Randy Smith: Country Goes To Town

Friday, April 11, 2014 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

“I travel a different road, the kind of path that most folks don’t go. This ain’t for the faint of heart, honey I ain’t here to just play the part. I keep Tennessee here in my soul, these boots ain’t just for show.” (Country singer/songwriter Davey Smith)

Many little boys including myself and my son Davey grew up dreaming of playing for the New York Yankees. I was even hoping that Mickey Mantle would extend his career to about thirty years so we could be together on the same team. Former Yankee third baseman Graig Nettles said it best regarding his time in pinstripes with manager Billy Martin and team owner George Steinbrenner in the late 1970s, “Every kid grows up dreaming of playing for the New York Yankees or joining the circus. I was lucky; I got both.”

About 15 years ago in Louisville, Ky., a young ball player named Shawn Kelley had similar dreams. He even told his mom one day he would be in the major leagues. He even played for the Yankees in summer ball, and one of his teammates was David Trager who played college baseball at Indiana. Another teammate was Blaine Lawrence who had a little sister named Jennifer, who would go on to become an Academy Award nominated actress. Now, Shawn Kelley is a relief pitcher with the Yankees and is currently the interim closer in the bullpen, while regular closer David Robertson is on the team DL. Not bad at all for one small neighborhood.

Last November at the SCORE International fund raising banquet, Shawn Kelley who lives in Chattanooga during the off-season, was a guest of speaker Andy Pettitte. Davey met Shawn and the two struck up a quick friendship. A few weeks later, Shawn asked Davey to write a song for him to use as he walks out of the Yankee bullpen. Former reliever Mariano Rivera who retired as baseball’s greatest closer ever used “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. So Davey went to work and came up with, “These Boots Just Ain’t For Show.” In Monday night’s home opener that song played for a packed house as Kelley pitched a perfect ninth inning to save a Yankee win. It will also be a part of Davey’s new CD which will be released later this year.

No matter what a child envisions his life to become, those dreams seldom come true, at least as we plan them. I truly believe God knows what we dream. I also believe that while some dreams do come true, God also knows what is best for us, and guides us to achieve something other than what we desire as children.

Shawn Kelley has achieved his childhood dream and even though mine didn’t quite work out as I planned it, my life is even better than I ever imagined. As for my son Davey, God may still be working on his dreams, but things have turned out pretty darn good so far. 

I hope to be able to go to New York this summer; to Yankee Stadium to see my beloved Yankees play. I also want to hear Davey’s song play as Shawn Kelley comes out of the bullpen to shut the door on another American League Opponent. That my friends would be a real dream come true.

-----

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer. He is currently teaching Broadcasting at Coahulla Creek High School near Dalton, Ga.

His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for thirty years.

He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga Television for more than a quarter-century.

In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith.) They have three grandchildren, Coleman, Boone and DellaMae.

To contact Randy: rsmithsports@epbfi.com


PHOTOS: CFC Suffers 2-1 Steinbrecher Cup Overtime Loss

Dalton State Women Finish Finish 6th In Final NAIA Coaches Top 25 Poll

Dalton State finished with a No. 6 ranking in the postseason edition of the 2016 NAIA Women’s Golf Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, announced by the national office. The Roadrunners had finished 10 th in the rain-shortened NAIA National Championship at Savannah Quarters Golf and Country Club in Pooler. It was the first time in the 22-year history of the championship that it was finished ... (click for more)

Child Bitten By Dog In Bradley County

The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a child who was bitten by a dog. While saturating an area in Bradley County, a deputy observed a vehicle traveling on the roadway with a child not restrained and sitting in a passenger’s lap inside the vehicle. Once the deputy approached the vehicle, he noticed a child bleeding which was the result of a dog bite. ... (click for more)

Man Rescued From The Pocket Wilderness On Saturday

Rescue personnel started the Memorial Holiday weekend at the Pocket Wilderness hiking trails on Saturday morning. A man had been camping on the trails with friends Friday night when the accident occurred. They had been gathering branches for firewood when he tripped and fell on a branch which impaled his thigh. With no cell service and having no daylight, the group waited ... (click for more)

Fruit Basket Turnover

I have been teaching for 21 years now, so I’ve been through my share of school leaders. Every one of them taught me something important. Whether it was Don Bishop from Red Bank High School who, after almost 30 years at Red Bank, taught me to invest in the longevity of my career, Wade Kelly who taught me to thoroughly weigh options before making a decision, Gail Chuy who taught me ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Let Me Be Clear’

I have seen a lot of human beings who have gotten themselves in terrible messes in my time and more self-induced agony than I want to recall. Will Rogers famously said, “Give a man enough rope and he’ll hang himself.” That’s the truth and if you ever didn’t think that “Politics corrupts,” consider the genius behind the line, “It ain’t long those who get elected … begin to think ... (click for more)