The trumpets sounded, and Díaz delivered

Aussie musician adopts firm rooting interest: 'I’m officially a Mets fan for life'

September 1st, 2022

NEW YORK -- As has become the custom in the ninth inning at Citi Field, the stadium lights darkened late Wednesday night. The bullpen door swung open. Edwin Díaz sauntered out to the first beats of “Narco,” his popular entrance music.

Only this time, there was a twist. Standing near the third-base line was Timmy Trumpet, the musician whose song has become a victory anthem in Queens. He took a breath, raised his namesake instrument high and began wailing out the melody to “Narco” as Díaz threw his warm-up pitches.

Four minutes later, Díaz was done with his own work, having shut down the Dodgers in an adrenaline-pumping ninth to seal a 2-1 win at Citi Field.

“I think I could feel the difference,” Díaz said. “Everybody was getting into it. It was really fun to watch.”

Growing up in Australia, Timmy Trumpet -- real name: Timothy Smith -- knew little of baseball. Cricket was his closest brush with the sport.

Smith speaks in a heavy Aussie accent, and he calls the field a “pitch.” When he stepped onto it wielding his black-and-gold trumpet Tuesday afternoon in Flushing, he revealed that he had never seen a live baseball game.

“But I can tell you,” Smith said, “I can assure you, I’m officially a Mets fan for life.”

That’s because Smith is now forever linked with Díaz, whose success this season has turned “Narco,” by Smith and the Dutch DJ duo Blasterjaxx, into a phenomenon. Before Díaz enters games at Citi Field, stadium operators turn off the lights to prep fans for the first strains of trumpets. SNY no longer goes to commercial, instead cutting to a camera that follows Díaz on his journey from the bullpen to the mound. In the stands, fans dance and play imaginary trumpets or souvenir ones made of foam. At home, social media pulses to the same rhythm.

Then Díaz takes the mound and, more often than not, dominates. His 1.38 ERA is a career best, while his rate of 17.2 strikeouts per nine innings leads the Majors by a significant margin.

“It’s absolutely insane,” Smith said of Díaz’s entrance, comparing it with the scene he often enjoys at major music festivals such as Tomorrowland. “It’s incredibly humbling and a great honor that a world-class athlete is using my song as inspiration to run on that pitch. This guy’s such a professional, he could do this with any song. But I’m very thankful to the Mets supporters and anyone that’s adding this track to their playlist and supporting ‘Narco.’”

The story of how Díaz and Smith became linked dates to 2018, when a Mariners executive gave the then-Seattle closer a list of potential new entrance songs. Díaz chose “Narco,” but he used it for only one season before seeking something with more Latin-American flair for his move to Queens the following year. That campaign turned out to be the worst of Díaz’s career, prompting his wife to suggest another change to his entrance song. 

Following her advice, Díaz turned back to “Narco” in 2020, but the song did not catch on with fans because it played in front of empty stadiums due to the pandemic. In 2021, the Mets’ disappointing season again dampened fan reaction. But this year, Díaz’s personal success has mixed with the Mets’ winning ways to create the perfect formula for “Narco” to thrive. 

And flourish it has. Smith, who was previously better-known in Europe and his native Australia, said that “in America, I’ve never had anything of this magnitude, and none of it would be possible without Díaz.”

The Mets invited Smith to Citi Field on Tuesday in the hopes that he could play the trumpet line of “Narco” with Díaz jogging onto the field, though the ultimate decision there went to manager Buck Showalter, who joked about feeling “drunk with power.” That evening, Díaz and Smith were able to exchange a few laughs pregame, along with a signed ball and a custom Mets jersey for Smith. But Díaz didn’t appear in the game because the Mets were losing.

So Smith came back the next night, despite an imminent engagement in Singapore. And he says he hopes to return to New York once more this year.

“I can’t wait to see Díaz play this at the World Series in a victory,” he said. “I’ll be there for that one.”