Ex-MLBer Dan Walters Dies at Age 53 from Injuries Suffered as Police Officer

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2020

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 15:  Dan Walters #11 of the San Diego Padres takes a swing baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 15, 1993 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Former MLB catcher and San Diego police officer Dan Walters died Thursday at the age of 53, per the Associated Press

Walters was shot in the neck and hit by a car while on duty in 2003, which paralyzed him after suffering severe injuries to two cervical vertebrae. His death 17 years later came as a result of complications related to his injuries and is considered a line-of-duty fatality.

"Dan grew up locally, played professional baseball here in San Diego and proudly served his city as a police officer," the San Diego Police Department said in a statement. "He will forever be remembered by the members of this department."

The SDPD also provided a tribute to the former officer on its official Twitter account:

The Santana High School product was taken in the fifth round of the 1984 MLB draft by the Houston Astros. He was traded to the Padres four years later and finally reached the majors in 1992.

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In two seasons with San Diego, Walters hit at a .234 clip with five home runs in 84 games.

He continued to play in the minors until suffering a spine injury in 1996. He joined the police department in 1998 following his retirement from baseball.