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NEW YORK — Anthony Varvaro, a former Major League Baseball pitcher who retired in 2016 to become a police officer in the New York City area, was killed in a car accident Sunday morning on his way to work at the Sept. 11 memorial ceremony in Manhattan, according to police officials and his former teams.
Varvaro, 37, was an officer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He played baseball at St. John’s University in New York City 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 all three of Varvaro’s seasons there. “My heart goes out to his family, friends, teammates and fellow officers.”
Port Authority officials issued a statement to the media.
“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.