Lima Time In Heaven

There will be a lot written and said about Jose Lima in the days to come so I’ll simply be one of many to add to the conversation by saying that he was by far the most unique personality I’ve ever been around in 16 years in the game.

Whether it was on the golf course (where he would notoriously drop a second ball if he didn’t like his first shot), on the mound (we’ve all seen his animated antics after a big strikeout), in the clubhouse (his salsa dancing in a puddle of champagne after the 2004 clinching ceremony will always be fresh in my memory) or on the grand stage (he and his band rocked Viva Los Dodgers back in 2004 and then headlined the Conga Room that night and kept us all entertained into the early morning), he was like no one else I’ve ever encountered in my life.

When tragedies like this strike, it reminds all of us to live life to the fullest, without regrets. I don’t know if Lima had any regrets but of this much I’m certain – he lived every day of his 37-plus years to the fullest. In fact, I’d venture to guess that he put 100 years of life into his 37 years on Earth.

It’s eerie to be typing this in an office where he was hanging out just 48 hours ago with his son, Jose Jr.  And one month ago today, he sat in here with a few others as we discussed the new role he’d play as part of the Dodger Alumni Association. He was scheduled to make a community appearance tomorrow on behalf of the team – his first in his new capacity. He was excited to play in the Dodgers Dream Foundation Golf Tournament next month, and he was downright giddy about playing another gig at Viva Los Dodgers in June. Trying to keep him focused during our hour-long meeting was like trying to keep him focused in the dugout…an impossible task. But his energy was palpable and it rubbed off on everyone around him.

When he showed up at Spring Training in 2004, he promised several of us that he was going to make the team as a non-roster invitee but few believed him. He did that and so much more.

He played in Los Angeles for just one year, but his work on and off the field left an indelible mark on those of us he touched, which includes millions of fans around the world. He simply didn’t have bad days. He was perpetually happy, with a huge heart, and it’s ironic that it seems a heart attack was what ultimately ended his life.

He was always teaching…he was about to open up a baseball academy in Pasadena to help teach the game he loved. I can remember being on the golf course and whenever I would hit a bad shot, he would try to show me what I did wrong. It was just part of his nature.

Someone sent me this link last year and thinking about him today, it popped back into my head. While playing independent ball, he was still in typical Lima form, singing in an airport at 6:30 in the morning.

Walking around the stadium over the last few hours, I’ve heard countless stories from media members, front office employees, clubhouse attendants and the like, each of whom has a fond memory to share. They aren’t famous people…just everyday workers but that never mattered to Lima. He was friendly to everyone and most of these people saw him just two days ago when he was here and in great spirits. It’s hit everyone here extremely hard.

All of us will keep his family and friends in our thoughts and prayers, including his younger brother Joel, who plays in our minor league system. There’s nothing that can really be said that will help a loss at such a young age.

I guess it was just Lima Time up in heaven and if there are golf courses up there, he’s already hitting a lot of balls onto the fairway up there. And you can be sure that he’s telling everyone about it. 


  1. nachotaco

    very well said Josh… I remember sitting near the Dodgers bullpen and he would come out and talk to all of the fans… just a nice guy who loved to chat it up!

  2. nedajerk

    “Everyone will remember Jose for his antics on the mound,” said former Astro Craig Biggio, a teammate of Lima’s, according to the team’s website. “But he was a tremendous teammate and a great competitor. It’s a big loss for the Astros baseball family.”

    “A writer told me the news while I was at batting practice and I just dropped the bat. I froze,” Guillen said.

    Guillen added that he’ll wear the initials JL on his helmet as a sign of respect for his deceased friend.

    “This is painful. Jose Lima has died,” said Red Sox DH David Ortiz, who also played with Lima in the Dominican league.

  3. nedajerk

    According to McCourt, Lima had rejoined the Dodgers organization within the past month as a member of their alumni association, attending a game Friday night amid plans to open a youth baseball academy this summer in Los Angeles “to help teach the game he loved to youngsters.”

