MLB The Best Closers in Baseball History  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
12.1k votes 1.6k voters 37.4k views 93 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.

1
875 153
Mariano Rivera is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mariano Rivera Relief pitcher, Pitcher

2
333 130
Rollie Fingers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rollie Fingers Pitcher

3
417 138
Dennis Eckersley is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

4
361 120
Trevor Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Trevor Hoffman Relief pitcher, Pitcher

5
320 96
Goose Gossage is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Goose Gossage Pitcher

6
245 103
Bruce Sutter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Bruce Sutter Pitcher

7
202 119
Billy Wagner is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Billy Wagner Relief pitcher, Pitcher

8
224 113
Lee Smith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Lee Smith Relief pitcher, Pitcher

9
274 84
John Smoltz is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
peis added John Smoltz Starting pitcher, Pitcher

10
157 122
John Franco is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
John Franco Relief pitcher, Pitcher

11
173 85
Dan Quisenberry is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Dan Quisenberry Relief pitcher, Pitcher

12
118 110
John Wetteland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
John Wetteland Relief pitcher, Pitcher

13
126 99
Hoyt Wilhelm is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Hoyt Wilhelm Pitcher

14
101 81
Jeff Reardon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Jeff Reardon Relief pitcher, Pitcher

The Best Hitters in Baseball History

15
186 88
Craig Kimbrel is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Craig Kimbrel Relief pitcher, Pitcher

16
109 108
Troy Percival is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Troy Percival Relief pitcher, Pitcher

17
122 103
Francisco Rodríguez is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

18
113 73
Dave Righetti is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Dave Righetti Relief pitcher, Pitcher

19
92 49
Tug McGraw is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
AriBenarroch added Tug McGraw Relief pitcher, Pitcher

20
105 88
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
78 94
Robb Nen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Robb Nen Pitcher

The Best Breyers Ice Cream Flavors

22
72 34
Kent Tekulve is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Kent Tekulve Relief pitcher, Pitcher

23
130 47
Aroldis Chapman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Paul Nyhart added Aroldis Chapman Relief pitcher, Pitcher

24
113 73
Sparky Lyle is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Sparky Lyle Relief pitcher, Pitcher

25
67 77
Rod Beck is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rod Beck Pitcher

26
58 33
Ranker Video
buskieboy added Tom Henke Relief pitcher, Pitcher

27
118 97
Éric Gagné is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Éric Gagné Relief pitcher, Pitcher

28
61 77
Randy Myers is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Randy Myers Relief pitcher, Pitcher

The Best Baseball Players NOT in the Hall of Fame

29
37 9
Kenley Jansen is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Kenley Jansen Catcher, Pitcher

30
73 96
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Brian Wilson Relief pitcher

31
100 110
Jonathan Papelbon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Videoport Jones added Jonathan Papelbon Pitcher

32
42 28
Al Hrabosky is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Al Hrabosky Pitcher

33
30 19
Jesse Orosco is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
lavj81 added Jesse Orosco Pitcher

34
72 69
Willie Hernández is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
peis added Willie Hernández Pitcher

35
52 91
Jason Isringhausen is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Jason Isringhausen Relief pitcher, Pitcher

The Creepiest Sports Mascots

36
23 32
Greg Minton is listed (or ranked) 36 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
29 27
Steve Bedrosian is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Steve Bedrosian Pitcher

38
71 59
Bobby Thigpen is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Bobby Thigpen Pitcher

39
16 24
Woodie Fryman is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
rouj79 added Woodie Fryman Pitcher

40
38 34
Brad Lidge is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Brad Lidge Pitcher

41
62 81
Mitch Williams is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mitch Williams Pitcher

42
48 47
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
35 91
Francisco Cordero is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Francisco Cordero Relief pitcher, Pitcher

44
42 49
Rick Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rick Aguilera Pitcher

45
14 28
Jeff Shaw is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Jeff Shaw Relief pitcher, Pitcher

46
25 41
José Valverde is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added José Valverde Relief pitcher, Closer, Pitcher

47
21 30
John Axford is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
ebelkids added John Axford Pitcher

48
21 34
Rafael Soriano is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Rafael Soriano Relief pitcher, Pitcher

49
11 20
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 84
Heath Bell is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Heath Bell Relief pitcher, Pitcher