"I don't have goals. People always ask how many bases I think I can steal. I don't think about numbers. I just think about winning games. If I get better every year I play, then I'm doing fine. If I steal one more base than I did last year, that's fine. I'm still learning. I suppose I wouldn't mind being Kirby Puckett. Doing the things he does."
"Are there any goals outside of baseball?"
"I wanted to buy my parents a house. That was my first goal when I signed a contract. I did it. My mother now lives back in the country, where she grew up, less than a block from where she went to school. My father's retired. All of the kids are gone. I just want my parents to sit down and enjoy themselves. They earned it. Everyone still goes to my folks' house on Sundays and holidays and just about anytime. There's always somebody visiting. And when we play in Atlanta? It's like a family holiday. I need as many tickets as I can find. I get up at the plate in Atlanta, and I hear my family cheering. That's how many there are."
"It's quite a family."
"My grandmother's alive. She just turned 91, in terrific health. She always called me 'my special child.' Now she can hold my son. He's five months old. His name is D'Monte."
(There will be other stories in the future, no doubt. Stories about Grissom. About the Expos. None will be nicer than this one, because this is the beginning. Everything is clean. Everything is new. How are you? Who are you? There is no dance like the first dance. The sad truth is that this year's surprise invariably becomes next year's favorite, and life becomes far more complex. Especially in the 1990s in professional sports. Especially in baseball. The additions of money and fame are subtractions of innocence. This is the Expos' time. This is Grissom's time. They are this year's freshest faces. Enjoy them now. They can never be the same again.)
"I don't know why my mother named me Marquis," Grissom says. "I guess she had used up all the familiar names by the time she got to me. I guess she had to move to French. I'm going to have to ask her the next time I see her."
"You've never asked?"
"I'm going to have to now. People want to know."