There have been two great Spring Breaks in my life. Both involved baseball, sex, warm weather, and some level of danger. Let me tell you a little about the first. When I was twelve years old, I had to stand up in front of class on a cold wintry day in March and talk about what I did on Spring Break. Growing up relatively poor in Indiana, I didn’t get to go on Spring Break like the other kids. So, I made up the following story:
“Last week for Spring Break, my family went to Vero Beach to watch the Dodgers at spring training. My dad is a Dodgers fan, but I love the Reds. They played one game against each other during the week and the Reds won 5-2. I met Tommy Lasorda, got a bat signed by Johnny Bench, and two college girls showed me their breasts. Life will be pretty much be downhill from here.” After taking a few moments to compose herself, my teacher sent me to the principal’s office.
I wasn’t really sure what she was upset about, the made-up story or the breasts. Turns out it was mostly the breasts and at twelve years old, I learned a valuable lesson. Most people get squeamish when you talk about breasts. This is even more perplexing because women go to such great lengths to highlight, enhance, and draw focus to them. Doesn’t matter. My advice to you is glance, do not stare, and never discuss. Keep that in mind or society will shun you.
As for the speech, I was able to negotiate a compromise. I got a B+ by agreeing to serve after-school detention and promise to never again reference the body parts that must not be named in public places in the Bible Belt. The B+ came from my pointing out that the speech was supposed to entertain and inform and I had done both with aplomb, if I do say so myself. I learned I had negotiating skills that later would serve me well in my chosen profession: baseball artifacts dealer.
My name is Jonathan Quick and I am the proprietor and founder of Quick Baseball Artifacts. I deal mostly in baseball, as that is my specialty, but I’ve been known to throw in a football or basketball relic from time to time.
Many of the things I search for are things that wind up in museums —or have been stolen from them. Or, they wind up in the private collections of wealthy baseball fans. These are the things for which people will pay top dollar. And if they don’t feel like paying top dollar, they will steal, kill, and occasionally do other depraved things to acquire them. I’m sure you’re wondering if I’ve stolen, killed or done depraved things to get my hands on a piece of baseball history. The answer to that is very complicated. In the strictest sense of the word, yes I have. But you have to understand that it was all in the name of restoring some important artifact to its rightful place: its true owner or a museum. You could say that I’m sort of an “off the books” employee of certain famous sports museums that would prefer my efforts on their behalf remain discreet.
As for the sex, well these things can’t be avoided in my line of work. Sometimes the best way to get to the secret basement with the hoard of artifacts is through the bedroom. That is one of many reasons you won’t find my name listed as an employee of any reputable museum. I have a slightly depraved approach to curating.
You’re probably wondering about that second greatest Spring Break by now. Did it come in college along with some tales of drunken debauchery in Florida or South Padre Island? No. Was it a fishing adventure off the coast of Southern California? No. Did it involve exotic women in some foreign country? Sadly, no. My second greatest Spring Break happened in Phoenix and involved murder, grumpy old men, sports auctions, and various leisurely entanglements with members of the opposite sex. Some of my closest companions (some of whom you will meet very soon) might say that I just described my usual day-to-day existence —minus the grumpy old men. However, it was that group of old retired ballplayers that makes this story so entertaining. The fact that it happened mostly at spring training makes it all the more worth telling. You see in my line of work, the story of how an item is obtained can be just a fascinating as the item itself. And this tale begins with a suicide and a pair of pants.
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