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The Best Closers in Baseball History 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated June 11, 2020 17.3k votes 2.2k voters 45.9k views 100 items

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.
list ordered by
1
Mariano Rivera is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher
2
Dennis Eckersley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
3
Goose Gossage is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher
4
Trevor Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher
5
Rollie Fingers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher
6
Bruce Sutter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher
7
John Smoltz is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
peis added Starting pitcher, Pitcher
8
Lee Smith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher
9
Billy Wagner is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher
10
Aroldis Chapman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Paul Nyhart added Pitcher
11
Craig Kimbrel is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher
12
Dan Quisenberry is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher
13
Hoyt Wilhelm is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher
14
Sparky Lyle is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher
15
Dave Righetti is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher
16
John Franco is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher
17
Tug McGraw is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
AriBenarroch added Relief pitcher, Pitcher
18
Francisco Rodrígu... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
19
Jeff Reardon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher
20
Éric Gagné... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher
21
Joe Nathan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
dca1983 added Relief pitcher, Setup pitcher, Pitcher
22
Kent Tekulve is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Relief pitcher, Pitcher
23
Troy Percival is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher
24
John Wetteland is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher
25
Kenley Jansen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Kenley Jansen Pitcher