While Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft is all about organizations bolstering their farm systems with the most-talented high school and college prospects the country has to offer, with up to 40 rounds of selections, sometimes a team can afford to make a pick for a far different reason.
And as the Arizona Diamondbacks illustrated this weekend, sometimes that reason is far more important than winning or losing.
On February 20, 2011, just three games into his college career at Arizona State, outfielder Cory Hahn suffered a devastating spinal cord injury while trying to steal second base against New Mexico — an injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down.
Although the injury cut short Hahn’s baseball career, the former All-American remained an integral part of the Sun Devils’ program, serving as a student coach the past two seasons.
To honor Hahn as he continues to courageously fight in the face of unspeakable adversity, the D-backs selected him with their 34th-round pick on Saturday.
While at ASU, Hahn wore the No. 34.
“It was a very emotional selection for us to make,” D-backs team president Derrick Hall said. “When Ray Montgomery and his staff came up with the idea and presented it to me, it was a no-brainer. It’s not about us, it’s really about Cory and his family.
“I was able to spend time with Cory and his family right after the accident, right after the injury in his hospital room. He’s a wonderful kid. We want to make this permanent. We don’t want to make this just about the selection of him being a draft pick, but about working here full-time employment with the Diamondbacks.”
Sunday, Hahn responded to the news of his selection with a post on his
So humbled by what the Arizona Diamondbacks have done for me! Words cannot describe the emotions going on for me and my family. Honored to be a Diamondback! Also thank you to everyone for the kind words and support, having everyone in my corner throughout this journey has got me to where I am today and will continue to help me move forward!