Culture

Former Major League Pitcher Anthony Varvaro Begins New Career—as a Police Officer

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Anthony Varvaro, March 29, 2016, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

A year ago, Anthony Varvaro was in the process of re-signing with the Boston Red Sox as a relief pitcher, but after an arm injury cut his baseball career short, the Staten Island native decided to serve his community as a Port Authority police officer. Varvaro on Friday was one of 80 officers who graduated from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Academy.

Via  MLB.com:

Major League pitcher to police officer may not be the most traditional career path, but the 32-year-old Varvaro voluntarily retired in June when an opportunity arose for him to begin training with the Port Authority Police. Nearly six months later, his training is complete and his law enforcement career is about to officially begin.

In baseball, Varvaro will be best remembered for his years as a key member of the Braves bullpen.

Over his 166 career games, he had an impressive 3.23 ERA.

Varvaro played baseball at St. John’s University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, Blue Lives Matter reports.

The Seattle Mariners were the first MLB team to pick up Varvaro, followed by the Atlanta Braves, and finally the Boston Red Sox. Throughout his career in baseball, Anthony Varvaro made over $2 million before finally retiring due to an arm injury.

Blue Lives Matter notes that many professional athletes besides Anthony Varvaro have served their communities in law enforcement after retiring from sports.

For instance, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has been serving on and off in various volunteer law enforcement positions since he retired in 2011. On December 3, Shaq was sworn in as a Clayton County, Ga., sheriff’s deputy.

Sheriff Victor Hill wrote on Facebook: “When Shaquille O’ Neal raised his hands to be sworn in by ‘THE CRIME FIGHTER,’ he became the tallest deputy in the history of the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office!”

Watch the graduation celebration on the next page: