Former Arizona State outfielder Cory Hahn’s journey following paralyzation suffered during his freshman season with the Sun Devils has added another touching layer.  

As noted by multiple outlets, the Arizona Diamondbacks drafted Hahn in the 34th round of the 2013 MLB draft on Saturday, 1,020th overall. Hahn was eligible for the draft this year because it was his third removed from high school.

Derrick Hall, Arizona’s President and CEO, confirmed the news on his personal Twitter account:

Hahn tweeted out his appreciation later Saturday night:

The former Sun Devil being drafted in the 34th round was not a coincidence. As noted by Dan Bickley of AZCentral, Hahn wore No. 34 during his short time with the Sun Devils: 

Following the selection, there were many on Twitter who reached out and showed their support for the Diamondbacks’ gesture. Utility player Willie Bloomquist congratulated Arizona on its move: 

Tim Healey, the director of broadcast operations for Arizona State radio, echoed Bloomquist‘s sentiment, using the word of the day—classy:

A breakout star at the hallowed Mater Dei High School in California, Hahn always expected to be on a professional baseball roster one day. He was the state of California’s Mr. Baseball for the 2010 year, batting .411 and dominating on the mound to the tune of a 14-1 record. Following that campaign, he was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 26th round.

But Hahn had always wanted to go to school, so he turned down being a professional. It was a decision that would fundamentally alter his life forever.

In just his third game with the Sun Devils, Hahn reached first base during the first inning of a game against New Mexico. The coaching staff called for a double steal, and as Hahn slid headfirst into the bag, he collided with second baseman Kyle Stiner

The impact of the collision caused a freak accident, leaving Hahn with a broken neck. He was taken into emergency surgery, but the prognosis was dire

According to the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke, the Arizona State outfielder became a C5 quadriplegic, meaning he was paralyzed from the chest down. While he had limited use of his hands, it looked like Hahn’s time on the baseball diamond was finished.

It became quite clear that Hahn would not succumb to his fate. As noted in a profile from January by Fox Sports West’s Rayshaun Haylock, Hahn went hard to work, putting the same vigor with which he once played the game into his recovery.

He made small progresses, returning to Arizona State last year to pursue his business degree. Even without the ability to walk on the diamond to help his team, Hahn contributed another way—as an assistant coach. 

Though the journey is still one of small progresses—Hahn is still unable to walk and his progress going forward is still up in the air—Arizona’s decision to draft him is a big step. On Hahn’s Twitter page, his tag line is “Inspiring the Uninspired.”

Having finally realized his dream of being a major league draftee, Hahn’s dream to inspire continues to come true. 


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