Daniel "Doc" Jacobs, the Purple Heart Recipient and Double Amputee Who Had a Major League Tryout this Spring Will Get an Upper Deck Baseball Card!

The "Heroic Inspirations" card of Jacobs will be autographed, limited to 100 copies and available in 2013 Goodwin Champions coming out in July!

CARLSBAD, Calif., April 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Daniel "Doc" Jacobs had a dream come true on February 28 when he not only met baseball icon Tommy Lasorda, but got a major league tryout at Spring Training for Los Angeles. Doc got his shot and it was a memorable one to say the least because not only is he a veteran, but he is also a double amputee who lost his left leg, the toes on his right foot and two fingertips on his left hand after being injured during service in Iraq by an improvised explosive device. On Saturday, April 20 Upper Deck reunited Jacobs and Lasorda to make another dream come true for this inspirational athlete by presenting Doc with his first-ever baseball card.

"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 Tommy Lasorda, baseball icon. "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."

Doc will be signing 100 copies of his "Heroic Inspirations" cards that will be randomly inserted into Upper Deck's 2013 Goodwin Champions set due out on July 9, 2013. With the inclusion of Doc's card it seems appropriate the release falls less than a week after the Fourth of July, America's most patriotic holiday.

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 Doc Jacobs and Tommy 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 Doc with more than just the appearance from Tommy Lasorda. Long-time Upper Deck spokesman LeBron James was so moved by Jacob's story he autographed a Goodwin Champions promotional poster that was presented to Doc. It included the following special inscription from the three-time NBA MVP:

"Doc Jacobs, You are an inspiration to us all! Best Wishes!!!"

And LeBron could not be more right on with those remarks. On July 9, 2013, Upper Deck invites you to collect inspiration.

About VETSports

VETSports (www.vetsports.org) is a national organization directed by wounded veterans to help wounded veterans overcome their injuries through adaptive sports, teamwork, and organized programs. VETSports encourages all veterans with disabilities to participate in physical activity and engage with their community as a member of a local sports team. VETSports has proven the benefits of adaptive sports and how participating in team activities can lead to not only a faster recovery, but also provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment to their warrior's lives. VETSports is committed to run an organization built upon the values, teamwork, and the warrior ethos that have been instilled in all service men and women since basic training.

VETSports serves hundreds of wounded and disabled veterans across the United States in a myriad of sports and team programs. In only 8 months of existence, VETSports has grown from one National team of 12 to serving hundreds of warriors from Washington, D.C. to California. Their biggest emphasis is to not just be on a team, but to be contributing members of society and continue to serve by giving back in their hometowns through helping local causes.

About Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude (www.OperationGratitude.com) annually sends 100,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in harm's way, to their children left behind, and to Veterans, Emergency First Responders and Wounded Warriors. The organization's mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member's face and express to our Military and their families the appreciation and support of the American people. Each package contains donated product valued at $75-100 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship. For safety and security, assembling of packages occurs at the Army National Guard armory in Van Nuys, California. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped close to 1,000,000 packages to American Military members and their children.

About Upper Deck

Upper Deck is the leading sports and entertainment trading card and collectibles company. For more information on Upper Deck and its products please visit www.upperdeck.com.

Photos accompanying this release are available at:


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