The story behind the best closer song in baseball

August 12th, 2022

It's a hot summer night at Citi Field and the Mets are leading, 5-2, entering the top of the ninth inning.

A steady, slow drum beat begins -- getting louder and faster with every passing second. The crowd almost instinctually begins to rise from their chairs, peering and pointing toward the outfield bullpen.

There's movement out there. He's coming.

A figure calmly makes his way toward the field gate, hat in his hand and glove by his side. The door pops open as he gets closer, and, suddenly, there he is -- everyone can see him now.

The music picks up, the trumpets sound, and the man, breaking into a slight jog, puts on his cap and pounds his glove. The swath of 42,000 fans almost seems to swallow him up with their excitement. He's like a Broadway performer coming out from behind the curtains for his final scene. Like a gladiator entering the Colosseum.

It's Edwin Díaz time. This is Edwin Díaz's song.

This is the story of how a closer's entrance became arguably MLB's most viral moment of the season.

If you can believe it, closer walkout songs have been around since 1972 -- when Sparky Lyle first used "Pomp and Circumstance" for the Yankees. There have since been many others: Trevor Hoffman's "Hells Bells," Dennis Eckersley's "Bad to the Bone" and Mariano Rivera's legendary walkout to "Enter Sandman." Brian Wilson used "Jump Around" and John Smoltz, for some very good unbeknownst reason, used Abba's "Dancing Queen."

But very quickly, particularly this year when the Mets and their closer have been so good, Edwin Díaz's "Narco" by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet has been gaining steam as one of the best all time. All-Pro football players are talking about it, non-baseball players are using it to enter their place of work, Mets manager Buck Showalter is foregoing the bathroom to watch it live. Dogs are getting in on the trend.

"I think he made a great choice," Blasterjaxx's Thom Jongkind said with a laugh over Zoom. "We fully support him."

"Nothing makes me happier," Timmy Trumpet said over email. "That is exactly what this song was meant to do."

Blasterjaxx's Thom Jongkind and Idir Makhlaf goofing around. Photo via Blasterjaxx

Although they're happy he's using their song, Blasterjaxx, from The Netherlands, and Timmy Trumpet, from Australia, seem to have no idea why Díaz is using it (though we'll get to that). Neither of them are really baseball fans -- although Blasterjaxx mentioned the word "honkbal," baseball in Dutch, on the call. They have, of course, watched clips of the Díaz entrance on social media. And they love it.

"I’ve shared a few tweets and stories from fans and sports channels playing highlights," Trumpet said. "The Mets fans make Citi Field look like one of my festivals."

Timmy Smith, aka Timmy Trumpet, with his trusty trumpet. Photo via Timmy Trumpet

Jongkind and Idir Makhlaf of Blasterjaxx also enjoy watching the clips on YouTube and seeing the comments from users raving about their song.

"To be honest, I think it's a good fit," Jongkind said. "When we see the actual videos of him walking there, walking on the field, we're like, 'OK, good choice, good choice. Sounds good.'"

"A lot of friends of mine are sending the YouTube clips to me saying, 'Yeah, Narco is being played here,'" Makhlaf told me.

Díaz actually first started using the song with the Mariners in 2018. The team showed him a bunch of choices and he liked "Narco" best. You can probably guess why.

"The trumpets," Díaz told me. "The trumpets were unique. Something different from what everybody uses. That's why I picked it."

The trumpets also seem to be what hooks in the crowd and TV-watching audience. They're like a call to battle. Mr. and Mrs. Met have even been known to get in on the act.

Mariners fans, like Mets fans today, fell in love with the tune in '18. Footage of his Seattle entrance is scarce, but you can get a glimpse here. When Díaz was traded to New York in 2019, he decided he needed to also change his music: So, he began walking out to Miky Woodz's "No Hay Limite." The results were not great on the field. Díaz had the worst season of his career in his Mets debut, putting up a 5.59 ERA, seven losses and seven blown saves.

Fortunately, he got some good advice from his wife after the season finished.

"My wife told me, 'Hey, you should use that trumpet song,'" Díaz recalled. "And I said, 'OK, let's do it.'"

Because there were no fans in the stands during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, the Flushing faithful didn't get to experience the trumpets until last season. And it's been this year when both the entrance, and Díaz's performance, have really taken off. He's striking out more than half of the batters he's faced, while on pace to record the greatest K/IP percentage in baseball history. He might even win the Cy Young.

