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In honoring and paying respects to Jose Lima, The Baseball Project has written and recorded "Lima Time!" as a celebration of the former major league pitcher's love of life and baseball.

"He was one of those players that had some success, but also really struggled a lot," The Baseball Project's Scott McCaughey said via e-mail last week. "It's not such an unusual story. I guess what made it unusual was his obvious love of the game, and the way I imagine he reminded those whom he played with to enjoy themselves."

Lima, 37, died May 23 after suffering a heart attack at his home in Pasadena, Calif. Between 1994 and 2006 he was 89-102 in 13 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets.

The baseball world mourned the gregarious Lima, who called his pitching assignments "Lima Time" and sang in a band. McCaughey, who wrote the "Lima Time!" lyrics, said the pitcher's spirit reminded him of colorful characters from baseball's past about whom the Baseball Project wrote in many songs from its first album, "Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails."

"There aren't as many wacked characters in baseball today. I mean, in some ways I suppose that's a good thing, as the pressure to live a clean, athletic life is much greater," McCaughey said. "So there's less rampant alcohol abuse and such, something that I'm sure added to the 'character' of ballplayers of the past. I guess you could put Lima in the category of someone like Mark Fidrych, and I miss guys like that. Not so coincidentally, we've recorded a fine Fidrych tribute for the next Baseball Project album."

"Lima Time!" is the fourth in a season-long series of songs The Baseball Project is giving away free, exclusively at "The Life" on ESPN.com.

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from Broadside Ballads, released March 9, 2010

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tags: rock Seattle

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