August 15, 1966 - April 23, 2020

Daniel Walters

RIP to Daniel Walters, 53, who left a career as a major-league catcher and became an officer in the San Diego Police Department, died on Thursday, April 23, 2020 from ongoing complications related to an injury he suffered in the line of duty in 2003 while he was a San Diego police officer.  He was shot in the line of duty and was left paralyzed as a result. His death, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, is considered a line-of-duty fatality.

Daniel was born on August 15, 1966, in Brunswick, Maine. His father, Darrell, was in the U.S. Navy, so he lived everywhere from Okinawa to Guam before settling in California. He graduated from Santana High School in Santee, California, where he excelled at playing catcher for their baseball team.

The Houston Astros picked Walters in the 5th Round of the 1984 June Amateur Draft, and he started his professional baseball career the following year. Walters failed to hit .200 while playing in the low minors in 1985, but his offense appeared in 1986 for the Asheville Tourists. He hit .262 with 21 doubles and 8 home runs. He moved up to AA in 1988 and played in a couple games for the AAA Tucson Toros as well.

Walters joined the Padres organization through a trade on December 16, 1988.  Ed Vosberg went from the Padres to Houston in the deal. On one hand, Walters had a great opportunity — his favorite team growing up was the Padres. On the other hand, he was a catcher going to an organization that was stocked with good catchers.

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