MLB The Best Closers in Baseball History  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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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
841 148
Mariano Rivera is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mariano Rivera Relief pitcher, Pitcher

2
321 122
Rollie Fingers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rollie Fingers Pitcher

3
401 135
Dennis Eckersley is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

4
349 117
Trevor Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Trevor Hoffman Relief pitcher, Pitcher

5
312 92
Goose Gossage is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Goose Gossage Pitcher

6
240 100
Bruce Sutter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Bruce Sutter Pitcher

7
192 115
Billy Wagner is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Billy Wagner Relief pitcher, Pitcher

8
219 110
Lee Smith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Lee Smith Relief pitcher, Pitcher

9
267 81
John Smoltz is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
peis added John Smoltz Starting pitcher, Pitcher

10
154 119
John Franco is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
John Franco Relief pitcher, Pitcher

11
170 83
Dan Quisenberry is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Dan Quisenberry Relief pitcher, Pitcher

12
116 107
John Wetteland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
John Wetteland Relief pitcher, Pitcher

13
124 97
Hoyt Wilhelm is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Hoyt Wilhelm Pitcher

14
176 83
Craig Kimbrel is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Craig Kimbrel Relief pitcher, Pitcher

The Best Hitters in Baseball History

15
99 79
Jeff Reardon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Jeff Reardon Relief pitcher, Pitcher

16
106 105
Troy Percival is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Troy Percival Relief pitcher, Pitcher

17
121 97
Francisco Rodríguez is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

18
111 71
Dave Righetti is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Dave Righetti Relief pitcher, Pitcher

19
88 48
Tug McGraw is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
AriBenarroch added Tug McGraw Relief pitcher, Pitcher

20
103 83
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 32
Kent Tekulve is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Kent Tekulve Relief pitcher, Pitcher

The Best Bourbon Brands

22
120 43
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
77 91
Robb Nen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Robb Nen Pitcher

24
110 71
Sparky Lyle is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Sparky Lyle Relief pitcher, Pitcher

25
56 30
Ranker Video
buskieboy added Tom Henke Relief pitcher, Pitcher

26
65 75
Rod Beck is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rod Beck Pitcher

27
32 6
Kenley Jansen is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
TRENT13 added Kenley Jansen Catcher, Pitcher

28
113 96
Éric Gagné is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Éric Gagné Relief pitcher, Pitcher

The Best Baseball Players NOT in the Hall of Fame

29
60 74
Randy Myers is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Randy Myers Relief pitcher, Pitcher

30
72 94
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Brian Wilson Relief pitcher

31
99 106
Jonathan Papelbon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Videoport Jones added Jonathan Papelbon Pitcher

32
40 26
Al Hrabosky is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Al Hrabosky Pitcher

33
28 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
22 30
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

37 Celebrities Who Played High School Basketball

36
69 58
Bobby Thigpen is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Bobby Thigpen Pitcher

37
51 89
Jason Isringhausen is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Jason Isringhausen Relief pitcher, Pitcher

38
26 26
Steve Bedrosian is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Steve Bedrosian Pitcher

39
15 22
Woodie Fryman is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
rouj79 added Woodie Fryman Pitcher

40
35 33
Brad Lidge is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Brad Lidge Pitcher

41
61 79
Mitch Williams is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mitch Williams Pitcher

42
45 46
Mike Marshall is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mike Marshall Pitcher

The Greatest Pitchers of All Time

43
41 48
Rick Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rick Aguilera Pitcher

44
14 26
Jeff Shaw is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Jeff Shaw Relief pitcher, Pitcher

45
25 39
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
21 28
John Axford is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
ebelkids added John Axford Pitcher

47
35 89
Francisco Cordero is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Francisco Cordero Relief pitcher, Pitcher

48
21 32
Rafael Soriano is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Rafael Soriano Relief pitcher, Pitcher

49
10 19
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