RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The 17-year-old daughter of Toronto Blue Jays first base coach Mark Budzinski died in a yacht accident in Virginia over the weekend, officials said Monday.
Virginia Wildlife Resources Department spokeswoman Page Pearson said Julia Budzinski was one of two girls who fell from a tube being pulled into the back of a boat on the James River in Richmond on Saturday.
Pearson said that as the boat operator returned to get the girls out of the water, the boat was hit by a wave that pushed it over Budzinski and hit her with a propeller. The sailor and the operator of another passing boat jumped into the water to try to save Budzinski, who was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Pearson said no foul play is suspected and alcohol is not a factor. “It was a terrible accident,” she said.
As news of the accident spread, a Sunday night wake was held at Glen Allen High School, where Budzinski was a rising senior and played football and other sports.
Her mother, Monica Budzinski, noted carefully, “It was a very pleasant, fun last day on earth for her.” “She was happy, laughing, having a good time and that’s how I’m going to miss her.”
Mark Budzinski left the Blue Jays in the third inning of the team’s second doubleheader game against the Rays on Saturday after learning of his daughter’s death.
The Blue Jays later issued a statement saying that he would take some time off from the team to mourn with his family.
There was a moment of silence for Julia Budzinski ahead of Sunday’s series finale.
“My heart breaks for Bud,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said after the game. “Nice people and great men. 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 it tells you everything about him.”
Mark Budzinski, a graduate of the University of Richmond, played four games for the Cincinnati Reds in 2003 and retired in 2005. After managing in Cleveland’s minor league system, he joined the then Indian major league staff in 2017. Toronto hired Budzinski in November. 2018 ,