Anthony Varvaro, a former Major League Baseball pitcher who retired in 2016 to become a police officer in the New York area, died in a car accident Sunday morning on his way to work at a 9/11 memorial ceremony in Manhattan, according to reports. police officers and his former teams.
Varvaro, 37, was an officer in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He played baseball at St. John’s University in New York before starting a major career as a relief pitcher for the Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox from 2010 to 2015.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Braves pitcher Anthony Varvaro,” the Braves said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and colleagues.”
The accident happened Sunday morning in New Jersey. Messages were sent to the New Jersey State Police asking for details about the plane crash.
St. John’s head baseball coach Mike Hampton said he was “at a loss for words” regarding Varvaro’s death.
“He was not only everything you could want in a baseball player, but everything you could want in a man,” said Hampton, who was an assistant coach at the St. Johns during Varvaro’s three seasons there. “My heart goes out to his family, friends, teammates and fellow officers.”
Port Authority officials said in a statement that Varvaro “represented the very best in this agency and will be remembered for his courage and dedication.”
“On this solemn occasion, as the Port Authority mourns the loss of 84 employees in the attack on the World Trade Center, including 37 Port Authority Police Department personnel, our grief is only deepened today by the death of Officer Varvaro,” the statement said. . Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole and Chief Executive Rick Cotton.
Raised on Staten Island in New York, Varvaro was selected by Seattle in the 12th round of the draft in 2005. He played for the Mariners in 2010 and for the Atlanta from 2011 to 2014.
Varvaro was traded to the Red Sox in late 2014 and played 11 innings for Boston at the start of the 2015 season. In May 2015, the Chicago Cubs demanded that he withdraw from Boston, but brought him back to the Red Sox after testing revealed he had an elbow injury in his right pitcher, which led to season-ending surgery .
During his major league career, he had 183 innings in 166 games, averaging 3.23, 150 strikeouts and one save.
In 2016, he played 18 games for Boston’s top minor league before retiring in June to begin police training.
Varvaro, who studied criminal justice at St. John’s and graduated in 2005, told student newspaper The Torch in December 2016 that he inquired about police positions at the Port Authority while applying for jobs.
“I figured I had a pretty successful baseball career, I played a few seasons, and I was fine moving on to the next phase of my life,” he told the newspaper.
Port Authority officials said Varvaro became a police officer in December 2016 and was assigned to patrol for nearly five years before transferring to the Port Authority Police Academy to become an instructor.
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