Daniel "Doc" Jacobs is a veteran of the war in Iraq who recently got an open tryout with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Purple Heart recipient didn't make the team, but Upper Deck is commemorating the hero by including a special Doc Jacobs baseball card in 2013 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions.
Jacobs lost one of his legs and sustained other major foot and hand injuries after an IED explosion in 2006. Since then, he has undergone more than 50 surgeries. He is also the co-founder of VETSports, a non-profit dedicated to using adapted sports in the rehabilitation of injured veterans.
Last year, Jacobs met Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda, who encouraged the veteran to chase his dream of playing baseball and try out for the team. Jacobs did just that this spring.
"Growing up you always dream of seeing yourself on a baseball card so I am very appreciative of this honor," said Jacobs. "What really excited me about this opportunity however was Upper Deck's willingness to use this card to help bring awareness to VETSports and veterans as a whole. It is important to me to shine a light on all the positive things veterans are capable of doing when they return home and I hope I am just a small example of that to others."
"When we heard about Doc’s story, we immediately said to ourselves, 'Now that’s a baseball player we need to make a trading card for,'" said Chris Carlin, Upper Deck's sports marketing manager.
A total of 100 autographed Doc Jacobs Heroic Inspirations cards will be inserted in 2013 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions packs. The set is scheduled for release in early July.
The announcement of the card was made at Operation Gratitude, a group who sends care packages to deployed military personnel, their children and veterans. Both Jacobs and Lasorda were on hand to write personalized thank you cards and visit with volunteers. Upper Deck presented Jacobs with a poster signed by LeBron James that was inscribed, "Doc Jacobs, You are an inspiration to us all! Best wishes!!!"