Anthony Varvaro, a New York City police officer, was killed in a car accident Sunday morning on his way to work, according to police officials and his former teams. He was 37 years old. 

Varvaro played for the Atlanta Braves and retired in 2016. He was visiting a September 11 memorial ceremony in Manhattan.

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“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.”

Port Authority officials issued a statement: “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.”

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Who was Anthony Varvaro? 

Anthony Varvaro was a police 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. He was 37. 

Born in Staten Island, Varvaro played in Little League Baseball in West Shore. He attended the Curtis High School and played for the school’s baseball team. He graduated in June 2002. 

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The police officer attended the St. John’s University and played for the St. John’s Red Storm. In 2004, he had a 9-3 win–loss record and a 2.32 earned run average (ERA). The 37-year-old recorded 115 strikeouts in 85 innings pitched. 

After undergoing Tommy John surgery – ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction – he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. 

Varvaro married Kerry Thomson in 2011.They had four children.

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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.”