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Young Hank Conger

Good job, America.

Young Hank Conger is more of a lil’ Hank Conger.

Young & Lil’ Hank Conger knows that locally sourced, humanely procured bacon is good for him, and he diligently crayons letters of appreciation to his regional pork farmers every weekday morning before batting practice. He does this with a sincere and informed jubilance that puts certain insidious Dodge Ram commercials to shame (to say the least).

Young & Lil’ Hank Conger doesn’t just see gloriously billowing American flags in every blue sky under which he plays ball, he places them there with the brushstrokes that are his swing.

Young & Lil’ Hank Conger may take his at-bats from the precipice of the luxury boxes, but his heart pumps the dirt of the infield through his young and lil’ arteries.

Young & Lil’ Hank Conger’s hands were calloused from birth, though he grips the bat as tenderly as he gripped his dying dog’s paw. Young & Lil’ Hank Conger redraws on himself a Bic tattoo of Willie the Shih Tzu as often as it needs to be redrawn.

Young & Lil’ Hank Conger wears “athletic causal” better than any coach under whom he has ever studied. In fact, he already does all things-baseball better than any coach under whom he has ever studied.

Young & Lil’ Hank Conger’s smile at once reflects the pleasures of the baseball, and the impatience of genius. His teeth are clenched at the photographer who knows not how to frame a simple portrait; but the twinkle of the Major Leagues is already uncontrollably in his eyes.

Still, Young & Lil’ Hank Conger is eager to help carry your groceries, should you be his mother or father, or any little old man or little old woman. To offer him payment in return for such help is an insult. Though he would accept payment in bubble gum or Mike & Ike’s, maybe.

And Young & Lil’ Hank Conger has tote bags of baseball books that he carries with him, every day, to and from school, to and from practice. He cannot sleep well but on a mattress of a baseball books and equipment.