Wednesday, September 3, 2014

#273 Dan Walters

About the Front: There's a lot of equipment in this photo of Dan Walters - two wristbands, two batting gloves, bat, batting donut, shin guard - but no batting helmet. Go figure.

About the Back: Man, Ed Vosberg was around forever. I didn't remember him as a major league presence before the mid-90s, and sure enough...drafted by the Padres out of college in 1983, cup of coffee in 1986, two months with the Giants in 1990, didn't resurface until 1994 with Oakland. Then from the ages of 32-40, he pitched in 243 games for seven different clubs. Yes, he was a lefty reliever.

Triple Play:

1. On June 9, 1992, Walters batted 2-for-4 with a triple, a home run, and three RBI as the Padres edged the Astros 5-4. His run-scoring fielder's choice in the bottom of the eighth inning put San Diego ahead for good.

2. Spinal injuries in 1994 and 1996 brought a premature end to his career, with the latter incident requiring a six-hour surgery and 18 months of rehabilitation.

3. Dan became a San Diego police officer after retiring from baseball. On November 12, 2003, he was shot in the neck by a suspect in a domestic violence incident, was subsequently hit by a passing motorist, and was paralyzed from the neck down. To this day, he battles chronic pain along with the paralysis and has only limited use of his left arm.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: This is a card that stood out to me, because Walters looked like he was deep in thought. He might've just been squinting, but first impressions are everything.

Bill James Said: "A huge, slow righthanded hitting catcher, won a shot at the catching job in '92, but has moved behind Ausmus and Kevin Higgins."

On This Date in 1993: September 3. Across the major leagues, there are three games that last at least 12 innings each, and the visiting team wins all three. Milwaukee uses a pair of singles and four walks to manufacture a three-run rally, topping the host Mariners 7-4 in 12 frames. An RBI single by Brett Butler gives the Dodgers a 5-4, 13-inning victory over the Marlins; John Johnstone is the losing pitcher in his MLB debut. Out in Oakland, the Orioles' offense is dormant for eight innings before David Segui takes Dennis Eckersley deep in the top of the 13th, delivering a 5-4 O's win against the A's.

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