Anthony Varvaro, a former Major League Baseball pitcher who retired in 2016 to become a police officer in the New York City area, died in a car wreck Sunday morning on his way to work at the Sept. 11 memorial ceremony in Manhattan, police officials and his former teams confirmed.
Varvaro, 37, was an officer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He played baseball at St. John’s University in Queens before a six-year career in the majors as a relief pitcher with the Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox.
“We are deeply saddened on the passing of former Braves pitcher Anthony Varvaro,” the Braves said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and colleagues.”
St. John’s head baseball coach Mike Hampton said he was “at a loss for words” over Varvaro’s death.
“Not only was he everything you could want out of a ball player, he was everything you could want in a person,” said Hampton, who was an assistant coach at St. John’s during each of Varvaro’s three seasons there. “My heart goes out to his family, friends, teammates and fellow officers.”
Port Authority statement
Port Authority officials issued a statement to the media regarding the tragedy.
“On this solemn occasion as the Port Authority mourns the loss of 84 employees in the attacks on the World Trade Center — including 37 members of the Port Authority Police Department — our grief only deepens today with the passing of Officer Varvaro,” the statement said.
Varvaro spent most of his Major League career playing for the Braves. He compiled a 7-9 record and 3.23 in 166 games pitched during six seasons.
Top photo: FILE – Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Anthony Varvaro delivers in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on June 15, 2014, in Atlanta. Varvaro, a former MLB pitcher who retired in 2016 to become a police officer in the New York City area, was killed in a car accident Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, on his way to work at the Sept. 11 memorial ceremony in Manhattan, according to police officials and his former teams. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland, File)