BRADENTON (KDKA) — Trevor Williams is coming off his best season on the field last year, but he is also coming off his best season off the field as well.
Williams switched his jersey number from 57 to 34 last year for a big reason…his college roommate Cory Hahn.
“Really good friend that I grew up playing baseball with,” Williams said. “We went to Arizona State together. Unfortunately, broke his neck our freshman year in 2011 at Arizona State, slide in a second base he suffered can see five vertebrae.”
The number 34 is more than just digits on a jersey for Williams. It has become a mission.
“When were you really impact that you said, I need to do something. As soon as it happened to put my baseball career in perspective, with Project 34 we asked, What is the greater good to come out of this tragedy because we’re human and we we might not see the impact of this in our lifetime but it’s such a tragedy where we hope that project three four becomes greater good. Is it helps somebody who’s in a really dark place. When the rehab process and they see big leaguers come there and form a relationship and it helps them out of that dark place. That might be the greater good to come out of it, I knew there needed to be something because it made a direct impact on my wife. Cory was my roommate one day and then for six months he wasn’t there anymore, and it was an empty room, and he had an empty room of his own in the hospital room. And I just knew that. Corey had a great support system from not only from his family but just friends and teammates, and we both knew that a lot of people weren’t as fortunate.”
Project 34’s goal is to help however it can, whether it is financial or emotional. Williams has seen it first hand how it impacted people’s lives.
“We don’t do it to be warm and fuzzy we just, we do it because mean we know there’s a need, and we know a lot of lives can be impacted.”
Williams knows how much Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier’s injury impacted Pittsburgh and remembers vividly watching when it happened.
“I want to meet him and I want to let them know that you know where we’re building the spinal cord injury community throughout the United States, we had, we had a great event last year in Pittsburgh and the community in Pittsburgh is awesome,” Williams said. “And they’re in my corner I’m in their corner, and I would love for him to, and I’m sure he has I don’t know what he’s what he’s doing, but I’m sure he’s, he’s met some people through the process, but I’d love to, you know, connect the dots and shake his hand and give him a big hug.”
Like Shazier, Williams and Project 34 have both provided inspiration and hope to many people.
“I’m constantly reminded every time that I put the uniform on, especially with the number 34 that I’m reminded of. He would love to be in the position that I’m in on a baseball field.”
Williams had a home run derby this off season to help raise funds. He is also selling Project 34 T-shirts on his website. All proceeds go directly to his foundation.