A U.S. soldier who lost a leg, two toes and two fingertips after being hit by a homemade bomb in Iraq, is getting his own baseball card and Upper Deck says there will be more such cards to come.
Daniel “Doc” Jacobs was honored for his service with a Dodgers tryout and meet and greet with Tommy Lasorda on February 28. Photos were taken and this past Saturday Upper Deck presented him with the card as Lasorda looked on.
“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, sports marketing manager for Upper Deck. “We worked in concert with our great partners at Operation Gratitude and the charity Doc co-founded, VETSports, to make it happen. We couldn’t be more excited to give patriotic Americans the opportunity to collect inspiration. This is the beginning of a larger program we will be unveiling soon working in unison with Operation Gratitude and VETSports to show the brave men and women in uniform how much Upper Deck appreciates their service.”
“Growing up you always dream of seeing yourself on a baseball card so I am very appreciative of this honor,” said Doc Jacobs, co-founder of VETSports. “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.”
“He’s a hero,” said Lasorda. ”A lot of youngsters have baseball players as their heroes. One of a man who’s given his leg and toes and hands and everything, deserves a card. And a lot of people would like to have his card.”
Upper Deck unveiled the trading card at Operation Gratitude Headquarters during an “Assembly Day” in front of several hundred volunteers gathered there putting together care packages for members of the military around the world. Both Jacobs and Lasorda wrote personalized thank you cards to troops while they visited with volunteers. This seemed the appropriate venue to share this special announcement and Upper Deck surprised Jacobs with more than just the appearance from Tommy Lasorda. Upper Deck says LeBron James was so moved by Jacob’s story he autographed a Goodwin Champions promotional poster for him. It included the following special inscription from the three-time NBA MVP:
“Doc Jacobs, You are an inspiration to us all! Best Wishes!!!”
Goodwin’s Champions will be released July 9.