Jose Lima, a right-hand pitcher who was a 20-game winner and an All-Star during a 13-year major league career, died Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers said. He was 37.
Lima, who won 13 games with the Dodgers in 2004, died of an apparent heart attack, according to the Aguilas Cibaenas, a winter ball team that Lima had played for in the Dominican Republic.
"Lima was an exceptional man. This is a great loss for Dominican baseball and the country," Llenas said.
Referring to his often colorful outings as "Lima Time," Lima posted his best season in 1999 when he was selected to the All-Star game as a Houston Astro. He went 21-10 in 35 starts with a 3.58 ERA for the NL Central champion Astros.
In 13 major league seasons, the native of the Dominican Republic was 89-102 with a 5.26 ERA. He hadn't pitched in the major leagues since a four-game stop with the New York Mets in 2006.
"He was a man full of life, without apparent physical problems and with many plans and projects on the agenda," his wife, Dorca Astacio, told ESPNdeportes.com.
Lima went 46-42 with the Astros between 1997-2001, and he was a 20-game winner and an All-Star with the Houston team.
With the Dodgers in 2004 and 2005, Lima had a record of 13-5, with a 4.07 ERA. In the 2004 National League Division Series, Lima pitched a 5-hit shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals in front of a sell-out crowd at Dodger Stadium. It was the Dodgers first postseason win since Game 5 of the 1988 World Series.
He also spent two stints with Detroit and Kansas City.
"This is a shock for us because Lima was a young man who seemed healthy and nobody imagined this," said Tomas Jimenez, manager of the Aguilas Cibaenas.