Tigers mourn Jose Lima's death

Sports 792 Hits > 2010-05-30 17:10:41

Jose Lima
Jose Lima as 'such a great person'

Miguel Tejada

is often touted as a "high energy" ballplayer, but the Orioles third baseman said he learned from the best, his former Dominican Winter League teammate and ex-big league pitcher

Jose Lima


When Lima died Sunday of a massive

heart attack

at age 37, Tejada was crestfallen.

"He was the happiest guy you'd ever see. He always had energy. He was always happy, he was never mad," said Tejada, who played several seasons with Lima for Aguilas, a DWL power. "And that's why we all hurt. I feel so sorry for his family to lose such a great person."

A funeral service for Lima was originally scheduled for Thursday in New York, and Tejada was planning to leave Baltimore after Wednesday night's game against the

Oakland Athletics

, pay his respects Thursday morning and travel back to

Camden Yards

for Thursday's series finale.

But because of paperwork complications, Lima's New York service was pushed back to Friday. With the Orioles flying to Toronto after Thursday's game, Tejada said he wouldn't be able to make the funeral. Instead, his brother and father will represent the Tejadas at Lima's funeral Saturday in the Dominican Republic.

"My family will be there, and we will try to be as supportive as we can for his family," Tejada said.

Lima won 89 games in a 13-season major league career and represented the

Houston Astros

in the 1999 All-Star Game. He was known for his effervescent personality, his boasts of "Lima Time" when he pitched and his popularity in the Dominican.

"It's like something that can happen to someone my age, to us, to anybody," said Tejada, 36. "He had been a healthy man, and his heart gave [out] in one moment. And our whole country is feeling pain to lose him."

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