Varvaro, who was an officer with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department for about six years, previously played for the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners.
“The entire Port Authority family is heartbroken to learn of the tragic death of Officer Anthony Varvaro,” the Port Authority said in a statement to CNN affiliate WABC. “Agent 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. statement said.
Varvaro leaves behind a wife and four children, according to the statement.
Varvaro played baseball at New York University’s St. John’s University before his MLB career. The Staten Island native posted a career of 3.23 Earned Run Average, according to an online tribute by the university.
“His baseball performance speaks for itself, he is one of the best pitchers in St. John’s history,” said Ed Blankmeyer, former St. John’s Baseball coach, during the tribute. “He was a calm leader, fierce competitor and great teammate. He had an arm like a flash of fire, but a heart of gold. Anthony was much more than an athlete, however. He was a man of service, a great father and family man.”
Several of Varvaro’s former teammates and teams, as well as law enforcement and elected officials, took to social media to mourn his passing.
“Throw one out today for my former teammate Anthony Varvaro,” former Boston Red Sox Pitcher Pat Light
said on Twitter. “One of my favorite teammates. RIP my friend.”
“Heartbroken at the tragic death of Port Authority Police Officer Anthony Varvaro,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tweeted
. “Officer Varvaro was an invaluable leader with the PA as an academy instructor.”