MLB pitcher-turned-Port Authority Officer Anthony Varvaro to be mourned at wake after wrong-way crash in NJ

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) — A wake will be held Tuesday night for former Major League Baseball pitcher and present Port Authority police officer Anthony Varvano, who was killed in a wrong-way crash on his approach to the 9/11 memorial ceremony.

Family and buddies can pay their respects from 4 pm to 7 pm at Matthew Funeral Home on Staten Island.

There will be two different wakes held on Wednesday from 2 pm to 5 pm and seven pm to 9 pm, and a funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 am Thursday at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church with internment to comply with at St. Peter’s Cemetery.

Tributes proceed to pour in for the 37-year-old officer, who grew up in Westerleigh on Staten Island and performed six seasons {of professional} baseball after a standout collegiate profession at St. John’s.

Varvaro retired in 2016 after stints with the Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox and went on to be part of the Port Authority Police Department.

The crash occurred early Sunday morning on the New Jersey Turnpike Hudson Bay Extension East in Jersey City, the place police say 30-year-old Henry Plazas, of Bridgewater, was touring west in the eastbound lanes when he struck Varvano’s automotive head on.

Both drivers had been killed.

St. John’s head baseball coach Mike Hampton mentioned he was “at a loss for phrases” over Varvaro’s dying.

“Not solely was he the whole lot you might need out of a ball participant, he was the whole lot you might need in an individual,” mentioned Hampton, who was an assistant coach at St. John’s throughout all three of Varvaro’s seasons there. “My coronary heart goes out to his household, buddies, teammates and fellow officers.”

Port Authority officers mentioned in a press release that Varvaro “represented the perfect of this company, and can be remembered for his braveness and dedication to service.”

“On this solemn event because the Port Authority mourns the lack of 84 workers in the assaults on the World Trade Center – together with 37 members of the Port Authority Police Department – our grief solely deepens right now with the passing of Officer Varvaro,” mentioned the assertion by Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole and Executive Director Rick Cotton.

Varvaro, who studied prison justice at St. John’s and graduated in 2005, informed the scholar newspaper, The Torch, in December 2016 that he inquired about police jobs at the Port Authority whereas pitching in the majors.

“I figured that I had a reasonably profitable profession in baseball,” he informed the newspaper. “I had performed quite a few seasons, and I used to be high-quality transferring on to the following step of my life.”

Port Authority officers mentioned Varvaro turned a police officer in December 2016 and was assigned to patrol for almost 5 years earlier than transferring to the Port Authority Police Academy to turn out to be an teacher.

He additionally labored with Little Leaguers.

“We are unhappy to announce the passing of our President, Friend, Coach, Husband, and Father Anthony Varvaro,” Sailor’s Snug Harbor Little League mentioned. “The Snug Harbor LL group is deeply saddened by the lack of Anthony. Not solely was Anthony the President he was an amazing individual. Please maintain his household in your ideas and prayers.”

He leaves behind a spouse and 4 youngsters.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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