Angels All-Star slugger Mark Trumbo can fly a ballpoint over a Rawlings baseball for an autograph in about two seconds. It takes Cory Hahn about two minutes.
Signing an autograph has become somewhat of an athletic feat in itself for Hahn, 21, the former Mater Dei All-America baseball player who was paralyzed from the neck down in a February 2011 base-stealing collision at Arizona State.
The signature requires strength, balance, concentration and practice, using a ballpoint pen intertwined between his left fingers and a right fist bracing the ball against his lap.
Nobody's timing this writing exercise, except maybe Hahn himself, the drill sergeant behind his own recovery, always pushing himself to move a little more than he did the day before.
Hahn visited the Orangethorpe Avenue headquarters of Trinity Bat Company on Thursday to autograph about a dozen baseballs and bats. The items will be auctioned off at the second Trinity Bat Company Home Run Derby that is being held on Saturday at Mater Dei to raise donations for the Cory Hahn Fund that assists his rehabilitation.
At last year's event, which raised more than $3,000, Hahn needed the help of his father, Dale, to sign autographs for fans. Watching Hahn write his name over the curved cowhide unassisted these days marks his progress.
"I've had so much encouragement and support along the way," said Hahn, who will drive from ASU to attend Saturday's fundraiser.
Trumbo, the 2012 All-Star Game Home Run Derby contestant and former Villa Park High star, is among the 18 major and minor league ballplayers with local ties who will attend or compete in the event that begins with the high school round at 10 a.m. and the pros at noon, with finals set to start around 2 p.m.
Players sign on to help Hahn
Orange County Register | Jan 9