sports The Best Closers in Baseball History  

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List Rules Top relief closing pitchers / CLs ever in the MLB

Who are the best closers in baseball history? The players on this list shut down late innings with both class and style. Many of them are/were considered the best in the bullpen -- and among the greatest baseball players of all time, for that matter. Some are still playing, but others have officially retired from Major League Baseball. Enjoy this list of the top closing pitchers, vote for the closers you think are the greatest to ever hit the mound, and feel free to re-rank this list in any order you see fit. The best relief pitchers ever in baseball have one thing in common: They get the job done. When a closer takes the mound, it's crunch time. Often, the closer has the awesome responsibility of helping his team hold a narrow lead. One run could change the outcome, and the relief pitcher has to make sure no one hits him. There is a reason why closers are the highest paid relief players on the team, after all. Looking for more great baseball-related lists? Cast your votes for the top current baseball players, the greatest designated hitters of all time and the best hitters in baseball history.

1
+ - 668 117
Mariano Rivera is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mariano Rivera Relief pitcher, Pitcher

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2
+ - 275 93
Rollie Fingers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rollie Fingers Pitcher

3
+ - 335 116
Dennis Eckersley is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

4
+ - 295 101
Trevor Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Trevor Hoffman Relief pitcher, Pitcher

5
+ - 215 82
Bruce Sutter is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Bruce Sutter Pitcher

6
+ - 266 80
Goose Gossage is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Goose Gossage Pitcher

7
+ - 161 102
Billy Wagner is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Billy Wagner Relief pitcher, Pitcher

8
+ - 193 96
Lee Smith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Lee Smith Relief pitcher, Pitcher

9
+ - 141 102
John Franco is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
John Franco Relief pitcher, Pitcher

10
+ - 227 65
John Smoltz is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
John Smoltz Starting pitcher, Pitcher

11
+ - 153 74
Dan Quisenberry is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Dan Quisenberry Relief pitcher, Pitcher

12
+ - 106 92
John Wetteland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
John Wetteland Relief pitcher, Pitcher

13
+ - 108 88
Hoyt Wilhelm is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Hoyt Wilhelm Pitcher

14
+ - 86 70
Jeff Reardon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Jeff Reardon Relief pitcher, Pitcher

15
+ - 94 93
Troy Percival is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Troy Percival Relief pitcher, Pitcher

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16
+ - 137 69
Craig Kimbrel is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Craig Kimbrel Relief pitcher, Pitcher

17
+ - 72 86
Robb Nen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Robb Nen Pitcher

18
+ - 97 63
Dave Righetti is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Dave Righetti Relief pitcher, Pitcher

19
+ - 76 35
Tug McGraw is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Tug McGraw Relief pitcher, Pitcher

20
+ - 60 24
Kent Tekulve is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Kent Tekulve Relief pitcher, Pitcher

21
+ - 92 74
Joe Nathan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Joe Nathan Relief pitcher, Setup pitcher, Pitcher

22
+ - 99 90
Francisco Rodríguez is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

23
+ - 96 65
Sparky Lyle is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Sparky Lyle Relief pitcher, Pitcher

24
+ - 49 24
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Tom Henke Relief pitcher, Pitcher

25
+ - 60 68
Rod Beck is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rod Beck Pitcher

26
+ - 98 87
Éric Gagné is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Éric Gagné Relief pitcher, Pitcher

27
+ - 61 86
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Brian Wilson Relief pitcher

28
+ - 51 70
Randy Myers is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Randy Myers Relief pitcher, Pitcher

29
+ - 91 33
Aroldis Chapman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Aroldis Chapman Relief pitcher, Pitcher

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30
+ - 86 97
Jonathan Papelbon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

31
+ - 19 23
Greg Minton is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Greg Minton Pitcher - 140 Career save, 3.10 career ERA in an era where relief pitchers pitched more than 1 inning for a save

32
+ - 22 12
Jesse Orosco is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Jesse Orosco Pitcher

33
+ - 64 62
Willie Hernández is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

34
+ - 33 23
Al Hrabosky is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Al Hrabosky Pitcher

35
+ - 23 20
Steve Bedrosian is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Steve Bedrosian Pitcher

36
+ - 12 17
Woodie Fryman is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Woodie Fryman Pitcher

37
+ - 59 56
Bobby Thigpen is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Bobby Thigpen Pitcher

38
+ - 43 88
Jason Isringhausen is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Jason Isringhausen Relief pitcher, Pitcher

39
+ - 51 76
Mitch Williams is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mitch Williams Pitcher

40
+ - 28 29
Brad Lidge is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Brad Lidge Pitcher

41
+ - 32 84
Francisco Cordero is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Francisco Cordero Relief pitcher, Pitcher

42
+ - 41 43
Mike Marshall is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mike Marshall Pitcher

43
+ - 17 22
John Axford is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
John Axford Pitcher

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44
+ - 10 22
Jeff Shaw is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Jeff Shaw Relief pitcher, Pitcher

45
+ - 8 11
Ervin Santana is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Ervin Santana Starting pitcher, Pitcher

46
+ - 19 34
José Valverde is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
José Valverde Relief pitcher, Closer, Pitcher

47
+ - 35 46
Rick Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rick Aguilera Pitcher

48
+ - 28 78
Heath Bell is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Heath Bell Relief pitcher, Pitcher

49
+ - 27 63
Todd Jones is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Todd Jones Pitcher

50
+ - 12 27
Rafael Soriano is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rafael Soriano Relief pitcher, Pitcher