Cory Hahn, the Arizona State University baseball player who became paralyzed on a headfirst slide into second base during a game last spring, visited Dodgers spring training on Thursday as a guest of Andre Ethier, another former Sun Devils player who Hahn says was one of the first people to visit him in the hospital after his injury and has remained in touch ever since.
Hahn, who grew up in Orange County, is back to attending classes on campus at ASU. At first, his father, Dale, went with him. Now, Dale drops him off.
"He gives me a ride, and I take it from there,'' said Cory Hahn, who is majoring in business. "One day, I just decided to do it myself and see what happened.''
Hahn, who uses a wheelchair, said attitude has been a huge part of his recovery.
"It definitely is,'' Hahn said, as he watched several Dodgers take batting practice on the main back field with Dale standing beside him. "It's the key component. Coming from a baseball background, I always worked hard. I have to have a positive outlook on this. If you have a poor attitude, you refuse to work out and do your rehab and you never get better.''
Hahn and his father were allowed to sit in on the annual Dodgers Idol competition in the clubhouse before today's workout, something the team has been doing in spring training the past few years that features performances by first-time big league campers while veterans look on. The contest was won by Scott Rice, a non-roster left-hander who played guitar and sang a song he wrote about reliever Kenley Jansen.
"That was awesome,'' Hahn said. "It was cool to see the rookies have fun and the veterans laughing. It really loosened up the clubhouse.''