Cory Hahn, a former Santa Ana Mater Dei outfielder paralyzed during his freshman season at Arizona State, was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 34th round of the MLB amateur draft on Saturday.
The selection produced expressions of gratitude and respect from many.
Hahn wore No. 34 when he played, so it was a symbolic tribute by the Diamondbacks to select Hahn at that moment.
Hahn, who was paralyzed from the chest down in 2011 during his freshman year with the Sun Devils while sliding head first into second base, took to Twitter.
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
Hahn, 21, has stayed active in the community, helping coach at Arizona State the last two seasons and raising funds for various organizations.
Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall said it was an “emotional selection” for the club.
“When [scouting director] Ray Montgomery and his staff came up with the idea and presented it to me, it was a no-brainer,” Hall told Associated Press. “It’s not about us. It’s really about Cory and his family.
“I was able to spend time with them right after the injury in his hospital room and he’s a wonderful kid. We want to make this permanent. We don’t want this to just be about the selection and him being a draft pick, but about him working in full-time employment with the Diamondbacks and hopefully we’ll make that come to fruition for he and his family here soon.”