I was going insane in that quarantine,” says Locastro, who tested positive but had few symptoms. “I was excited to get back and be with my teammates, who are my friends, and coaches. They make it so enjoyable. I think the camaraderie in our clubhouse has been unbelievable this Spring Training. We’re sharing that goal of having a winning season after a year that wasn’t so great. We’re hungrier this year.”

Further fueling that excitement are the fans who will be permitted into the stadium. He’s also looking forward to playing the full season.

“I am thrilled. I can’t wait for a full 162-game season,” he says. “I think it was uncharted waters last year. No one had experienced anything like that. Everybody was trying to figure it out on the fly.

“We missed the fans so much. Letting them in is the best thing ever.”

Playing in the MLB was Locastro’s lifelong dream. As a child in New York, he looked up to Derek Jeter, Paul O’Neill and Bernie Williams, when he was a fan of the late-1990s, early 2000s New York Yankees.

“My parents always encouraged me and helped me follow my dreams,” says Locastro, who spent his offseason with his fiancée in Pennsylvania, where she attends Villanova. “I just love the game as a whole. I just love to compete. I love going out there as a team and building such camaraderie with the team and clubhouse.”

Locastro says the support from fans has been “crazy” about the 2021 season. He’s hoping that the fanbase grows and the D-backs have a winning season.

“It’s exciting,” he says. “A lot of people like us, so I give 100%. Michael Jordan once had a quote about fans seeing him for the first time and maybe only time in his career. You have to play 100% all the time then. When I heard that quote, that resonated a lot. I honestly give 110%, but that’s how I’m built.”