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Former Braves pitcher who retired to become police officer dies in crash on way to 9/11 event in NYC

The 37-year-old played parts of six seasons in the majors, including four with Atlanta. He also played for the Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners.

ATLANTA — A former Atlanta Braves pitcher who retired to become a police officer died Sunday in a car accident on his way to a Sept. 11 anniversary event in New York.

Anthony Varvaro graduated from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police academy in 2016. He was married to his wife, Kerry, and they had four children.

The 37-year-old played parts of six seasons in the majors, including four with Atlanta. He was the Seattle Mariners' 12th round selection in 2005 and also spent time with the Boston Red Sox.

"We are deeply saddened on the passing of former Braves pitcher Anthony Varvaro," the Braves said on social media. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and colleagues."

Credit: AP
Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Anthony Varvaro (38) delivers in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, June 15, 2014, in Atlanta. The Braves won 7-3. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)

RELATED: Former Braves player turned police officer was killed by wrong-way driver, officials say

They said he was on his way to serve at the World Trade Center Command for a 9/11 event when he was involved in an accident.

Varvaro retired from baseball in 2016 to begin police training with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, an official with the Port Authority said. He was assigned to patrol for nearly five years before transferring to the Port Authority Police Academy where he became an instructor, training new recruits into police officers.

There were several happenings Sunday to commemorate 21 years since the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil. At the 9/11 Memorial, all the victims' names were read aloud to the crowd that included Vice President Kamala Harris.

"Officer Varvaro represented the very best of this agency, and will be remembered for his courage and commitment to service," the Port Authority said in 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."

In his major league baseball career, he pitched 183 innings in 166 games, compiling a 3.23 earned run average, 150 strikeouts and one save.

A GoFundMe page was created to help raise money for his family. 

This is a developing story. Check back often for new information.

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