Blue Jays mourn passing of Julia Budzinski

July 3rd, 2022

TORONTO -- Sunday morning, the Blue Jays’ organization shared the tragic news of the loss of Julia Budzinski, daughter of first-base coach Mark Budzinski.

Budzinski, who left the team during Saturday evening’s game, is with his wife, Monica, and children, Josh and Lily. On Sunday, members of the organization expressed their love and support for the Budzinski family. 

“The Budzinskis have 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, Blue Jays executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager. “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.”

Following Sunday’s game against the Rays at Rogers Centre, which began with a moment of silence for Julia as both teams stood in full along the foul lines, manager Charlie Montoyo began his press conference by reading a statement.

“Everyone in our clubhouse is thinking of Bud, and I know you are, too, of his wife and their children,” Montoyo said. “This tragedy reminds us what’s important in life. As a father and husband myself, my heart breaks for Bud and his family. They are in our thoughts and our prayers. Thank you for your understanding. Think of Bud and his family.”

Several players were emotional on the field prior to the game, along with the staff, as the loss was felt throughout the organization.

“There are good men and great men. He is a great man,” Montoyo said. “You could ache for anybody, but he’s a special kind of person. His family is great. The only thing I can share about what happened is that, even before he left, he wrote a note for me to read to the team. Going through that tragedy, that tells you everything about Mark Budzinski and his family.”

Across baseball, several other managers expressed their condolences to the Budzinski family prior to the start of Sunday’s games. Within the Blue Jays’ clubhouse, where Budzinski has coached for the past four seasons, the players’ thoughts were with their respected coach.

“Bud is one of the most genuine, nice, family-oriented, Christian men that you could meet in all of baseball,” pitcher Ross Stripling said. “It’s just a tragedy. We just all told him that we loved him, to go be with his family and we hope to see him soon. I’m now a dad. My son is 16 months old. I sat with my wife last night and we were emotional thinking about it. That has to be every parent’s worst nightmare to get a phone call like that. We feel for him, love him and miss him.”