An anecdote that ran seven years ago in my column about the colorful 37 year-old baseball star’s flirtation then with the Cowtown’s much-ballyhooed jazz legacy.
Lima checked out unexpectedly Sunday after a massive heart attack.
Return with me now to late August of 2003 when Lima was rocking it with the Royals:
About Royals star Jose Lima’s recent singing “audition” at Plaza jazz joint Jardine’s …the item began.
“Lima was outstanding,’ ” says Jardine’s honcho Beena Brandsgard. “You would not believe this guy. He’s a showman. And he is hot right now. This town just loves him. Some of my staff were just like groupies.”
Just one problem.
“He does like Latin jazz,” Brandsgard says. “He sang about four songs, but he wanted to do more – he wanted to do a whole set. But our band was a standard jazz band and didn’t know the songs he wanted to do. We need to get some Latin musicians to back him up.”
To that end, Brandsgard is going all out to arrange a public performance on one of those rare Royals off-days in late September or early October.
“I’ve got a band that comes in once a month that would be perfect for him,” she says. “So I’m checking to see if we can get them for Lima Time at Jardine’s.”
One possible future wild card:
“Angel Berroa was supposed to merengue dance while (Lima) was singing,” Brandsgard says. “But he didn’t come.”
Maybe next time.
Lima never followed through with further performances, Brandsgard says.
As seems the case with baseball, when it came to performing jazz, Lima was more show than go.
“He was OK,” Brandsgard says. “I remember it being fun. Some of the Royals came, mostly coaches. I mean, he really wanted to do it – he was going to shake it up, so I let him.”