BLABE

Yuma Sun - - SUN SPORTS -

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.

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