Kelley enters games to beat of his own drum

A friend's anthem greets interim Yankees closer Kelley on walk from the pen
04/16/2014 2:29 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

An injury to David Robertson has opened the door for Shawn Kelley in the closer's role.(AP)
In theory, the Yankees' final war cry has gone from "Enter Sandman" to "Sweet Home Alabama" now that David Robertson has succeeded Mariano Rivera as the closer.

But with Robertson on the disabled list early on, Shawn Kelley has become the interim fireman in the Yankees' bullpen - and when it comes to his own entrance theme, which Yankees fans first heard in last Monday's home opener, the 29-year-old Kentucky boy has gone a little bit more country than rock n' roll.

"It's a song called 'These Boots Ain't Just For Show' that Davey Smith, who is a buddy of mine from Chattanooga, wrote for me," Kelley explained.

For those who might be searching for the song to complete their Yankees closer mixtape, however, know this: in regards to popularity, Kelley has shied away from Rivera and Robertson in that way too, going more of the route of Rafael Soriano, who even now in Washington still comes out to a custom tune written for him.

"Davey is a country music artist and he was putting together a new CD for this fall, and I just asked him if he would do something for me," Kelley said. "I gave him some songs that I'd come out to in the past to work with as far as the beat, and he said he'd put a couple lyrics together. He did and it sounded good, so I'm using it."

Like Robertson last year, Kelley will surely use the theme throughout the year no matter when he enters the game. But, for both the righty and his budding country star pal, having a song in the same pantheon of Yankees lore as Metallica and Lynyrd Skynyrd - even if only for a few weeks - is a pretty special thing.

"It's pretty cool for sure…definitely awesome for both of us!"

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