Many people know Trevor Williams as a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, Williams’ most important work has him teamed up with Cory Hahn on Project 34 to make an impact off of the field.
Williams and Project 34 president Hahn, played college baseball at Arizona State University. They were teammates, roommates and close friends. He was there when Hahn suffered a spinal cord injury while sliding into second base during a game in the 2011 season.
The number “34.” carries great significance, as it was Cory’s number at ASU. One way that Williams has chosen to pay homage to his friend is by wearing the number every time he takes the field.
“Last offseason, I changed to 34. I made a promise to Cory. If I got called up and had the opportunity, I would change my number to 34. The opportunity presented itself, we had a guy who wasn’t on the team anymore, so I swooped in and took his number. I’m constantly reminded every time that I put on that jersey of him and those that are going through spinal cord injuries,” said Williams.
Hahn’s injury changed his life and those around him, including Williams. Together, with the team at Project 34, they’re working for the greater good of those that have suffered spinal cord injuries.
“When he was injured we didn’t know what was going to become of it. His life changed forever. So did mine. So did the people that were around him at the time. As we got older and started climbing up the ranks, we’re starting to see that we have the ability to help people that have gone through spinal cord injuries. We try to see the greater good come out of his injury and Project 34 is one percent of that greater good,” Williams said.
Project 34 held it’s inaugural event this past weekend at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, the home of ASU baseball. The event received strong support from the baseball and Phoenix communities.
“It was awesome. As far as expectations go, we didn’t know what to expect. We knew this had the potential of becoming a great event. We had an awesome turn out. We had a lot of people there that were really excited about the event. It was a lot of people’s first time going to a home run derby. They could see how exciting it is being up close and personal to big leaguers hitting home runs,” said Williams.
With a successful inaugural event under their belts. The Project 34 Team is taking things that they’ve learned to make next year’s fundraiser even better.
“It was a great inaugural event. There’s a lot that we learned moving forward. As we make this an annual event, we’re going to take what we learned this past Saturday and carry it forward. We know that this event is going to be our main fundraiser. It’s going to be awesome for years to come,” Williams said.
Project 34 is a 501c3 non-profit organization and you can get involved by visiting their website.