July| Vol. 22 No. 8.02 | Christian's Chronicles © 2015 – All rights reserved.
I thought I’d share a story about sports. I have been involved in competitive sports in some fashion ever since my teens. However, I was never drawn to the big 3 mainstream sports that most boys grow up dreaming about, idolizing their favorite players and fantasizing about being like “Mike.” Perhaps that has something to do with having spent a large portion of my childhood in Hungary, oblivious even to the existence of American football and baseball. (Ya think?) If anything, my early childhood idols were the larger-than-life professional wrestlers whom I first saw when our family moved to Austria. Just like those characters, I wanted to bask in the glory of having all eyes on me as my hand is raised in victory, to walk the isle, to be the man, and I knew I’d have to beat the man to do so.
Eventually, I got my chance.
It wasn’t pro wrestling, but I have stepped into rings and cages against opponents that sure as heck seemed to be larger than life. I have competed on numerous pay-per-view events and on several different continents in arenas of all shapes and sizes. I had an insider’s view as a subculture and spectacle became a mainstream sport. I’ve even had the pleasure (yes, pleasure) of being locked inside the Octagon® in the middle of arenas surrounded by the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. Several times. Granted, my athletic career is not one that anyone other than true fight- nerds are likely to remember. But, I’ve walked the isle, I’ve heard my music blasting through the arena, I’ve smelled the pyro and tasted the blood; I have been interviewed and photographed, I’ve signed autographs, I’ve been at the press conferences, and I’ve made it to the after-parties. I may not have won them all, but I won enough of them. It may have been of a different sort – in a different sport – but I have been in the big leagues.
And now, Cory Hahn knows what it’s like to be in the big leagues, too.
Cory Hahn is not a name the average baseball-fan would have likely remembered for his accomplishments in the Major League, until today. He was one of the many faces in the crowd who had a very promising start cut short by injury. Cory Hahn was a top prospect a few years ago, who opted to play in college. Then, he suffered an injury to his spine that left him paralyzed from the chest down and without any realistic hope of making it to the big leagues. One unfortunate collision turned him from top prospect into another broken dream of what could have been.
But as of Saturday, he is a Diamondback in the big leagues.
He was selected in the 34th round of the draft, because he wore #34 in college. No, this was not a miraculous recovery from a debilitating injury, though that may yet happen (and I hope it does). It was a touching gesture from a Major League franchise, but it was more than just symbolic. The Diamondbacks acquired talent of a different type. Hahn is expected to be a full-time employee for the team, which shouldn’t be surprising considering the fact that even paralysis did not keep Cory Hahn from returning to the baseball field to help out his college team as an assistant coach. That kind of determination was bound to be recognized. Now, he is in the big leagues, and he earned it through his own efforts.
As a final note, I should mention that I do not personally know Cory Hahn. I do not follow baseball; heck, I don’t even like it. I merely browsed the news and came across this most unlikely draft pick, and I was deeply moved by it. Sports can be very emotional. I may not know much about baseball, but I know how much is at stake; I know how badly many want to achieve the dream of being in the big leagues, but so few do. Often, it is simply a matter of luck. This is why sport can be so moving – because it is a quintessentially human drama of achievement, potential, and also failure. In any event, I found this story quite inspiring, and humbling. I salute both Cory and the Diamondbacks for making this happen and for exemplifying and paying homage to the deeper meaning of sport and the enduring human spirit.
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