After ASU baseball freshman Cory Hahn received unthinkable news regarding his spine, his love for the sport propelled him forward and allowed him to aid others with similar injuries.
“When you’re sitting there and the doctor says you’re never going to walk again, you’re never going to drive again, you won’t have an independent life again, go back to school, be a kid, it is shocking,” Hahn said.
That was in 2011, and since then Hahn, has conquered all of those obstacles except for walking. He rejoined Arizona State’s baseball team as a player-coach while he went to school. The Arizona Diamondbacks wanted to hire him, so they drafted him in Round 34 of the MLB Draft after he graduated. He wore the number 34 when he played his final game.
More from Devils in Detail
- Sun Devils Primer: Game 2 vs Oklahoma State
- Sun Devil Insight: Quarterback Room
- Arizona State Spotlight: Kenny Dillingham
- Arizona State 2023 Season Opener: Off To A Good Start
- Arizona State vs USC Prediction and Promo (Expect Offensive Fireworks)
Hahn is now a scout for Arizona, and is thrilled with his position and continued involvement in the game.
“When I got hurt eight years ago, the scariest thing about my life was that I lost my identity,” Hahn said. “When I was welcomed back by ASU and ASU baseball specifically, [to] be a part of that and then latch on to the Diamondbacks, to see them see value in me as an asset for the organization is an amazing feeling.
“It was motivation to keep pushing forward for me stay in this game. I may not be playing, but I’m doing the next best thing to stay in it.”
Now, Hahn, along with his close friend and former teammate Trevor Williams (now with the Pittsburgh Pirates), is looking to improve the lives of others with spinal cord injuries.
The two started “Project 34”, a charity that assists in buying medical supplies for those who cannot afford it and offers grants to those in need of physical therapy in order to ease the financial stress that comes with medical issues like this, according to the website.
“Dingers in the Desert” was the organization’s first event, which took place this past Saturday at ASU’s Phoenix Municipal Stadium. The event consisted of home run derbies with junior competitions, including current Sun Devils Spencer Torkelson and Carter Aldrete competing against each other, and then an eight-man derby with MLB and MiLB players. ESPN’s Pedro Gomez was the on-field host.
The 2018 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, Torkelson defeated his teammate 19 home runs to nine in three rounds. However, his involvement meant more than bragging rights in the clubhouse.
“I was excited and honored to be a part of this event,” the sophomore said. “It is a beautiful story. Tragedy happened, but he [Hahn] pulled it together got a group of people and is making a difference.”
In the main event, headlined by Philadelphia Phillies’ infielder Scott Kingery and Chicago White Sox third baseman Matt Davidson, Red Sox prospect Bobby Dalbec rose victorious. Baseballs flew out of the stadium, especially when Dalbec and D.J. Peterson (White Sox organization) used metal bats in the exciting final round.
Those who attended the event received a great show while providing contributions to Project 34.
“It’s something I hope the fans look forward to every offseason and I hope to grow this to be greater than it was tonight,” Williams said. “We’re looking to expand to all 30 teams in the big leagues. We just want to help out as many people as we can and the best way to do that is by having 30 different representatives and the next best is with fun.
“For ASU, to help and support is great on them. The Sun Devil brotherhood is alive and thick.”
All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.