Geddy Lee has an unlikely connection to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 2: Rush singer Geddy Lee throws out the first pitch before the Cleveland Indians MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays during Opening Day on April 2, 2013 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 2: Rush singer Geddy Lee throws out the first pitch before the Cleveland Indians MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays during Opening Day on April 2, 2013 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Any baseball buff that finds themselves in Kansas City should take some time to visit Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. There you'll find history and memorabilia from the era, which is to be expected. What you might not expect to see, is an exhibit named after Geddy Lee. But you'll find that there, too.

Yes, Geddy Lee, the Rush frontman and avid Toronto Blue Jays fan who can be found behind home plate at Rogers Centre on many summer nights and afternoons.

Just how did the Canadian rock star's connection with the museum come to be? It's a pretty great story.

A few years ago, Lee wandered the halls of the museum for the first time and left awed. Soon after his visit, he came across a large collection of baseballs autographed by a number of Negro League stars. Without thinking twice, Lee bought the entire set, that included over 400 baseballs autographed by African-American stars, including Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Josh Gibson, and donated it to the museum.

Lee explained why he was compelled to do it:

“I think it’s hard not to be moved in a place like that, regardless of your background or history, you know? There are great stories there and it was a tough time in America and America is supposed to represent the land of freedom, and yet there was this portion of society that was not free. Baseball was slow to come around to integration, and thankfully they did. And I think it’s the Negro League Museum that celebrates the lives of some fantastic athletes, and I think that’s the point. Let’s celebrate them along with the players that are in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. I think there’s always room to celebrate human achievement.”

We couldn't have said it any better ourselves. For more information on the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and Lee's contributions, check out this video from Global News.

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Israel Fehr is a writer for Yahoo Canada Sports. Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter. Follow @israelfehr

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