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Prep baseball: Vikings slugger makes impact

Valencia senior will represent hospitalized child in showcase

Posted: November 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: November 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Hassan Saleh, 9, who has a heart muscle disease known as cardiomyopathy and is awaiting a transplant, with his mother Liliana gets a visit from Valencia baseball catcher Brian Mundell at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on Tuesday. Mundell, one of the top 150 baseball prospects in the U.S., will represent CHLA and baseball fan Saleh in the upcoming Home Runs That Help Power Showcase, a home run and skills competition in Phoenix on Dec. 27-29. Hassan Saleh, 9, who has a heart muscle disease known as cardiomyopathy and is awaiting a transplant, with his mother Liliana gets a visit from Valencia baseball catcher Brian Mundell at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on Tuesday. Mundell, one of the top 150 baseball prospects in the U.S., will represent CHLA and baseball fan Saleh in the upcoming Home Runs That Help Power Showcase, a home run and skills competition in Phoenix on Dec. 27-29.
Hassan Saleh, 9, who has a heart muscle disease known as cardiomyopathy and is awaiting a transplant, with his mother Liliana gets a visit from Valencia baseball catcher Brian Mundell at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on Tuesday. Mundell, one of the top 150 baseball prospects in the U.S., will represent CHLA and baseball fan Saleh in the upcoming Home Runs That Help Power Showcase, a home run and skills competition in Phoenix on Dec. 27-29.
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Valencia High baseball player Brian Mundell said he can’t cure cancer or a heart disease, but he can put a smile on a hospitalized kid’s face.

On Tuesday, the senior catcher/first baseman visited Children’s Hospital Los Angeles representing high school baseball showcase company Power Showcase.

Mundell is rated as one of the top 150 baseball prospects in the United States by Power Showcase, and because of that he was selected to participate in the sixth annual Home Runs That Help Power Showcase — a Dec. 27-29 event at Phoenix’s Chase Field that includes a wood bat and aluminum bat home run derby and Pro Scout Day, which will feature a game in front of Major League Baseball scouts.

Mundell’s Valencia High teammate Trey Williams will also participate in the events.

But Mundell, a 17-year-old slugger, was chosen to visit Children’s Hospital and one patient in particular.

As part of the home run derby, he will be representing 9-year-old Hassan Saleh, a patient at CHLA who has a heart muscle disease known as cardiomyopathy and is awaiting a transplant.

“Going down and seeing Hassan, what he’s been through, what he’ll have to go through and how excited he was to meet me — even though he is sick, he can still have a smile on his face,” Mundell said.

The All-Foothill League and All-Santa Clarita Valley player who batted .410 and hit four home runs last year said the hospital visit resonated with him.

He noticed Saleh light up when cameras shot off around him, like he was a star.

And though Mundell isn’t a professional baseball player, he said Saleh was excited to see the high school star.

“It doesn’t have to be a Major League player or college player — just to take time away from the day and talk baseball and to show that not just nurses and parents care about him (meant a lot),” Mundell said.

The Valencia High senior will be hitting at Chase Field with a picture of Saleh on the scoreboard.

For every home run he hits, Mundell said $50 will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Saleh wants him to hit 10.

Mundell, who has batted before at Dodger and Angel Stadium just wants to hit at least a couple out at the picturesque home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The view from the batter’s box includes a pool in right field, a 25-foot high wall in center field and a restaurant in left field.

Both Mundell and Williams are right-handed hitters, so the pool might be out of the question.

“It would be pretty exciting, but I don’t know if I could get one in the pool,” Williams said. “But maybe sooner or later.”

Nonetheless, they’ll have a rare opportunity for a high school baseball player.

Mundell, a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo commit, and Williams, a Pepperdine commit, could make impacts in front of representatives for Major League teams.

Mundell has already made a different kind of impact.

“It means the world to me, not just to represent Hassan, but to represent Make-A-Wish Foundation,” Mundell said.

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