José Lima Dies of Heart Attack

José Lima, the journeyman pitcher whose "Lima Time" routine as a closer was often a nerve-racking ride for fans, died today at 37 of a massive heart attack, ESPN Deportes reports. Translated from that article:

⇥The pitcher Jose Lima died of a massive heart attack early Sunday at his home in Los Angeles, California, his family informed ESPNdeportes.com.⇥⇥

⇥"Joseph complained in his sleep, thought he had a nightmare. I called the paramedics, but could do nothing," said Dorca Astacio, Lima's wife.⇥⇥⇥⇥

Lima had been out of the major leagues since 2006, but played in Korea, the Golden Baseball League, and in the Dominican Winter League. His 89-102 record and 5.26 career ERA aren't sparkling, but Lima was always a cult hero, for his boisterous celebrations and often baffling effectiveness. Fantasy baseball guru Ron Shandler took his name for the LIMA Plan, a famous fantasy strategy, and Deadspin's Lima archive can tell you a few things about what he's done since baseball.

And between a five-hit playoff shutout and a memorable national anthem performance, Lima made his mark on baseball in the stadium, too. It's sad to know that Lima Time is finally over, but it's sweet that a journeyman major leaguer will be remembered as fondly as Lima is already being remembered.

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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