Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tribute to 2006 Topps - Jose Lima

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As long as I am of able mind, I will always remember four things about Jose Lima:

1) He had two genuinely great years for the Astros

2) Following his two genuinely great years for the Astros, he proclaimed:

"This year gon' be LIMA TIME"

The result: 6.65 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 48 HR allowed

3) He was involved in a rather public lawsuit

4) Back in 2004, toward the end of his career, he pitched an absolutely transcendent, mind-blowing game against the Cardinals in the NLCS. Backs against the wall, facing elimination, he kept the Dodgers alive with a 4-0 complete game shutout against an absurdly dominant Cardinals lineup that included:

1. Tony Womack (.307 AVG)
2. Larry Walker (143 OPS+)
3. Albert Pujols (172 OPS+)
4. Scott Rolen (157 OPS+)
5. Jim Edmonds (170 OPS+)
6. Edgar Renteria (.287 AVG)
7. Reggie Sanders (22 HR)
8. Mike Matheny

It was laughable to think Lima even had a chance that night, and he knew it himself. But he absolutely carved them up, and was out of his mind, dancing around on the mound, scowling, pointing up at the sky -- and it was fantastic. This wasn't like watching Manny Ramirez pimp a home run -- this was like watching the underdog stick it to the man.

Even as a passive Cardinals fan at the time, I got caught up in moment and was rooting for Lima anyway. It was too fun to resist. I remember talking to my dad about the game later (I was in college at the time) and we both marveled at how awesome Lima had been that night. And we both knew it would probably never happen again.

The tribute card of Jose Lima featured above is a tip of the cap to Paul from "Paul's Random Stuff" blog. It is part of the Reader Request series. For his card, Paul picked 2006 Topps and Jose Lima (as a Met). The reason? Topps didn't bother to make their own card of Lima that year! Which is too bad. While not a very good pitcher at that point in his career, he was still widely recognized and would have been a moderately sought after common card.

Hope you enjoy!

6 comments:

  1. Lima was the only highlight for the Dodgers in the 2004 postseason. Great performance. I still have it recorded somewhere. Thanks for mentioning that moment in his career.

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  2. That's great. I'm surprised that you could even find a picture of him in a Mets uni since he only apperared in four games with them.

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  3. Speaking of Lima, I had to repost this comment that I put on Paul's page.

    I love this little story:
    one Royals employee went to the Dominican to scout some games or whatever. And in the middle of the day, he hears someone call his name. He turns around and it’s Jose Lima … WEARING A FULL ROYALS UNIFORM. Everything. Pants. Socks. The whole bit. During the offseason. In the middle of the day. In the Dominican Republic.

    You can read the whole thing here:
    http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2008/09/07/the-brief-wondrous-life-of-angel-berroa/

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  4. You're right Z, it was tough to find a picture of Lima in a Mets uniform. Short of stealing directly from another card, I had about 3 legitimate choices!

    Love the story about Lima, too. Ended up being quite a story about Angel, too. I'm actually kind of surprised Dayton shipped him out of town. He sort of has an infatuation with low OBP guys.

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