    “He was committed to making appearances in the community on behalf of the team, including an upcoming musical performance at a Viva Los Dodgers event this summer,” McCourt said.


    I am so sad for Lima’s family. That 04 playoff game was the highlight of my live baseball watching life. I admit I don’t get out much and never have but also been going to dodger games while living in So Cal since 1971. First games I really remember were about 1977 and on. I saw alot of great games at the yard and Lima’s was the best.

  5. cpompe1

    This is so incredibly tough. Jose was a Dodger for such a short time, but boy, how he packed a punch in that short period of time. I so enjoyed the bit of ?Lima Time? that I was able to watch while he wore a Dodger jersey. I heard that he had joined the Dodgers? Alumni Association ? it would?ve been so wonderful to have ?Lima Time? back with the Dodgers again! RIP Jose Lima. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Jose?s circle – Jose?s son and brother, especially?

    Josh ? Wonderful words on Jose Lima and wonderful video clip on Jose. Watching that video brought A LOT of smiles to my face when I watched it?

  6. nedajerk

    I hate blaming the refs but they gave the Suns this game tonight. Look at the FTA for the Suns compare to the Lakers you can’t win like that.


    Wow, I just read this and I am shocked…. I was at the Dodgers game friday night game and sat a few seats away from him. My son was so excited meeting him and being able to take a picture with him. My thoughts and condolences go out to his family you will be in my prayers

  8. 636566cy

    The passing of Jose Lima is very sad news. He was my oldest son’s first “favorite” player. We would tell people to ask him what time it was because he always answered, “It’s Lima Time!” whenever anyone asked him that year. He even met him and had his picture taken with him at a player appearance that year. I think my son started to fall in love with the game because of Jose Lima. Seems appropriate to me since it was very apparent that Jose loved the game so much too!

    The thoughts and prayers of our whole family go out to his family.


    Was away this weekend and just saw the news about Jose Lima. Josh, I understand your shock as I saw him a couple weeks ago at Dodger Stadium. He was sitting in the dugout boxes behind home plate. I was sitting in the box seats behind that section and noticed Steve Lyons and others kept coming up to a man, giving him hugs and a lot of love. Later he was introduced and it was Lima. He looked fit to me so one just never knows.

    Jose Lima did not have much of a Dodger career but I was lucky enough to be at that playoff game when he went the distance to beat the Cardinals and give the Dodgers their first playoff victory since 1988. His light certainly did shine that night and for that he will always have a place in Dodger lore.

  10. crzblue2

    I was forfunate to watch him pitch at Dodger Stadium, to watch his performance at the Viva Los Dodgers festival, sing the National Anthem and watch that playoff game in 2004. I had written in my rally towel “LIMA TIME” somewhere I have that towel. That night that he won that playoff game in 2004, I was interviewed by KCAL and again by the Spanish chanel 34. What fun times those were.
    Lima would sit by where they have the kiddy korral and sign autographs on days he was not pitching. He always had time to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
    What a great addition he would ahve made to the Dodgers community crew.
    Rest in peace Lima. My thoughs and prayers to your family and close friends.


    I’ve got to comment again on how sad it is to lose Lima at such a young age. We only had him a season, but sure left his mark.
    From the last thread, I think Joe was just thinking out loud about DeWitt. I don’t see how he could send him down. I don’t think he would seriously consider it.

  12. jhallwally

    Very sad to hear about Jose Lima. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Rest in Peace, your indominable spirit and upbeat personality was infectuous and will be missed!!!!!

  13. nellyjune

    Good Evening ITD readers and writers!!!

    All of you are telling some great stories about Jose Lima. Josh – very well done as well. It’s sometimes tragic things like this that bring all baseball fans back to the same page, regardless of our team alliance.

  14. dodgereric

    I would like to add my thoughts, prayers and condolances to the friends and family of Jose Lima. The more one reads of this man who was so full of life, the more one wishes he knew him personally. Josh, your thoughts are very touching and it’s obvious he meant a lot to you. I wish you peace.

