Sunday, June 9, 2013

Pro Baseball - I Love My Diamondbacks!

Let me start off this post by clarifying ... I'm not exactly an Arizona Diamondbacks fan. I have nothing against them, but they're not my team of choice. So why title this entry as though they are my boys? Well ...

I lived in Phoenix for 7 years in my younger days, right around when the D-Backs began their inaugural season. In the Valley (that's what us Phoenix people call it), there was an ever-present media campaign to push the new team and ballpark. Everywhere you went, you could hear and see the catch phrase "I Love My Diamondbacks!" That's actually rather irrelevant to the nature of this post, but everyone likes a good back story.

The real reason I'm loving the D-Backs right now is for an incredible display of humanitarianism earlier this week. During the annual MLB Draft, Arizona selected outfielder Cory Hahn from Arizona State University in the 34th round. This, by itself, doesn't seem significant (other than asking yourself why in the world there are 34 rounds in a player draft). However, there is a big reason this selection is special: Hahn is paralyzed from the chest down. Hahn was, at one point, a top Major League prospect while in high school who likely could have gone straight into a contract after graduating. Instead, he chose to attend college, a rare decision for an 18 year old with outstanding potential. Unfortunately for him, he was injured in just his third collegiate game while sliding head first into second base and colliding with the defender. My point is obviously not that a budding sports star skip college ... rather I am impressed that a professional sports team actually took the time to do something good in a landscape of sports negativity.

Now, other sports teams have done similar publicity stunts in the past with the idea of making money and generating positive press. But this time, I actually think there's a genuine intention behind the move. First off, the D-Backs spent enough time planning this pick to conveniently select Hahn in the 34th round ... the same number that he wore at Arizona State. Second, and more importantly, the Diamondbacks intend to actually employee the young man. While Hahn will not be able to pursue his dreams on the diamond, it looks like he'll still be wearing D-Backs colors in a "real job" working for the club.

Kudos to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a job well done. And best of luck to Cory Hahn as he begins his career in Major League Baseball, even if he's not wearing a glove and cap while he does it. Sometimes dreams do come true in the most unlikely ways possible ...

- Fishy

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