Jose Lima has died this morning of a heart attack in his home, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPN.
I have and always will love Jose Lima. When I first really started getting into baseball, he and the Killer B’s were my favorite team not counting the Red Sox. I would imitate Biggio and Bagwell’s stance and crazy Lima Time antics when I played wiffle ball with my brother. He brought a wild passion to the mound that I found endlessly entertaining (and for a time before the 00’s, he was lethal- look!). He seemed like he was throwing his whole being into pitches and I ate it up. In lieu of my rant about Hanley Ramirez, this point seems particularly relevant. Jose Lima cared. Jose Lima loved to pitch. He went through some rough years on some rough teams and kept coming back for more, trying to bring back Lima Time.
Jose Lima is yet another reason why people will always flock to baseball. Like Mark Fidrych or Luis Tiant, sometimes the character is more important for the game than the performance. We love people who embrace the spotlight, ham it up and seem to be having fun playing what we often forget is a game( no matter how much money gets thrown around).
It is a sad day when we as a baseball fan base lose another bright spot at a young age, but take the time to appreciate that Jose Lima, for all the bloated ERAs and home runs, brought a passion to the game that resonated with at least one fan- me. In an era marked by steroids and lying, I look back at Lima and honestly don’t care about that because I remember him hooting and hollering and pointing after big strikeouts and smile. Passion is what makes the game for me and passion is what Lima brought above all else.
Rest in peace, Jose Lima.
Lima Time was a blast while it lasted.