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Michael and Pamela Kelsey of Kelsey's Jewelry in Bemidji are pictured with Jim Morris, whose late-career rise to Major League Baseball led to the filming of "The Rookie," starring Dennis Quaid. Morris was the keynote speaker at the Independent Jewelers Organization's semiannual conference, which the Kelseys attended in National Harbor, Md. Submitted Photo

Kelseys attend jewelers' conference, meet Morris

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Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Michael and Pamela Kelsey of Kelsey's Jewelry in Bemidji recently attended the semiannual conference of the Independent Jewelers Organization in National Harbor, Md.

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The keynote speaker was Jim Morris, whose late-career rise to Major League Baseball led to the filming of "The Rookie," starring Dennis Quaid. Morris spent one-on-one time with IJO members after the program.

Morris was a first-round draft pick in 1984, but his dream to reach the majors was derailed by a series of debilitating arm injuries. He went on to get a college degree, marry, raise a family of three and become a high school science teacher and baseball coach.

At the age of 35, 11 years after retiring from minor league baseball, he made a deal with his high school team: if the team won its division championship, he would try out with the first major league team that came through town. The team fulfilled its end of the bargain, and at his major league tryout, Morris threw 12 consecutive pitches at 98 mph. He was immediately signed and went on to pitch two seasons in the major leagues.

"It was a delight having Jim speak to our members and there were well over 1,000 present to hear his message," said IJO President Jeff Roberts. "We put a lot of effort into getting speakers that will have a powerful impact on our members, and Jim was right up there with the best of the best."

IJO is the world's largest jewelry buying group, and Kelsey's is the area's exclusive member.

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Pioneer staff reports
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