Toronto Blue Jays Coach’s daughter dies
Blue Jays first base coach Mark Budzinski is taking a leave of absence from the team to be with his family. The news came after the death of his daughter, Julia, over Fourth of July weekend.
Coach Budzinski left Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays in the third inning after receiving the heartbreaking news. General manager, Charlie Montoyo, left the game with him and then returned to the dugout later in the game. Montoyo said in a statement that Budzinski is a great man and that this tragedy reminds him of what is more important in life.
“As a father and a husband myself my heart breaks for Bud of course and his family and they’re in our thoughts and prayers,” said Montoyo.
The Blue Jays also released a statement asking for his privacy for Budzinski and his family. The next day, Sunday, July 3, the Blue Jays honored Julia in their last game against the Rays.
Julia died in a boating accident on the James River in Richmond, Virginia. She was being pulled by a boat in a tube. Then she fell out of the tube. When the boat went back to get her the boat hit a wave, and the boat fell on top of her. Julia was hit by the propeller. The person driving the boat dove in after Julia to rescue her along with a nearby boat driver. Julia later died at the hospital.
Coach Budzinski’s daughter, Julia, was 17 years old. She went to Glen Allen High School. She was a multi-sport athlete, honor student, and a member of the Athletic Christian organization. The school set up a vigil in her honor. Her mom spoke at the vigil and said that Julia’s last day on earth was happy and she was having fun.
Budzinski is temporarily leaving the organization to grieve with his family. It has not been confirmed when he will return.