Niagara Falls councillor wants female pitcher honoured at local ballpark


Published March 21, 2023 at 4:03 pm

16-year-old Jaida Lee of St. John's threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the August 13, 2022 Toronto Blue Jays game against the Cleveland Guardians. (Photo: Rogers Sportsnet)

Niagara Falls Councillor Mike Strange was so struck by 16-year-old Jaida Lee’s performance at last summer’s Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games that he wants her honoured at a local ballpark.

To recap, Lee became the first ever female pitcher on a men’s baseball team at the Games as she hit the mound for the Labrador-Newfoundland team.

In fact, Lee gained such notoriety during the Games that the Toronto Blue Jays asked her to throw the ceremonial first pitch at an August home game.

She won the heart of both Strange and local residents when she pitched for her squad at Niagara Falls’ Oakes Park where “she attracted an audience of supporters and fans.”

Strange’s motion, which comes before council tonight (March 21), calls for ” a plaque be installed on the Grandstand at Oakes Park and that Jaida Lee be invited to throw the first pitch at an appropriate game or tournament.”

“Due to Jaida’s significant achievement and ability to inspire and encourage other young players, the Recreation Committee recommends that a plaque be installed in recognition of Jaida Lee at Oakes Park and unveiled at a future date,” recommended Beth Angle, the city’s Manager of Recreation and Programs.

During the Canada Summer Games, Steve Crocker, Newfoundland and Labrador’s minister of tourism, culture, arts and recreation, said Lee’s abilities to play on the provincial team are impressive.

“She sets a great example not only for young girls, but for athletes around the country and around the world,” Crocker said.


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