Jose Lima, ex-Dodgers pitcher was 37

jose-lima-stadium.jpgLima died today at home in Pasadena, reportedly of a heart attack. A native of the Dominican Republic, Lima won 89 games in thirteen seasons as a pitcher, including in 2004 the Dodgers' first port-season win in more than a decade. Lima played for the Dodgers just one year, but "Lima time" became a popular meme around the team for that season. He had rejoined the organization in the past month with the Dodger Alumni Association, receiving a nice welcome from the fans when he was introduced at Friday night's game. A team statement on Sunday said he was "preparing to open a youth baseball academy this summer in Los Angeles to help teach the game he loved to youngsters." Also from the statement:

Though he played just one season for the Dodgers, Lima etched his name in team lore when he made the club as a non-roster invitee following Spring Training of 2004 and went 13-5 during the regular season, leading the Dodgers to their first National League West Division Championship since 1995.

The Dominican-born right-hander further endeared himself to fans when he sang the National Anthem prior to a home game at Dodger Stadium in 2004 and performed with his band at the Dodgers’ annual Viva Los Dodgers celebration.

In the National League Division Series that year, Lima pitched a complete game, five-hit shutout in Game 3 at Dodger Stadium, giving the team its first postseason victory since 1988.

At major league stadiums today, the Dominican players sound especially stunned and saddened. Lima leaves a wife, Dorca Astacio. Funeral arrangements are pending. ESPN, ESPNdeportes, LAT

Place of death updated

Photo from Friday night's game: Jon SooHoo

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