There are moments in time where sports takes a backburner and life takes center stage.
Unfortunately, Major League Baseball has had its share of losses in terms of players dying way too young.
Especially in the past decade.
Today, we’re going to quickly take a look at a trio of former Houston Astros stars—as well as leaders, teammates, and fan favorites—whose legends will live on forever.
Regardless of their final bows here on earth...
Darryl Kile—a loving father, husband, teammate, and baseball player—was taken from us way too soon.
Kile made a mark on the game.
Both on and off the field of play.
And there wasn’t a single set of dry eyes at Kile’s televised memorial service (including my own—I admittedly broke down hearing the words of his family and friends while wiping tears from my eyes), as former Houston Astros teammates Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio stood and talked about their fallen star.
Kile loved life.
He loved the game of baseball.
And he loved everything that came along with being a professional athlete—handling it all with a humble heart.
Kile’s legacy will live on—in the moments, minds, and memories of America’s pastime and beyond—and he will never be forgotten.
DK 57, we’ll see you in heaven...
Career Stats: 133-119, 4.12 ERA, 1,668 strikeouts.
Played for three MLB teams: Houston Astros (1991-1997), Colorado Rockies (1998-1999), St. Louis Cardinals (2000-2002).
The sports world can be a cruel place for a reality check.
Ken Caminiti is another former Houston Astros player who died way too young.
And he likely also died over things he could control—and a topic of discussion that still rings true in MLB today—in steroid use.
Caminiti admitted to using steroids and other human growth hormone injections while he was playing in the majors.
He was also, admittedly, a heavy user of street drugs such as cocaine.
And unfortunately, he paid the ultimate price with his life.
The cause of death for Caminiti was listed as accidental overdose—and he tested positive for cocaine just days before his death.
Yes, Caminiti will be missed.
But his passing also signifies what we all should already know: Steroid use absolutely causes future problems, and overdosing on cocaine almost always leads to death.
Career Stats: .272 batting average, 239 home runs, 983 runs batted in.
Played for four MLB teams: Houston Astros (1987-1994), San Diego Padres (1995-1998), Houston Astros (1999-2000), Texas Rangers (2001), Atlanta Braves (2001).
Jose Lima’s death was an untimely one.
And a devastating one as well.
Lima loved life—possibly as much as, if not more than, anyone that has ever set foot on this planet.
His motto, “Lima Time,” was with him and evident everywhere he went—and for whatever team he represented.
From his first year as a professional pitcher with Detroit, through his All-Star times in Houston, to his final days in the majors with the New York Mets—Lima, and his love of the game, will never be forgotten.
The cause of Lima’s death, at least at this time, is being listed as a heart attack.
Lima’s wife told the media that her husband was complaining of chest pains in the night, but she thought he was just having nightmares—and by the time paramedics arrived, there was nothing they could do to save the former MLB pitcher.
Lima was a one-of-a-kind type of guy.
Who knows when—if ever—we’ll see another personality like Lima’s.
One thing is certain: “Lima Time” will live on forever…
Career Stats: 89-102, 5.26 ERA, 980 strikeouts.
Played for five MLB teams: Detroit Tigers (1994-1996), Houston Astros (1997-2001), Detroit Tigers (2001-2002), Kansas City Royals (2003), Los Angeles Dodgers (2004), Kansas City Royals (2005), New York Mets (2006).
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org