LOS ANGELES--()--Seven years ago on Feb. 25, 2006, Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Daniel “Doc” Jacobs was in a Marine Humvee in Ramadi, Iraq when an IED exploded beneath him killing the Marine with him and shattering his own body. He lost his left leg below the knee and suffered serious hand and foot injuries as well. Jacobs underwent more than 50 surgeries but ultimately was found to be “fit for duty” and returned to an infantry unit. That was history in the making.
“He can hit major league pitching. I have seen it first hand”
A believer that nothing is impossible, Jacobs, through will and work-out, had become the first such amputee to return to active duty.
Recently discharged, he came home with his injuries and medals and continued his physical pursuits including a bike ride between LA and San Francisco, the Detroit marathon and helping organize and playing on a disabled veteran baseball team.
Before following his father and grandfather by enlisting, Jacobs had been a promising ball player with the dream of some day having a shot at a major league team.
That horrible day in Iraq is the memory; his new opportunity is the dream. When they say “Batter Up!” at the Dodgers’ spring training in Arizona, Jacobs will be in the batter’s box being measured only by his ability as a ballplayer.
Last year, he met Dodger legend Tommy Lasorda at a California Disabled Veterans Business Alliance meeting and shared his dream. Tommy invited him if he was really up to it. “He can hit major league pitching. I have seen it first hand,” says former Angels star pitcher Justin Speier and one of Doc’s good friends.
Rich Dryden, Executive Director of the California Disabled Veterans Business Alliance, which develops a wide range of opportunities for the special disabled vets, said, “I hope Doc’s remarkable inspiring story gets as much attention as the tragedies we hear so much about.”