“It’s better to burn out than to fade away” – Neil Young
Life is fleeting. I was reminded of that yesterday with the news of Jose Lima’s passing away at age 37 from a heart attack. It was eerie to me because I just saw him at the Dodgers game on Friday night. He was in the crowd, sitting above the Dodgers dugout, and they showed a little video tribute to him on the big screen and he got up to salute the crowd. This pic is from that night. My boyfriend Dave was with me at the game because it was Star Wars night (post on that coming soon) and he asked me who that was, and I recalled this story for him.
In the 2004 Division Series, I scrambled for a ticket off craigslist and made my way alone to Dodger Stadium to see the Cardinals take on the Dodgers. The Cardinals were leading the series 2-0, and I was hoping to see the Dodgers get swept that day. But Jose Lima took the mound and it was indeed “Lima Time.” He pitched 5 shut-out innings, and the Dodgers lived to see another day (promptly losing the next game, and the Cardinals advanced). Even though I was unhappy with the outcome of the game, I couldn’t help but be dazzled by Lima’s pitching clinic. I was also impressed by the passion and energy he brought to the game. He got Dodger stadium on fire like I’d never seen it before. The rally towels were swirling, creating a tornado effect as you looked around the stands. The LA crowd can be somewhat laidback, but they weren’t that day. And Lima was the biggest cheerleader on the mound, firing up the crowd and feeding off their energy.
Thanks for the memories, Jose. My memory of that game is so vivid I can’t believe it was six years ago. My condolences to your friends and family.