    I don’t mean to be inappropriate or vulgar, but I’m truly hoping that it wasn’t steroid use that weakened his heart. I know his name wasn’t on the list of leaked names from the Mitchell Report. It’s just when someone so young dies from something like heart failure, you look for reasons why.

    But sometimes there are no reasons. All we can do is remember him and tell our stories to the young fans that come along. For baseball’s history is second to no other sport.

  15. colliethec

    Josh — as others have mentioned this was a really a nice post by you. I hope you are doing ok with the passing of Lima. Definitely a tough one to accept for all of us.
    I mentioned on a previous thread that I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times and he was always really nice to everyone that was around him. He was one of the plaers I’ve met that really made me appreciate him more after meeting him. He was just having fun with everybody and ironically someone who was so full of life.
    On another note I’ve mentioned an incident where a local high school player here where I live that was hit by a come backer (Similar to the play with HK). He was in extremely grave shape and there was a question to if he would live.
    Here is an updated article on him.

  16. colliethec

    Here there Tru!
    Yes it is. Pretty amazing recovery! Hopefully the surgery goes well and he can fully recover.
    No Phillies in the outfield!! Bring Dre & Matt to the game in Anaheim!!! I mean we want the NL to win don’t we?!!!

  17. trublu4ever

    That’s great news aboout Gunnar, Collie!
    We have to continue our voting for Andre and Matt…..WE DO NOT WANT ALL THOSE PHILLIES IN THE OUTFIELD!!!!!

  18. nellyjune

    ITDFST is now at 1 hour and 1 minute.

    Dodgereric – I think you can start working on a time table for hour #2.

  19. selltheteam

    Furcal is back…
    Meanwhile, back at the ranch… the Brim Reaper has come up with an injury – how did he get it? When did he get it?

  20. nedajerk

    CHICAGO — The Los Angeles Dodgers will go with an 11-man pitching staff for at least a few days after placing struggling reliever George Sherrill on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with what was termed a mid-back strain. The move cleared a roster spot for shortstop Rafael Furcal, who, as expected, was activated from the DL.

    For more coverage of the Dodgers and the complete Los Angeles sports scene, visit »

    Furcal was in the lineup for Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, batting in his customary leadoff spot. He hasn’t played since straining his left hamstring running out a double-play grounder on April 27.

    Sherrill has struggled since the start of spring training to find his proper mechanics, the result of which is that he has a 7.36 ERA through 22 appearances this season. A club spokesman said Sherrill experiences pain between his shoulder blades whenever he extends his back at the end of his delivery.

    The Dodgers could go back to a 12-man pitching staff later in the week. They are afforded the luxury of going with the extra position player now because they won’t need a fifth starter until Friday night at Colorado.

    I knew it and what took so long to lol.

  21. nedajerk

    Albuquerque infielder Chin-Lung Hu went on the AAA disabled list over the weekend with a broken nose, according to the Isotopes. (I was tipped to this by New Mexico Fan via Sons of Steve Garvey.)

    No immediate word on how long Hu, who was OPSing .815 in May, will be out. This could conceivably affect the Dodgers’ roster decisions with regard to Nick Green, though I don’t expect it will.

    Other notes from Albuquerque:

    Tonight’s Reno-Albuquerque matchup pits former Dodger teammates Brett Butler and Tim Wallach against each other as opposing managers.
    Jamie Hoffmann needed a 10th inning Sunday to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. He’s batting .417 during the streak.
    John Lindsey went 4 for 5 to raise his batting average to .434.

  22. nedajerk

    I didn’t know Butler was a manager. To bad Hoffmann and Lindsey are not left handed batter. Can we bring 1 of those 2 up and send Green down but of course he have to clear waiver first.

  23. nedajerk

    Tonight’s lineup: Furcal, Martin, Kemp, Ramirez, Loney, Blake, Paul, DeWitt, Kershaw

    Dang Torre flop Paul with Martin

  24. selltheteam

    The good news is that DeWitt didn’t get sent down. But why was Torre floating that possibility? Just to play with DeWitt’s head? What a load of horse cr&p!

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