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Glen Allen High community grieves loss of Julia Budzinski, daughter of Toronto Blue Jays coach

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The Glen Allen High School community gathered at the school on Sunday night to mourn the loss of Julia Budzinski.

The 17-year-old student died Saturday in a local boating accident, according to the family.

Accident details were unclear Sunday night.

The Glen Allen principal, Reginald Davenport, acknowledged the community assembly on Sunday afternoon via Twitter, hours after a moment of silence for Budzinski was observed before the Tampa Bay-at-Toronto Major League Baseball game.

Budzinski was the daughter of Mark Budzinski, a former University of Richmond baseball star who is in his fourth season as the first-base coach for the Toronto Blue Jays.

“It’s with a heavy heart to announce that the GAHS family is dealing with the (loss) of life of a student — Julia Budzinski,” Davenport tweeted.

He then referred to Sunday’s 7:30 p.m. observance in memory of Budzinski, a rising senior at Glen Allen who was a strong student academically and a multi-sport athlete.

Budzinski played varsity soccer and varsity volleyball for the Jaguars, and she had also played junior varsity basketball and with the Richmond Kickers travel soccer program.

She was vice president of the Glen Allen National Honor Society, and she volunteered with organizations that assist individuals with developmental, intellectual or physical disabilities.

Budzinski was also involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

The Toronto Blue Jays said Mark Budzinski will be away from the team to be with his wife, Monica, and children Josh and Lily.

Blue Jays and Rays players and their on-field staffs lined up on the foul lines before first pitch of their Sunday afternoon meeting in Toronto and joined fans in attendance for a moment of silence.

“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, Toronto’s executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager, in a statement released by the Blue Jays.

“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.”

Before joining the Toronto organization, Budzinski spent five years in the Cleveland system. He managed in the minors for that organization, and was part of Cleveland’s major league coaching staff for one season.

Budzinski, a Baltimore native, played outfield for the Spiders and was drafted by Cleveland in the 21st round in 1995. He played professionally for 10 years, including several seasons in Triple-A. Budzinski reached the big leagues with the Cincinnati Reds in 2003.

Monica Budzinski is also a University of Richmond graduate.

Funeral arrangements were undetermined as of Sunday night.

joconnor@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6233

@RTDjohnoconnor

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