Toronto

Forget the win. Toronto Blue Jays fans want to know who moved 'Home Plate Lady'

The Toronto Blue Jays won their home opener last night, but some fans were still angry. Not at the game, but at the placement of a longtime icon in the stands: Home Plate Lady.

The longtime fan was off to the side and the internet had concerns

A  baseball player in a  white uniform hits the ball
Toronto Blue Jays' Davis Schneider (36) hits a single against the Seattle Mariners during eighth inning American League MLB baseball action in Toronto on Monday. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

The Toronto Blue Jays won their home opener last night, but some fans were still angry.

Not mad at the game, in which Jose Berrios threw 6⅔ shutout innings and Davis Schneider drove in two runs as they defeated the Seattle Mariners 5-2. And not necessarily annoyed at the Rogers Centre dome, which was closed.

No, fans were upset at the placement of a longtime icon in the stands: Home Plate Lady. Specifically, that she wasn't behind home plate, but off to the side.

"This will be our curse. Mark my words," one fan wrote on X, formerly Twitter, where "Home Plate Lady" was still trending in Canada Tuesday morning.

"Who moved Home Plate Lady," wrote another.

"It's Home Plate Lady...Not off to the side lady. All that money spent on renovations and they f---ed up the only thing that matters," another person wrote.

"All Blue Jays season ticket members hand-selected their new seats in the ballpark," said a spokesperson for the Toronto Blue Jays in an email statement to CBC News.

A baseball game and shot of home plate
Home Plate Lady sits in the stands in this undated photo of a Toronto Blue Jays game. (MLB/Sportsnet)

Who is Home Plate Lady?

The longtime fan has had the best seats in the ballpark for decades, according to fans on X. Her almost constant presence at Jays home games has led fans down a rabbit hole of theories, and her deadpan expressions have made her a fan favourite.

CBC News spoke to Home Plate Lady back in 2016. The Jays fan didn't want her identity revealed, but confirmed she's had season tickets behind home plate for years, and doesn't have any special connection to the baseball club.

In 2019, she famously didn't even flinch as a foul ball flew right at her face. In 2020, when the U.S.-Canada border was closed to non-essential travel, the team's marketing director added a cardboard cutout of her to the stands at all the Blue Jays games in Buffalo, N.Y., and even switched out her famed scarves.

So beloved is the fan that she received a standing ovation in 2021 upon returning to the stands in the Jays' first home game in Toronto after the COVID-19 lockdown.

1st game since lower bowl renovations

Monday's home opener was the first to showcase the changes to the lower bowl, including the renovated 100-level seating area, new-look dugouts and fresh turf.

The first phase of renovations were completed in the off-season between 2022 and 2023. They updated the upper bowl and outfield seating areas. Phase 2 was focused on the lower bowl, field and players-only areas like the dugouts, clubhouses and workout rooms.

But those changes have received some backlash. 

Last year, an email was sent out to season ticket holders on the next phase of the $300-million renovation of Rogers Centre. Some longtime Jays fans were dismayed to realize their coveted seats in the lower bowl will no longer exist, and that they face a steep price increase if they want to continue to be season ticket holders and select new seats. 

Now, some are wondering if that's what happened to Home Plate Lady. But others are pointing out that, as is her apparent nature, she may not actually care.

"Home Plate Lady has an aisle seat like a civilized human being and I can almost guarantee that she doesn't give a single solitary sh-t about her placement on your TV screen," wrote a popular baseball account, Tao of Stieb, on X.

WATCH | Rogers Centre renos unveiled: 

Take a sneak peek inside the newly-renovated Rogers Centre

2 months ago
Duration 1:54
The Toronto Blue Jays have unveiled the final phase of Rogers Centre renovations. The new features include reimagined 100-level seating and a new clubhouse. CBC Toronto got a sneak peek ahead of the Jays' home opener.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Natalie Stechyson

Senior writer and editor

Natalie Stechyson has been a writer and editor at CBC News since 2021. She covers stories on social trends, families, gender, human interest, as well as general news. She's worked as a journalist since 2009, with stints at the Globe and Mail and Postmedia News, among others. Before joining CBC News, she was the Parents editor at HuffPost Canada, where she won a silver Canadian Online Publishing Award for her work on pregnancy loss. You can reach her at natalie.stechyson@cbc.ca

With files from the Canadian Press and Nicole Brockbank, CBC News