Blue Jays Coach Mark Budzinski Loses Daughter In Tragic Accident

Toronto Blue Jays first-base coach Mark Budzinski received tragic news during the second inning of Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays: learning of the tragic passing of his 17-year-old daughter, Julia Budzinski, after she died in a tubing accident along the James River in Richmond.

The incident occurred on Saturday when Budzinski and an accompanying friend were being hauled on a tube across the river. After Budzinski fell off, the boat returned to retrieve her but hit a wave that caused the boat to rise above the girl and fatally hit her with the propeller.

The death was ruled an accident, with no foul play or use of alcohol suspected by the boat’s driver.

As relayed by ESPN, the Blue Jays released a statement noting that Budzinski will be taking some time away from the team.

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo delivered his condolences to the first-base coach.

“My heart breaks for Bud,” Montoyo said after the 7-3 loss against the Rays on Sunday, which Budzinski did not attend. The team held a tribute for Julia before the game.

(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

“There’s good men and great men,” Montoyo added. “He’s a great man. He’s a special kind of person. His family is great. The only thing I can share about what happened is that he left a note for the team. He did this while going through a tragedy, and that tells you everything about him.”

The Glen Allen community also paid tributes to the high-school soccer player with a vigil on Sunday.

Julia’s mother, Monica Budzinski, gave a glowing remembrance of her late daughter.

“It was a very happy, fun last day on Earth for her,” her mother, Monica Budzinski, said at the vigil. “She was happy, laughing, having a good time and that’s the way I’m going to remember her.”

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Written by Alejandro Avila

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