Daniel Jacobs chose joining the military over going to college to play baseball, and even though he lost his leg in Iraq after a bomb exploded under his Humvee in 2006, Jacobs finally got his second chance to play ball.
The Los Angeles Dodgers asked Jacobs, known as “Doc,” to be one of the 80 people invited to open tryouts at the team’s spring training. The Dodgers tweeted a picture of Jacobs taking infield practice, his prosthetic leg buried firmly in the dirt as he lowered himself to scoop a ground ball.
It was quite a comeback for Daniel Jacobs since losing his leg in combat. The bomb that took his leg was buried in a road in Ramadi, Iraq, Corpsman.com reported. When it went off, it ripped through his body, leading doctors to have to amputate his left leg below the knee.
Jacobs had only been in Iraq for a few weeks when the blast took place. He joined an infantry unit when another corpsman couldn’t deploy. After enduring 50 surgeries on his foot, leg, and hands, Jacobs was actually declared “fit for duty” by the Army.
MLB reported that the Dodgers didn’t sign any of the players that came to the open tryout, but Daniel Jacobs seemed happy just to get the chance to get back on the field after losing his leg.
“I want to thank the Dodgers for allowing me to come out here, especially Mr. Lasorda for inviting me out. Uh, he’s an awesome guy,” Jacobs told 570 AM’s Dodger Talk. “The Dodgers organization is amazing. And I met Tommy through the California Disabled Veterans Business Alliance’s Veteran’s Day breakfast and that’s what he asked me if I wanted to come out.
And the story didn’t end there for Daniel Jacobs. The Dodgers asked the veteran to throw out the first pitch before the team’s game with the Los Angeles Angels.