Toronto Blue Jays player Caleb Joseph provided an entertaining tribute to his “favourite drummer” Neil Peart in training this week, in honour of the Canadian rock legend and Rush lyricst who died last month (January 7).
The baseball star performed an impressively versatile set of air-drumming moves along to Rush, whose music can be heard playing throughout the clip, using some buckets and batting cage equipment as makeshift cymbals.
Joseph – who was born in Nashville and has played for various clubs, having been invited to the Jays’ spring training as a non-roster player – had previously tweeted his sadness over Peart’s death a month ago, stating that “Rush is my favorite band and Neil my favorite drummer.”
Don’t tweet much but am so saddened by the news of Neil Peart’s passing. Rush is my favorite band and Neil my favorite drummer. The reason I even picked up drum sticks was because of Neil. Just absolutely crushed by this news. Always held hope for 1 more tour. Thank You Neil!
— Caleb Joseph (@CamelBackstop) January 11, 2020
You can watch the clip via the team’s official Twitter account below, who added that Peart would be “proud”.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) February 20, 2020
@CamelBackstop with another flawless air drumming impersonation of Neil Peart from @rushtheband today at @BlueJays spring training #rush #neilpeart #geddylee #alexlifeson #calebjoseph #spiritoftheradio #toronto #torontobluejays #bluejays #mlb #springtraining #airdrumming pic.twitter.com/jhsOq4K7sx
— Trent Bailey (@TheTrentBailey) February 19, 2020
The visionary stickman passed away after quietly battling brain cancer for the past three years, as confirmed by Elliott Mintz, a spokesperson for the Peart family.
Peart’s Rush bandmates, singer/bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson, shared a statement a few days after this death, calling Peart their “friend, soul brother and bandmate over 45 years,” and said that he had been “incredibly brave” in his battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Tributes have continued to emerge during the weeks following Peart’s death. In a statement shared on Foo Fighters‘ Instagram on the day the news broke, Dave Grohl called Peart “a kind, thoughtful, brilliant man.”
“Today, the world lost a true giant in the history of rock and roll,” he said. “An inspiration to millions with an unmistakable sound who spawned generations of musicians – like myself – to pick up two sticks and chase a dream. A kind, thoughtful, brilliant man who ruled our radios and turntables not only with his drumming, but also his beautiful words.”