John Stratton called Jaime “the best pitching prospect to come out of Yuma since 1980.” Tall praise for someone that maybe stood 5-foot-5. Jaime had an 89 mph fastball and pinpoint control. Or maybe praise from former Yuma High baseball coach Chris Magdaleno, who witnessed how truly great Jaime was on the mound. Magdaleno, who was one of Jaime’s mentors, recalled that Jaime went 18-3 at Yuma High, being selected to the All-State team two years in a row, as well as All-Arizona (the best of all classes 1A-5A) two years in a row.
Enough stats for now, let’s talk about Jaime, the man. He came from San Luis Rio Colorado when he was a junior in high school. He mastered the English language quickly, as well as the understanding that success in school leads to success in life. Every coach from Yuma High to AWC to Brigham Young University said the same thing about Jaime: great student, focused and with a plan.
Jaime knew the value of a college degree, but Jaime, the man, was one who others were always drawn to. The consensus opinion was he was a quiet leader, maybe put best by his coach at BYU, Gary Pullins.
“The absolute majesty of this little guy is the story in and of itself,” Pullins said. “I have never seen a player acquire more friends in a short period of time.”
Magdaleno said Jaime was a leader by example, not words. He was a leader that gave encouragement and advice individually and quietly. Magdaleno said “he made everybody out there a better person.”
Jaime’s life was baseball — 24/7, 365 days a year. After his pitching career was over, he dedicated his life to teaching the game to others. There isn’t a league in Yuma that he didn’t coach in. There wasn’t a kid in Yuma who he didn’t want to teach the game to. Jaime was smart enough to seek Yuma’s baseball guru, the late Jack Watson, for constant advice. Jaime lived and breathed the game of baseball, and by gosh, he got a lot of it.
Jaime probably would be embarrassed about what I’m writing about him, but that’s too bad, he deserved more than an article. There is one thing I’m sure of, Coach Jaime and Coach Watson are sitting on the bench in heaven deciding whether they are going to bunt or steal with a runner on first base and no one out.