Cory Hahn's playing days are over, but his career in baseball is just beginning.

The 21-year-old from Corona, Calif. was selected in the 34th Round of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft on Saturday, despite being paralyzed from the chest down.

Hahn, who earned the nickname Mr. Baseball in high school, slid headfirst into second base during his third game at Arizona State University when his head collided with the second baseman's knee, causing a burst fracture at the C5 vertebrae and paralyzing Hahn from his chest to his toes.

The Diamondbacks selected Hahn in the 34th Round because he wore No. 34 at ASU.

"It's something that you can't really put into words," Hahn said of being selected. "It was very humbling that they wanted to do this for me. It's something I'll always cherish. No one made them do it, so the fact that they did - I'll be forever thankful."

The announcement came at somewhat of an unfortunate time, as Hahn was miles above the ground when D-backs President and CEO Derrick Hall called out Hahn's name.

He was on his way back from receiving a national college athlete courage award in Jacksonville, Fla. when the D-backs called to let him know their plan. Once the plane reached cruising altitude, Hahn made his way to the bathroom to check his phone.

"I think it vibrated for three or four minutes straight," said Hahn of all the text messages congratulating him on the draft selection.

Derrick Hall made the decision after years of spending time with Hahn and his family, both inside the hospital and out, and realizing that Hahn's paralysis only limited his on-field abilities. Off the field — in the front office and in public motivating others in the paralyzed community — Hall knew Hahn had great potential.

"It's not about us," Hall said. "It's really about Cory and his family. I was able to spend time with them right after the injury in his hospital room and he's a wonderful kid. We want to make this permanent. We don't want this to just be about the selection and him being a draft pick, but about him working in full-time employment with the Diamondbacks and hopefully we'll make that come to fruition for he and his family here soon."

Hahn was originally drafted in the 26th round in the 2010 Draft, by the San Diego Padres, but turned down the opportunity in order to attend college instead. He and his freshman roommate, Trevor Williams, passed time at ASU imagining the prospect of getting drafted.

"I remember we were like, 'Three years from now, we'll both be first-rounders, let's make sure it happens,'" Williams, who the Marlins took 44th overall on Thursday, told "It's crazy how life works sometimes, though."

Hahn has since been equipped with a specialized van to accommodate his limited movement, along with undergoing hours of physical therapy. He constantly maintains the belief that one day he will walk again. He can move his arms but has limited movement in his hands.

Spinal cord injuries range in severity depending on how high the injured vertebrae sit on the spine. Cervical vertebrae, the eight bones at the top of the spinal cord, result in the most limited movement when injured. C1 and C2 injuries can cause severe respiratory problems due to the absence of muscle contraction in the diaphragm, and as a result, most people who suffer complete lesions at these levels die at the scene of their accident.

Yet despite his C5 fracture, Cory Hahn stays resilient, knowing his physical impairment does not reflect his mental capabilities. In making the plans to hire him, Hall, too, recognizes Hahn's determination to succeed, particularly in the sport of baseball.

"That's been the goal of mine," Hahn said. "Now that I'm not playing anymore, I've had a lot of time to think about what I want to do, and I want to stay in baseball. I still want to be involved in the game, so the front office is ideal."

"That injury couldn't have happened to a better person. If it would've happened to anyone else, it would've been the death of them," Williams added. "There's no doubt Cory still gets upset about it, but he's got the willpower to persevere through it. He's just very full of life and he enjoys making other people happy."