I was a senior in college working at Ithaca College’s student newspaper, The Ithacan, when news broke that Tim Locastro was called up to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
One of my writers and I split the responsibilities of writing the story – I interviewed Locastro’s mom, a former Ithaca teammate and then-head coach George Valesente while my writer interviewed Locastro as he previously interviewed him for a sports radio show.
Locastro left Ithaca to pursue a career in the MLB in 2013 when he was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Even though I was never there when he was at Ithaca, he was a name mentioned in the athletics department a lot. Everyone involved in sports at Ithaca either covered him while he played there or heard about him.
The majority of us followed his career and were thrilled to hear about him getting called up.
Locastro is one of four athletes from Ithaca to play for an MLB team, the most recent before him was in 1985.
Over the years, Locastro has played for a few different teams. Everyone was excited in November 2018 when Locastro was traded from the Dodgers to the New York Yankees. That was very short lived as he was traded in January 2019 to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In the past two years, Locastro has made himself known in the league as he is one of the fastest players, is continually getting hit by pitches and has stolen 31 bases while only being caught stealing three times.
On July 1, it was announced on Twitter that Timmy Lo is going to be a Bomber again. It may have only taken a few years to get back to the Yankees, but he was an Ithaca College Bomber and now he will be a Bronx Bomber.
Now, if only Ithaca College sold Timmy Lo jerseys… they would probably have a lot of people buying those, especially those who are Yankee fans and if they said Bombers across the front instead of Ithaca.
Now that Locastro will be on the Yankees, it looks like I will have to get a new jersey. I only got my Diamondbacks jersey a few months ago though… This time, I might get Timmy Lo on the back instead of Locastro.
Timmy Lo has been his nickname for forever, as I only remember people referring to him as his nickname while I was in college. Now that he is in the big-leagues, many fans refer to him by his nickname.
There are other athletes from Ithaca who have gone on to do big things, but Locastro is definitely the one talked about the most.
Ithaca has a long history of being very successful, as most teams are league champions every year and advance to the NCAA tournament.
One year, I stayed a week after school ended to photograph games as men’s and women’s lacrosse as well as softball were hosting the first round of the NCAA tournament. Baseball was playing the first round away that year.
It’s not unusual for Ithaca to host the first or second round of the NCAA tournament for at least one sport each season.
In the spring of 2017, Ithaca announced that they would be switching from the Empire 8 conference to the Liberty League conference to have tougher competition.
The Bombers ended up dominating and won Liberty League titles in the majority of sports their first season in the conference.
There is a lot of longevity within the coaching staff as the majority of coaches who have retired in the past three years coached there for over 20 years.
Tennis head coach Bill Austin and softball head coach Deb Pallozzi were two coaches that greatly helped me during my four years at Ithaca.
Pallozzi coached her 30th season when I was a senior and I wrote a career recap story as my final story for The Ithacan. The story made her cry as I interviewed current and former players and the assistant coach.
All of the players mentioned how Pallozzi helped them grow in college.
Both Austin and Pallozzi did that for me. While I was never an athlete, the two of them got to know me very well. I covered the tennis team starting as a freshman and the softball team off and on since I was a sophomore.
The two of them always checked in on me when I saw them around campus and I could go to their office whenever I needed advice or to talk. They made sure I was keeping my grades up, that my photo projects were successful and that I was excelling at everything for the newspaper.
When I’m in Ithaca in August, I’m hoping to run into some of the people I worked with in the athletics department as Nicole and I walk around campus and reminisce.
For now, I’ll play Sweet Caroline for a little while as that song was played after every win and having Timmy Lo traded to the Yankees definitely feels like a win.