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Newark Bears News Speaks with Mayís Fan Club Player of the Month, Jose Lima!

 

Newark Bears News caught up with Jose Lima, the Newark Bears Fan Club Player of the Month for May 2003, before a recent game.

 

Newark Bears News:  

Jose, are you having fun playing with the Bears?

Jose Lima:

Yeah, it's been great.  I can't complain.

 

NBN:

What do you like about it?

JL:

The way [the fans] are with me, itís been a great welcome.  The fans behind the dugout, ďLima time,Ē people chanting, ďcímon Lima, you can do it!Ē -- itís a great feeling!

NBN:

What drew you to baseball in the first place?
JL: My father motivated me.  Itís great Ö a good sport.

NBN:

How do you prepare for games -- do you have any rituals, nutritional things, mental or physical exercises before a game?
JL: There are so many things that I do -- the main thing is my music, I play my music before I start.

NBN:

What kind of music?
JL: Merengue.

NBN:

Any good luck charms?
JL: This one here [tucked under my uniform] -- my mom gave it to me -- the mother Mary and Jesus Christ Ö I never take it off.

NBN:

In your experience, what creates the most teamwork and comraderie amongst players on a baseball team?
JL: [With the Astros], 25 guys, unique, they love to win.  I mean you could see, every time they walked through the door, they were winners, they were like warriors.  That was one thing that got to me Ö it rubbed off on me, it was a great feeling, coming to the ballpark and knowing that regardless of what happened on the field, it was going to be a good game.

NBN:

Whoís been your favorite manager Ö and why?
JL: Sparky [Anderson, with Detroit] Ö my first year.  He knows the game.  And heís tough.  He doesnít second-guess.  Heís a guy who can win by his instincts, thatís why he won so many games with the Reds and Detroit, [including] the World Series.  He knows the games Ö the rules, and thatís one thing I respect about him.

NBN:

What are your fondest memories of the game so far in your career?
JL: Definitely, the All-Star Game [1999], I got to shake Ted Williamsí hand.  It was unbelievable!  I was scared, too, I was shaking!

NBN:

Think he could hit off you?
JL: Pretty much, I think so!

NBN:

Between the time you got into the majors and now, what would you say has been the biggest change in the game?
JL: A lot of things Ö  now you can get fined for anything!  I heard that some ground crew got thrown out of the game for yelling at the umpires!

NBN:

What advice do you give to your Bears teammates about getting to the majors?
JL: A lot of hard work, donít give up on yourself, look to the man upstairs -- without Him, you wonít go anywhere. Having faith in your career, having faith in yourself, and knowing that you can do it, forget about all the negative stuff, just focus and do the best you can,  and good things will come your way.

NBN:

You think all these guys have a shot?
JL:  I hope so.  Itís a great group of guys here.  And having Rickey here, itís gonna be great [for the guys].

NBN:

What do you do in the off-season?
JL: I spend some time with my son in Houston, play a lot of golf, and then by November I go to the Dominican Republic and play in the winter.

NBN:

Whatís the biggest difference you saw between the American League and the National League?
JL: The strike zone in the American League is [smaller] than in the National League.  [In the National League,] you can get away with hitters.  You only have 7 good hitters, then 8 and 9, you put the pitcher in the 9th [position], and you have a chance to get an inning without any trouble.

NBN:

We see that you hit 2 doubles, twice in your MLB careerÖ.
JL: Iím a great bunter ...  My biggest thing was to make sure [Iíd get] a bunt down when I had a guy on first or second base.  Hitting with 2 out maybe was a different story,  I swing all the time, I like to swing!  Iím surprised you havenít seen me out here taking batting practice!

NBN:

Maybe weíll see you as a pinch hitter some day?
JL: I hope so!

NBN:

 Are you named after somebody?
JL: Yes, it was the president of the Dominican Republic Ö not the same last name but the first two names, Jose Desiderio.
NBN: Thank you very much, Jose, we love having you here!

    

 
 

Jose Lima Links

 

Jose's Newark Bears News page

Joseís MLB statistics (baseball-reference.com)

1999 All-Star Game Box Score (Baseball Almanac)

Profile of Sparky Anderson, Joseís manager in Detroit, 1994-1995 (BaseballLibrary.com)

About Josť Desiderio Valverde Mallol, 6th president of the Dominican Republic (El Caribe Digital)

 

Newark Bears News thanks The Newark Bears Professional Baseball Club, Inc. for facilitating access to Mr. Lima for this interview.

Reprints of this interview are available from Newark Bears News Click here to request one.

 

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