Wounded in Iraq, Navy vet didn’t give up baseball dream

Navy Petty Officer Daniel Jacobs talks about his experiences in Iraq at the Comprehensive Combat Casualty Care Center at the Naval Medical Center, San Diego, on March 28, 2007, in San Diego. AP Photo/Denis Poroy.

Daniel Jacobs was a long shot at the Detroit Tigers spring training camp this spring. For one thing, the Tigers are stacked. For another, he’s 29 years old. Oh, and he also doesn’t have a leg; he lost it to a roadside bomb in Iraq.

“Whatever they tell me I can’t do, that just fuels my fire,” Jacobs said. “Once you get something in your mind, you’re pretty determined and you just go for it.”

He says he tried out for the Tigers yesterday to be an example for other wounded vets.

“I would love to make it, even if it’s just playing a Rookie league game or whatever, just to help out whatever I could,” Jacobs tells MLB.com. “If not, then hey, I’m out here playing baseball in Florida, right?”

“Last night, an 84-year-old amputee emailed me and asked me about prosthetics. He wants to get out and play tennis again — an 84-year-old who just had his leg amputated. That’s what it’s all about to me, getting out and getting my story out there and just trying to provide any assistance I can.”

He got his try-out yesterday after the Tigers officials read about his dream in the San Diego Union-Tribune.