Jose Lima, the pitcher, is best remembered for his stellar season in 1999.
He won 21 games, led the majors in starts (35), made his lone All Star appearance and finished fourth in the Cy Young Award voting.
Lima faced the Cubs four times during the season, going 3-1. He lasted 7.1 innings on two occasions, eight innings another, and lastly five innings, never allowing more than three earned runs.
On August 6 at Wrigley Field Lima won his 15th game followed by his 20th victory a few weeks later against the Cubs on September 11.
Chicago bested Lima just once, the first time they faced him, winning by a narrow 2-1 margin on April 8. Lima, however, pitched well enough for the win…seven strikeouts, five hits and two runs, both via the long ball to Henry Rodriguez & Jose Hernandez.
Can’t say that I was in love with ‘Lima Time’ during the ’99 season, his antics too colorful for my purest tastes. But like many baseball fans, he grew on me…winning me over with his celebratory fist pumps, animated mound dances and passion for the game.
His passing, unfortunately, brings all those memories back to life…reminding us what a special player and person Jose Lima was to the game of baseball. And quite simply, that’s what ‘Lima Time’ is all about.