He pitched in the major leagues, then took the unusual career path of becoming a police officer. Now 37-year-old Anthony Varvaro is dead following a duty-related car crash, reports ABC7. Varvaro, an officer with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was on his way to the World Trade Center 9/11 anniversary ceremony in Manhattan on Sunday when he was killed in what CNN describes as a wrong-way crash. Details of what happened weren't immediately clear, per the AP.
Varvaro was drafted by Seattle in the 12th round in 2005 and went on to pitch for the Mariners, the Atlanta Braves, and the Boston Red Sox before an elbow injury helped bring an end to his baseball career in 2016. In all, he pitched 183 innings in 166 MLB games, finishing with a 3.23 earned run average, 150 strikeouts, and one save. Upon his retirement, Varvaro immediately joined the Port Authority.
“I figured that I had a pretty successful career in baseball, I had played a number of seasons, and I was fine moving on to the next step of my life,” he said at the time. The Braves, the Port Authority, and St. John's University (Varvaro was a standout pitcher there) were among those paying tribute. "He had an arm like a firebolt, but a heart of gold," said former St. John's coach Ed Blankmeyer. Varvaro leaves behind a wife and four children. (Read more pitcher stories.)