Skip to content

Iraq veteran who lost his leg tried out for the Dodgers

Mar 1, 2013, 8:30 AM EDT

dodgers logo

Daniel “Doc” Jacobs already made history. He was the first amputee to return to active duty in the Navy (see update below) going so after an IED explosion in Iraq took his lower left leg and led to 50 surgeries. Yesterday he did something else that was pretty impressive: he tried out for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It was an open tryout, and Jacobs participated after being encouraged to do so by Tommy Lasorda, who Jacobs met at a disabled veterans event last year. The result, reports the Long Beach Press-Telegram were not unlike anyone else’s at this sort of thing:

Unless you were looking closely at his left leg, Jacobs’ tryout was indistinguishable from most. He fielded a pair of ground balls cleanly but long-hopped both throws. A backhand was hit to his right side, but it went under his glove and rolled onto the outfield grass. Another backhand met Jacobs’ glove cleanly, but he short-hopped that throw.

Sadly, that’s not good enough for the big leagues, but since Jacobs said he was there for the experience, we can safely call this a success.

A photo montage of Jacobs’ tryouts can be seen here.

UPDATE: A reader corrects the story from the Press-Telegram, noting that Jacobs was not the first amputee to return to active duty in the Navy. That honor goes to Master Chief Carl Brashear:

In 1967, a year after an injury onboard the salvage ship Hoist cost him his left leg, Brashear became the first Navy diver to be restored to full active duty as an amputee.

The more you know.

  1. liquidgrammar - Mar 1, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    This is the coolest story I’ve seen in a very long time!!!! I hope he makes it at whatever he tries to do!!

  2. dan1111 - Mar 1, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    Very cool. That said, I can’t believe you can post it without mentioning Pete Gray.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Gray

    • richarddebarry - Mar 1, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      Pete Gray but not Jim Abbott?

      • deepstblu - Mar 1, 2013 at 12:09 PM

        Don’t forget Monty Stratton.

    • tracyhudsonateyourbaby - Mar 3, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      Or Bert Shepard

  3. historiophiliac - Mar 1, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    This isn’t really baseball related, but if you want to read an excellent tribute to vets (of the non-cheesy, non-knee-jerk patriotism variety), pick up The Best Is None Too Good by Ralph G. Martin. Martin recently passed, FYI. It’s a substantive treatment of vets re-integrating to civilian life after WW2 — some left disabled by the war, like Jacobs here.

  4. jcmeyer10 - Mar 1, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Makes me feel like a bum.

  5. mrfloydpink - Mar 1, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    “He fielded a pair of ground balls cleanly but long-hopped both throws. A backhand was hit to his right side, but it went under his glove and rolled onto the outfield grass. Another backhand met Jacobs’ glove cleanly, but he short-hopped that throw. Sadly, that’s not good enough for the big leagues,”

    Uh, Derek Jeter would like a word with you…

  6. takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Mar 1, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Great story, but nowhere near the first amputee to return to active duty.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Brashear

  7. hojo20 - Mar 1, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    How about Three Finger Brown?

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Ace-killer Giants do it again
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. M. Bumgarner (3171)
  2. J. Shields (2778)
  3. T. Ishikawa (2679)
  4. T. Lincecum (2070)
  5. M. Morse (1973)
  1. Y. Cespedes (1936)
  2. L. Cain (1853)
  3. B. Posey (1721)
  4. B. Roberts (1549)
  5. A. Wainwright (1520)