Cory Hahn could have been a professional baseball player right out of high school. In 2010, at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, California, he had a .411 batting average and also pitched a 14-1 record. He was also named “Mr. Baseball,” as the state’s best high school player of the year.
But Hahn skipped going pro in favor of a college education, a lifelong goal. He attended Arizona State, and joined the baseball team there. Tragically, in just his second game with the team in 2011, he collided with the second basemen while trying to steal second base and suffered a spinal injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
That was the end of Hahn’s baseball career, but not the end of his baseball story. In early June, Major League Baseball had its annual player draft. With the 1,020th overall pick, in the 34th round, the Arizona Diamondbacks drafted Hahn. It’s significant not just for the Arizona connection, but because Hahn wore #34 at Arizona State. And while it may have been a nice gesture, it wasn’t an empty gesture. Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall promised Hahn a job in the team’s front office or as a talent scout, should he want it, upon his graduation.