East County Sports

SDPD officer, Sultan Walters remembered

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer
EL CAJON —– The life of Dan Walters, be it in sports or the community, was dignified but it was also slightly behind-the-scenes.
Walter gained All-East County status as a standout catcher for the Santana Sultans (Class of ’84), yet other teammates were more highly honored during the Sultans’ run to the CIF San Diego Section large school division championship.
Selected by the Houston Astros in the 5th round of the 1984 MLB June draft, Walters eventually climbed through the ranks of professional baseball, playing parts of seven seasons at Triple-A ball before playing 84 career games for the San Diego Padres in 1992-93.

He made two other attempts at the big leagues with the Colorado Rockies and Oakland Athletics, but called it quits and retired from baseball. Walters is listed as one of 28 former Sultans to have played MLB Baseball.

Returning to San Diego, Walters again served the community as a beat cop for the San Diego Police Department. However, early in the century (about 18 years ago), he suffered a gunshot wound which led to being hit by a motorcycle. The resulting injuries left him paralyzed for life.
Walters died 18 months ago from increasing health complications relating to the result of the incident.
On Wednesday (August 11), because of the pandemic, a funeral was finally held for Walters at Shadow Mountain Community Church on Greenfield Drive.
Many of Walters’ peers spoke.
“It’s been way too long that we weren’t able to honor Dan,” said San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit. “We will all remember him.”
Added Police Sgt. Lorraine Tangog: “Dan loved all aspects of baseball, but I think he loved being a cop more.”
Services were livestreamed by KGTV Ch. 10 on Facebook.


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