Former MLB pitcher turned Port Authority cop dies in crash on way to 9/11 memorial event

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Former MLB pitcher turned Port Authority cop dies in crash on way to 9/11 memorial event

A former MLB pitcher who retired and became a Port Authority police officer has died in a car accident on his way to a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony on Sunday in New York City, the Atlanta Braves announced.

"We are deeply saddened on the passing of former Braves pitcher Anthony Varvaro," the Braves tweeted. "Anthony, 37, played parts of six seasons in the majors, including four with Atlanta."

Varvaro voluntarily retired from the MLB in 2016 and became a Port Authority police officer, the team said.

"He was en route to serve at the World Trade Center Command in commemoration of September 11, 2001 activities when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident," the Braves said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and colleagues."

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In a statement to ABC News, Port Authority Chairman Kevin O'Toole and Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said they were "heartbroken" over Varvaro's passing.

"The entire Port Authority family is heartbroken to learn of the tragic passing of Officer Anthony Varvaro. Officer Varvaro represented the very best of this agency, and will be remembered for his courage and commitment to service," O'Toole and Cotton said.

PHOTO: Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Anthony Varvaro delivers in the sixth inning of a baseball game in Atlanta, June 15, 2014. (Todd Kirkland/AP)
PHOTO: Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Anthony Varvaro delivers in the sixth inning of a baseball game in Atlanta, June 15, 2014. (Todd Kirkland/AP)

"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. On behalf of the entire agency, we send our deepest condolences to Officer Varvaro's wife, Kerry, his four children, and his family and friends."

Varvaro, who hailed from Staten Island, New York, played 166 games with the Seattle Mariners, Braves and Boston Red Sox before voluntarily retiring, according to the MLB.

ABC News' Matt Foster contributed to this report.

Former MLB pitcher turned Port Authority cop dies in crash on way to 9/11 memorial event originally appeared on abcnews.go.com