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MLB Coach Away From Team Following His Daughter's Death

A bunch of baseballs with the MLB logo on it in a net.

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Toronto Blue Jays will be without one of their most important coaches in the days to come following a personal tragedy.

On Sunday, the Blue Jays announced that first-base coach Mark Budzinski will be away from the team following the death of his eldest daughter, Julia. The team said that Budzinski will be away from the team to grieve with his wife and children.

In a statement, Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins offered his condolences to the Budzinski family on behalf of the organization. 

"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," Atkins 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."

Mark Budzinski played 11 seasons of professional baseball mostly in the minor leagues before going into real estate and later trying his hand at coaching. 

Budzinski got his start in minor league coaching, first as the manager of the Lake County Captains and later the Lynchburg Hillcats.

In 2018, Budzinski got his first taste of Major League Baseball coaching with the Cleveland Indians. The following year, he was hired by the Blue Jays and has been their first-base coach ever since. 

Our hearts go out to Mark Budzinski and his family during this difficult time.