PHOENIX -- D-backs team president/CEO Derrick Hall said he got choked up and scouting director Deric Ladnier said there wasn't a dry eye in the Arizona Draft room when scouting assistant Cory Hahn announced the team's 34th-round pick on Wednesday.
That's because the D-backs recently decided to name its annual 34th-round pick the "Cory Hahn 34th pick." It is believed to be the first time a Major League team has named a pick after someone.
Hahn was a freshman baseball player at Arizona State who had his career cut short on Feb. 20, 2011, when he fractured the C5 vertebrae in his neck and was paralyzed from the chest down while sliding headfirst into second on a stolen-base attempt.
Hahn wore No. 34 with Arizona State, and the D-backs made him their 34th-round pick in 2013. Once he graduated in 2014, the organization hired him to work in its baseball-operations department.
"I remember June 9, 2013, like it was just yesterday," Hall said of the day the team selected Hahn. "That was one of the most special picks we ever made. With that we wanted to make sure that we could do something more for him. He's been so special to our organization and he's worked so hard on this Draft that it was just in our opinion the perfect gift for him, but also for us. It's a way to always remember and commemorate his spirit, his character and to remind everyone why he was such a good pick for the D-backs."
Last fall, Hahn completed Major League Baseball's scouting school, and he has thrown himself into front-office work with the same tenacity he approached playing baseball.
"It's very humbling," Hahn said of the D-backs' decision to name a pick after him. "It's something that I'm going to cherish for the rest of my life. It's hard to put into words what it means because it's something that's never been done before and it's something the Diamondbacks didn't have to do. It just shows what kind of organization we are as a group, and I'm very, very lucky to be working for them."
With the first "Cory Hahn 34th pick" the D-backs selected Arizona State senior outfielder Jake Peevyhouse.
"Jake's a guy that I've been able to watch play for four years now at Arizona State," Hahn said. "He's a guy that every day he laces them up he's going to give you everything he's got. On top of that, he's got huge makeup. The kid is a good kid and he's going to be a guy that's going to thrive in our system. He's a guy that will represent you well and play his heart out each and every day."
That certainly sounds a lot like Hall's description of what Hahn brings to the D-backs.
"He can spot talent," Hall said. "He's got great contacts everywhere. He belongs here and he's done a great job. This was not a token offering to Cory. We would not have hired him if we didn't think he was going to contribute to the organization and it's paid off because he's been everything we thought he'd be and more."