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Ex-pitcher-turned-officer who was killed on way to 9/11 service remembered by first responders

COBB COUNTY, Ga — At Truist Park on Sunday, there was already a 9/11 ceremony planned to raise money for local firefighters.

Those participating at the ball park could not help thinking of the untimely death of the former Braves pitcher, Anthony Varvaro, and his calling to public service.

“People get to climb not in memory of fallen firefighters but Port Authority Police, city police department. Anyone who perish or continues perish as a result of that tragedy on 911,” said Nick Danz from the Cobb County Fire Department.

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Varvaro, a major leaguer-turned-Port Authority Police officer died Sunday in a crash on his way to a 9/11 ceremony in New York.

Danz with the Cobb County Fire Department told Channel 2′s Veronica Griffin that his grandfather retired from the New York Port Authority Police.

Danz and many others on Sunday totally understood why Varvaro made the pivot from baseball to public service in 2016.

“I can see where he reached the pinnacle of his career and still having that feeling of wanting to serve and left to fulfill their dream,” Danz said.

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Also not lost on Sunday was the fact that Cobb County first responders were still struggling with the recent loss of two of their own.

“The heart breaks because we’re mourning here. Even before we started here, we paused to remember the two deputies in Cobb County,” Danz said. “Anytime anybody in this public safety family perishes, our hearts go out. We mourn with our brothers and sisters across the country.”

In a statement on his death, Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole and Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said their 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.”

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