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.