Home News How Yankees closer Clay Holmes ended up with his new ‘subtle’ entrance

How Yankees closer Clay Holmes ended up with his new ‘subtle’ entrance

As Clay Holmes strolled through the Yankees’ spring training facility a few months back, he passed some hitters who were working in the batting cage.

With Chris Stapleton’s “White Horse” playing in the background, a couple of Yankees took their cuts. As they did, assistant hitting coach Casey Dykes suggested that the tune, which opens with a haunting guitar fit for a Western, could make for a powerful walk-up song.

Or, in Holmes’ case, a warm-up song.

“I like Stapleton,” the Yankees closer said. “I like the intro to that song, a little raucous riff to it. I’m like, ‘Let’s roll with it.’”

Stapleton’s track is now the central element of Holmes’ new entrance at Yankee Stadium, which also comes with a light show and some trippy scoreboard graphics.

The Yankees debuted the display on May 17 and used it again two days later, though the lights didn’t have as great an impact during Sunday’s day game.

“It was fun,” Holmes said of the first one. “Heard some rumblings about it, some players pushing for it. I didn’t know if anything was gonna be for sure or certain. I didn’t know when things were gonna happen, but it was fun running out. Obviously, after the game, the players seemed really excited. They were pumped up, so it was fun to see and just feel the energy and see the reaction.”

As Holmes mentioned, teammates wanted him to have a fancy entrance. No one deserved one more, they felt, as the righty recorded a 0.00 ERA and 13 saves over his first 20 games this season.

“We’ve been trying to talk to the right people,” Aaron Judge said. “You have a closer like we do, you gotta have something special for him. That gave all of us goosebumps. We were pretty juiced running out there in the ninth.”

Holmes said that he himself did not push for the demonstration, but he’s a “go with the flow type of guy.” When a few of his peers asked if he’d be cool with it, he didn’t push back.

“The lights going out didn’t catch me totally off guard,” he said.


Lots of other closers have special or intimidating entrances.

Elsewhere in the American League East, the Blue Jays turn Rogers Centre into a sea of red when Jordan Romano enters, while the Orioles played the whistle from The Wire when Félix Bautista was healthy.

In Minnesota, digital flames spread across Target Field for the fire-balling Jhoan Durán, while the Mets’ Edwin Díaz has his signature trumpets over in Queens. And as Yankees fans know, Mariano Rivera famously entered to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.”

“It’s a nice step forward,” Matt Blake said of Holmes’ entrance. “Every time we go on the road, we’re like, ‘Man, we’ve got to get Clay a better intro,’ so it was nice to see.”

Holmes acknowledged that his entrance is “a little more subtle” than some of the aforementioned ones, but that’s fine by him. It fits his personality well.

“It’s just a good way to kind of get fans engaged and make the end of the game a little more exciting,” he said. “It’s always fun for the players. It’s fun for the fans. So it’s just a fun thing to be a part of.”

The one thing Holmes wasn’t sure about was the graphics, which could be described as Kaleidoscopic or psychedelic. If you haven’t seen them yet, there are a lot of colors and patterns.

“That’s a good question,” Holmes said when asked where those came from. “I don’t know. I think it’s just the scoreboard people putting something together. I haven’t really seen that cause I’m not really looking up or looking back at the scoreboard. Maybe it’s just something that they thought went with the song. I don’t know where that’s from.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here