Conger’s night at the Epicenter

It was a great idea at the time, but when plans didn’t quite work out perfectly, the Quakes made the best of a tough situation.

In the off-season, they had planned on a Korean-American night. The occasion was that the Quakes were expected to have catcher Hank Conger on the roster. Conger, a second-generation Korean, is reported to be the first Korean-American to be drafted in baseball. And to top it off, Conger is from Southern California (Huntington Beach High School), and was a first-round draft pick and is the Angels’ No. 4 prospect.

But Conger injured his shoulder in spring training and has not played yet this season. So the Quakes got permission to fly him in for last Saturday’s game. Conger signed autographs (which he couldn’t have done if he was playing) and there was Korean food and dance at the game.

“It was important that I be here,” Conger said. “I get a lot of letters from people saying that I inspire them.”

As of Saturday, Conger hadn’t caught in any extended spring training games, but he had served as designated hitter. There is no timetable for his return, but it might not be until the second half before he joins the Quakes.

“It’s great to come here and see what this is like,” he said.

Well done by everybody to make sure it worked out.