"A lot of memories," Hank Conger said, riveted on the action. "We were one game short of making it to Williamsport in 2000. We got beat by Hazeldale, Washington, 3-2, in the regionals in San Bernardino. I was 5-6, 5-7 and 180 pounds. I played shortstop and pitched. Hit 33 homers in 38 games."
When teammate Mark Trumbo arched an eyebrow, Conger said, "Dude, I was humongous when I was 12."
Conger, whose father was forced to change occupations when he refused to stop coaching his son's Little League team, had come close to reaching Williamsport a few years earlier. He remained with his team, the Reds, even though travel ball was starting to take off at the time.
"I really wanted a chance to go all the way like this year's team," Conger said. "Last year's team also missed by a game. They came to see us [at Angel Stadium]. I've met some of the kids in camps."
Soon after Little League, Conger gave up shortstop and the mound for a catcher's responsibilities. The Angels' first-round Draft pick in 2006 out of Huntington Beach High School, the switch-hitter is the team's third catcher, hoping to make a few more memories down the stretch.