So, is it the song? The reliever seemed to give it, well, some credit.

"I mean, I could say yes," he laughed.

The musicians on the other hand ...

"It's the song, it's the song," Jongkind and Makhlaf said, almost at the same time. "Straight up."

The song, which came out in 2017, has always been a big hit everywhere they play it. Jongkind calls it their kind of "tester" piece.

"Yeah, one of the first songs is always "Narco" to see how many actual fans we have in the crowd," Jongkind told me. "If they go wild, it's game on."

Just search it on Spotify; "Narco" has over 30 million more streams than their second-most popular hit. Both musicians, Blasterjaxx and Trumpet, also give credit to Díaz for popularizing the song to an audience they may not have ever reached.

"I’m sure there are a lot of MLB fans out there with ‘Narco’ in their favorite playlists," Trumpet said. "And that’s all thanks to Díaz and the Mets."

Blasterjaxx even noticed a sharp rise in their streams from the U.S. after a Mets series win in late July. Likely after sealing a huge victory over the crosstown Yankees.

"Yeah, we were just checking Spotify for our case and 'whooosh,'" Jongkind motioned with his hand moving up.

A huge spike in "Narco" listens from the United States after a Mets game. (Screengrab via Spotify)

But it's not just the song itself that's made its mark, it's also how stadium production personnel and the SNY crew deliver the entrance to viewers. It's like a movie -- a masterpiece of timing, expert camerawork and cooperation.

"We carve out the entire inning break at the end of the 8th inning for this so we are always prepared," Brendan McKeon, Mets senior director of technology and marketing productions, said over email. "Mr. & Mrs. Met are ready with their trumpets and our wireless camera is also in position. We have to be ready to pivot and get people into place in the event Edwin is used earlier in the game."

The "earlier in the game thing" actually happened recently when Díaz came in for the eighth, instead of the ninth, for a rare six-out save against the Braves. Neither the broadcast, nor the DJ, nor the cameras were ready. As Díaz told's Anthony DiComo, he was basically just jogging to the mound while humming the song in his head. He couldn't not hear "Narco" before coming into the game. Unbothered, the fireballing righty struck out four of the six batters he faced to close things out.

Usually, though, the stadium nails it -- like they did in the viral video at the top of the story. McKeon went into some detail on how that worked so well.

"Our in-house DJ, DJ Razor, came up with the dramatic instrumental track when he’s finishing up his warmup and walking through the bullpen," he explained. "We have cameras on him as he’s walking out so we time the start of "Narco" to right when he emerges out of the bullpen door. It surprised us when Edwin commented that he runs in to the pace of the track, though. He always seems to finish up his warmups at the same exact point in the song every time so he has that timing down to the second."

"That was epic," Díaz said. "The guy with the camera running on my side. After the game, I watched the video and everybody was talking about my walkout. About my running to the mound. That was pretty fun to watch."

Besides a few emoji exchanges on Twitter and Instagram, Díaz and the "Narco" performers have not really spoken to each other -- even though they'd love to. Going to a game would be a dream for the three musicians.

"I wanna experience the feeling and see how it is," Jongkind said. "I wanna hear the track live."

Maybe they can even come perform the song in October, like another group of musicians once did back in 2000.

"I can’t wait to meet Díaz in person," Trumpet said. "And if the opportunity comes to play it live as the legend walks out onto the field, I’ll be there in a heartbeat ready to party with the crowd."

Díaz agreed.

"Oh man, if they can play the trumpet when I walk in, that would be fun," he told me.

While the baseball world awaits their big meetup, the Mets and their fans can sit back and enjoy one of the best ninth-inning atmospheres in recent memory. It's another reason to come out to the ballpark in Queens. Just ask McKeon, who's been with the team since 2006.

"The best atmosphere I’ve ever seen was Game 3 of the 2015 NLDS against the Dodgers, two days after Chase Utley slid into second and broke Ruben Tejada’s leg," he said. "Edwin’s entrance, though, is rapidly climbing the list. It really helps that our TV partner, SNY, recognizes this as well and has taken his entrance live to their air ... You can hear the murmuring as soon as the Mets turn at bat finishes in the 8th. People are ready. When the first beats of Narco hits, you hear the explosion of energy."