Cory Hahn, a paralyzed outfielder, was the very emotional 1,020th overall pick of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft. The Arizona Diamondbacks selected the Arizona State player who was partly paralyzed in a 2011 college game.
Hahn had played only three college games.
On Feb. 20, 2011, he experienced the spinal injury when he smashed his head against the New Mexico Lobos second baseman’s knee during a steal attempt. The horrific accident fractured his C-5 vertebra and left him paralyzed from the middle of the chest downward.
The now 21-year-old Cory Hahn will never play. However, he has returned to college and has worked for two seasons as a student coach for Arizona State’s Sun Devils. He can drive a special vehicle and operate a custom wheelchair, and he has been considered an inspiration because he refuses to give in to despair.
The D-backs President and CEO Derrick Hall personally announced the pick: “The D-backs humbly select, redraft ID number 9577, Hahn, Cory, center fielder, Arizona State University, hometown Corona, California.”
Hall said that Hahn was selected in the 34th round of the draft because of the inspiration he has provided since his comeback from tragedy.
Although Hahn wasn’t able to be present for the live announcement, he had been informed a few days earlier that it was coming. Stuck on a flight during the draft round, he admitted that he slipped into the plane’s lav to check the messages that came pouring in to congratulate him.
The number of the round when he was chosen was especially symbolic because he wore No. 34 at ASU.
Hall added that it isn’t just a gesture. Because of the paralyzed player’s courageous attitude, the team plans to offer Cory Hahn full-time employment with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks draft paralyzed player Cory Hahn on-msn.com/1boLJzI
— msnNOW (@msnNOW) June 10, 2013
I cannot thank the @dbacks enough for what they have done! So humbled and will be forever grateful! So honored to be a diamondback!
— Coryhahn34 (@Coryhahn34) June 9, 2013