Blue Jays First-Base Coach Away Grieving His DaughterWeston
By: Weston Ma
On Sunday, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that Mark Budinski, their first-base coach, is away because of the death of his oldest daughter, Julia. She died when she collided with a boat propeller.
She went tubing with another girl, and they were being pulled by a boat. When the person driving the boat turned around to get them out of the water, a wave hit. Julia was pushed under the boat, and the propeller hit her. The driver and another person nearby jumped into the water to save her, but she was pronounced dead at the hospital.
"Budinski has been part of our Blue Jays family over the last four seasons. This devastating loss is felt by our entire organization, and we grieve alongside Bud and his family," said Ross Atkins, the executive vice president and General Manager for the Blue Jays. He also said, "I have known Bud for more than 25 years and have always admired his commitment as a dad and husband first. He is loved and well-respected by our entire clubhouse and holds a special place in all our hearts."
His daughter Julia was 17 when she died. Mark is away from the team to spend time with his family. On Sunday, before the game between the Blue Jays and the Bay Rays, they had a moment of silence. Luis Hurtado subbed for him during the games.
A.J. Hinch, the Tigers manager who shared a room with him during his career in the minor leagues, shows support for the grieving Budinski.
After graduating from Richmond University, Mark played four games for the Cincinnati Reds in 2003 and retired in 2005. After managing the minor league in Cleveland, he joined the Indian Big-league Staff in 2017 and a year later, was hired by Toronto.