Perhaps Brian Menkin of Reseda High should be counted among the extraordinary in Ripley's Believe It or Not.
Menkin, who is batting .671, has led the area--from Lancaster to Ojai and everywhere in between--in hitting since the season began. Yet college recruiters and professional scouts have stayed away.
"It's discouraging, but that's just motivation for me," Menkin said. "I take it as a slap in the face, but if nobody wants to believe what I'm doing, well, then that's their loss.
"I have no control over that. I'm just going to go out and play my game."
And that's exactly what Menkin has done all year and will try to continue to do today at 3 p.m. against Poly in a City Section 4-A Division quarterfinal playoff game.
Menkin, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior, attributes his success this season to off-season weight training.
"I put on some weight over the summer and a lot of the balls that used to sink into people's gloves are now going over their heads and finding holes," he said.
Most of Menkin's time is spent on the mound or behind the plate. But he can play anywhere, Coach Mike Stone said. In a game early in the season, Menkin played second base, third base, shortstop and center field. If Stone had nine Menkins, he might just have a City contender.
"He deserves all the accolades he gets," Stone said.
Offensively, Menkin, who has 47 hits in 70 at-bats, is just as irreplaceable. He has belted 13 doubles and has 20 runs batted in. A four-year starter at Reseda, Menkin has improved every season, especially as a catcher.
"I think definitely he is the best defensive catcher in the Valley," Stone said.
Still, Menkin's friends continue to challenge the legitimacy of his average.
"Yeah, everybody says that . . . all my friends," Menkin said. "And then they come out and watch and I prove it to them.
"Besides, they're just jealous."