As a sports fan, it’s always shocking when one of the players you followed dies, and even more shocking when they are still young with, what many would assume, a full life ahead of them.
Today, we’re shocked and saddened to announce that one of the brightest characters in all sports has died.
Former Major League pitcher Jose Lima, 37, was found in cardiac arrest Sunday morning. He was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Lima’s wife Dorca Astacio said the cause of death was ruled a heart attack.
Lima wasn’t the best player in baseball, he had a career record of 89-102 and played for five different major league teams, but he was one of those guys you couldn’t help but root for whenever you saw him.
A fun loving man with an infectious laugh, Lima brought life and happiness with him wherever he went.
"He could dance, he could sing, but his best gift of all was that he was an extremely happy person," Astros owner Drayton McLane said in a statement. "He just lit up our clubhouse with his personality, which was his greatest asset. Jose was not shortchanged in life in any way. He lived life to the fullest every day."
Those sentiments were echoed by his former coach Tony Pena, who coached Lima with Kansas City and Aguilas Cibaenas.
"A lot of folks thought he was crazy, but Lima was an innate competitor," Pena said. "When Lima was on the mound, he would refuse to give the ball away until the game was over. I have lost a son."
An all-star selection in 1999, when he won 21 games that season, Jose Lima was a solid player who just brought an energy to all around him and his passing will be greatly mourned.
"We are shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Jose Lima," Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said in the release. "Though he was taken from us way too soon, he truly lived his life to the fullest and his personality was simply unforgettable. He had the ability to light up a room and that’s exactly what he did every time I saw him."
R.I.P. Jose Lima, you will be missed and you will be remembered.