The sudden passing of Rush drummer Neil Peart last month has been felt worldwide, as fans continue to mourn the late legend. An epic tribute even took place during the Toronto Blue Jays’ spring training this week.
Catcher and Rush fan Caleb Joseph gave his fellow players an air drumming performance worthy of Peart himself. During morning calisthenics — as a soundtrack of Rush songs played over the PA — Joseph sat down with some buckets and batting cage equipment as makeshift cymbals. He then proceeded to air-shred, quite realistically, over Peart’s drum parts.
Eventually, the entire team surrounds Joseph, clapping along in time. Joseph keeps playing, humorously mimicking even the subtle inflections of Peart’s drumming and hitting the overhead rack toms during the fills.
A journeyman catcher who has played for the Baltimore Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks, Joseph was invited to the Blue Jays’ spring training as a non-roster player. He previously tweeted his sadness over Peart’s death a month ago:
“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!”
With Rush a proud Canadian band, it’s only fitting that the Blue Jays paid tribute to the iconic drummer. See footage of Joseph’s tribute below.
Neil 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/jhsOq4K7sxAdvertisement
— Trent Bailey (@TheTrentBailey) February 19, 2020
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 (@YYZBackstop) January 11, 2020