Sports is made for feel-good stories. The thrill of victory–especially coming after the agony of defeat–traces its narrative lineage back to the Greeks, at least. Most of what we add to the collective tally of triumph, those things that become indelible, occurs between the lines. The seminal achievements of tennis titan Roger Federer, triple-crown king Miguel Cabrera, or futbol’s magical Lionel Messi always obscure the quieter stories–which sometimes happen off the field of play.
In February 2011, playing in only his second game for Arizona State, the highly touted freshman outfielder Cory Hahn (California’s Mr. Baseball in high school) slid into second base. He never walked again, becoming a C5 quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down. It’s a horrible story, except that Hahn happens to be one of those extraordinary human beings you only hope you might become in his position. He’s since returned to ASU to finish school and he’s become active with charities and on Twitter, where his handle reads: “Inspiring the Uninspired.” Last week, Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks classed up the entire league by drafting Hahn in the 34th round. It was a great symbolic gesture to which Hahn responded with customary enthusiasm and gratitude. “So humbled and will be forever grateful! So honored to be a diamondback!” tweeted Hahn. We’re humbled and grateful to know about Cory Hahn.