Former MLB pitcher Anthony Varvaro dies in car accident on his way to 9/11 memorial

Former MLB pitcher Anthony Varvaro dies in car accident on his way to 9/11 memorial

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 Sunday morning in a car accident on his way to work during the September 11 memorial ceremony in Manhattan, according to police officials and its former teams.

Varvaro, 37, was an officer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He played baseball at St. John’s before a six-year career in the majors as an assistant pitcher for the Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox.

“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 requesting details about the crash were left with the New Jersey State Police.

St. John’s baseball coach Mike Hampton said he had “no words” about Varvaro’s death.

“Not only was he everything you could want in a ball player, he was everything you could want in a person,” said Hampton, who was an assistant coach at St. John’s for all three Varvaro’s seasons there. “My heart goes out to his family, friends, teammates and colleagues.”

Port Authority officials said in a statement that Varvaro “represented the very best of this agency and will be remembered for his courage and dedication to service.”

“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’s police station – our grief is only deepened today with the death of Officer Varvaro,” said the spokesman. the statement by Port Authority chairman Kevin O’Toole and executive director Rick Cotton.

Raised on Staten Island in New York, Varvaro was drafted by Seattle in the 12th round in 2005. He played for the Mariners in 2010 and Atlanta from 2011 to 2014.

Varvaro was traded to the Red Sox in late 2014 and threw 11 innings for Boston early in the 2015 season. In May 2015, the Chicago Cubs claimed him from Boston waivers, but returned him to the Red Sox after tests revealed he had an elbow injury in his right pitching arm, which resulted in season-ending surgery.

Before his Major League career, Varvaro threw 183⅔ innings in 166 games, bringing in a 3.23 ERA, 150 strikeouts and one save.

In 2016, he played in 18 games for Boston’s top minor league affiliate before retiring in June and beginning his police training.

Varvaro, who studied criminal law 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 pitching in the majors.

“I thought I had a pretty successful career in baseball, I had played for several seasons and I was fine with the next step in my life,” he told the newspaper.

Port Authority officials said Varvaro became a police officer in December 2016 and patrolled for nearly five years before transferring to the Port Authority Police Academy to become an instructor.