Lima Time Ends for Jose Lima
Written by Nelson Santana
May 23, 2010
Santiago - May 23rd, 2010 will forever be remembered as a day of mourning in the world of baseball as a bright star of the City of Santiago fades into obscurity. Santiago, the “city of love” loses a loyal Aguilucho who always brought joy along with him wherever he went. At merely 37 years of age, All-star right-handed pitcher Jose Desiderio Rodriguez Lima passed away in his Los Angeles home. According to his widow, Dorca Astacio, the cause of Lima’s death was a heart attack. Lima leaves behind his wife and five children.
During his tenure in Major League Baseball Lima played for the Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, New York Mets, Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers. He signed his first major league contract in 1989 with the Detroit Tigers and made his major league debut on April 20, 1994. He threw his last pitch on a major league mound on July 7, 2006.
His performance during the 1999 season with the Houston Astros garnered him a fourth place finish for the Cy-young award. He finished the season with 21 victories and a 3.58 earned-run-average in 35 starts. Lima’s crafty pitching played a key role in the Astros’ National League Central Division title. That same year Lima was selected to participate in the All-Star Game.
The charismatic Lima was loved by his peers because he never ceased to smile. His way of being won him the affection of his colleagues.
The true cibaeño that he was, Lima loved merengue, but he savored more merengue tipico. In fact, when he was not pitching on the mound, one could find him onstage, singing alongside great Dominican musicians of the stature of Boca Chula and Memin among other musicians.
Lima’s love for his native land was unquestionable. He played 13 seasons in the Dominican Baseball League. In 2009 he played for the Aguilas Ciabeñas and had plans to do so once more this Fall.
Without question Lima had more success in the Dominican Baseball League than in Major League Baseball. Career-wise, in the Majors he won 89 games, lost 102 with a 5.26 ERA in 348 games, the equivalent of 1,567 innings pitched. In the Dominican League he won 31 games and lost 22 with an ERA of 2.92 in his 13 seasons with the Aguilas Cibaeñas and Leones del Escogido.
At the time of his death Lima was in the process of opening a baseball academy in Los Angeles.
Several players including Jose Reyes, David Ortiz and Jose Guillen among others, reflected on the charismatic Jose Lima. According to ESPN Mets shortstop Jose Reyes said, "I could always reach out to him when I needed guidance and advice. "