Even at the best of times, the early days of spring training are filled with very few notable events. More often than not, there’s a handful of clips of guys playing catch, some low-stakes quotes about being in the best shape of your life, and some quotes from a golf shirt-wearing executive about playing time battles.
To cut through the doldrums of the days before the exhibition games even start, Toronto Blue Jays catcher Caleb Joseph took centre stage, putting on a show for the rest of the roster with an epic air drum solo to the musical stylings of Canadian classic rock group Rush.
Say what you will, this guy can really air drum.
"(I've been) playing drums, I'd say, 10 years," Joseph told Jonah Birenbaum of theScore. "Playing the air drums for the past, probably, 25."
The time at spring training that is mostly stretching and practice can get monotonous, and the drum interlude was a welcome respite.
“I had quite a few folks tell me that was exactly what they needed on that rainy day,” Joseph told Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic.
The connection between the Canadian band and the Blue Jays doesn’t stop there, as lead singer Geddy Lee is a long time season-ticket holder for the club and can often be seen in his signature seats right behind home plate.
That is not lost on Joseph, who calls Rush his favourite band ever. In fact, it was part of the reason he ended up signing a minor-league deal with the Jays in the first place.
“I said, ‘Are you kidding me? My favourite band’s Rush and my favourite sport is hockey.’ Natural fit,” he told McGrath. The solo also counted as a tribute to the band’s drummer Neil Peart, who passed away in January.
There are only two catchers on the team’s 40-man roster currently — young players Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire — meaning that even if Joseph doesn’t make the team out of camp, he will likely be the first to call if someone succumbs to injury.
In six major league seasons, he hit .223/.270/.350, with 31 home runs and 125 RBI in 422 games, mostly with the Baltimore Orioles.
The Blue Jays play their first game of spring on Saturday against the New York Yankees. No word on whether Joseph will be providing his own walk up music.
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