MLB 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.
list ordered by

1
773 137
Mariano Rivera is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mariano Rivera Relief pitcher, Pitcher

The Best Hitters in Baseball History The Best Tasting Whiskey

2
304 106
Rollie Fingers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rollie Fingers Pitcher

3
377 126
Dennis Eckersley is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

4
324 111
Trevor Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Trevor Hoffman Relief pitcher, Pitcher

5
298 86
Goose Gossage is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Goose Gossage Pitcher

6
230 93
Bruce Sutter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Bruce Sutter Pitcher

7
178 108
Billy Wagner is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Billy Wagner Relief pitcher, Pitcher

8
205 106
Lee Smith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Lee Smith Relief pitcher, Pitcher

9
150 112
John Franco is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
John Franco Relief pitcher, Pitcher

10
252 74
John Smoltz is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
peis added John Smoltz Starting pitcher, Pitcher

11
164 79
Dan Quisenberry is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Dan Quisenberry Relief pitcher, Pitcher

12
114 102
John Wetteland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
John Wetteland Relief pitcher, Pitcher

13
121 92
Hoyt Wilhelm is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Hoyt Wilhelm Pitcher

14
96 75
Jeff Reardon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Jeff Reardon Relief pitcher, Pitcher

15
159 74
Craig Kimbrel is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Craig Kimbrel Relief pitcher, Pitcher

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16
102 101
Troy Percival is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Troy Percival Relief pitcher, Pitcher

17
85 45
Tug McGraw is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
AriBenarroch added Tug McGraw Relief pitcher, Pitcher

18
112 96
Francisco Rodríguez is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

19
106 69
Dave Righetti is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Dave Righetti Relief pitcher, Pitcher

20
99 81
Joe Nathan is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
dca1983 added Joe Nathan Relief pitcher, Setup pitcher, Pitcher

21
68 31
Kent Tekulve is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Kent Tekulve Relief pitcher, Pitcher

22
111 38
Aroldis Chapman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Paul Nyhart added Aroldis Chapman Relief pitcher, Pitcher

23
76 91
Robb Nen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Robb Nen Pitcher

24
106 71
Sparky Lyle is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Sparky Lyle Relief pitcher, Pitcher

25
54 29
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buskieboy added Tom Henke Relief pitcher, Pitcher

26
64 74
Rod Beck is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rod Beck Pitcher

27
108 94
Éric Gagné is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Éric Gagné Relief pitcher, Pitcher

28
57 74
Randy Myers is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Randy Myers Relief pitcher, Pitcher

29
69 92
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Brian Wilson Relief pitcher

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30
96 103
Jonathan Papelbon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Videoport Jones added Jonathan Papelbon Pitcher

31
21 3
Kenley Jansen is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
TRENT13 added Kenley Jansen Catcher, Pitcher

32
39 26
Al Hrabosky is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Al Hrabosky Pitcher

33
27 17
Jesse Orosco is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
lavj81 added Jesse Orosco Pitcher

34
70 67
Willie Hernández is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
peis added Willie Hernández Pitcher

35
21 29
Greg Minton is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
mksyko added Greg Minton Pitcher - 140 Career save, 3.10 career ERA in an era where relief pitchers pitched more than 1 inning for a save

36
26 25
Steve Bedrosian is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Steve Bedrosian Pitcher

37
66 58
Bobby Thigpen is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Bobby Thigpen Pitcher

38
48 89
Jason Isringhausen is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Jason Isringhausen Relief pitcher, Pitcher

39
14 22
Woodie Fryman is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
rouj79 added Woodie Fryman Pitcher

40
59 78
Mitch Williams is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mitch Williams Pitcher

41
32 33
Brad Lidge is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Brad Lidge Pitcher

42
44 46
Mike Marshall is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mike Marshall Pitcher

43
14 26
Jeff Shaw is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Jeff Shaw Relief pitcher, Pitcher

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44
39 48
Rick Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rick Aguilera Pitcher

45
23 38
José Valverde is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added José Valverde Relief pitcher, Closer, Pitcher

46
19 27
John Axford is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
ebelkids added John Axford Pitcher

47
33 89
Francisco Cordero is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Francisco Cordero Relief pitcher, Pitcher

48
17 31
Rafael Soriano is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Rafael Soriano Relief pitcher, Pitcher

49
8 18
Ervin Santana is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
-1456082551498 added Ervin Santana Starting pitcher, Pitcher

50
29 82
Heath Bell is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Heath Bell Relief pitcher, Pitcher