TORONTO — Julia Budzinski, the 17-year-old daughter of first base coach Mark (Bud) Budzinski, died in a tubing accident in Virginia over the weekend.
Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources spokeswoman Paige Pearson said in a statement that two girls fell from a tube being pulled behind a boat on the James River on Saturday.
As the boatman returned to get her out of the water, the boat encountered a wave that caused it to be pushed onto a 17-year-old victim, hitting her with the propeller.
“It was a very happy, fun last day on earth for her,” Budzinski’s mother, Monica, who says she was on the boat with her daughter, said at a vigil at Julia’s Virginia high school on Sunday night. “Sadly obvious … but it was happy, laughing, having a good time, and that’s how I will remember her, that’s how everyone must remember her.” She loved life, she loved being outside, she loved sports, everything.
“She will live on through you all.”
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In group homes in Ontario where children were called “paychecks”.
Pearson said foul play is not suspected. Life jackets were worn and alcohol was not a factor.
Mark Budzinski left the Blue Jays in the third inning of the second game of the team’s doubleheader against the Rays on Saturday after learning of his daughter’s death.
The Blue Jays issued a statement saying Budzinski would take some time away from the team to grieve with his family.
Before the series finale on Sunday, there was a minute’s silence for Julia.
“My heart goes out to Bud,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said after Sunday’s game. “There are good men and great men. He’s a great man. He’s a special guy. His family is great. The only thing I can share about what happened is that he left a message for the team. He did this while going through tragedy and that says a lot about him.”
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 4, 2022.
© 2022 The Canadian Press
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