MLB The Best Closers in Baseball History  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
12.3k votes 1.7k voters 38.4k views 97 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
905 159
Mariano Rivera is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mariano Rivera Relief pitcher, Pitcher

2
425 141
Dennis Eckersley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

3
338 136
Rollie Fingers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rollie Fingers Pitcher

4
366 125
Trevor Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Trevor Hoffman Relief pitcher, Pitcher

5
325 97
Goose Gossage is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Goose Gossage Pitcher

6
249 105
Bruce Sutter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Bruce Sutter Pitcher

7
206 120
Billy Wagner is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Billy Wagner Relief pitcher, Pitcher

8
228 114
Lee Smith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Lee Smith Relief pitcher, Pitcher

9
277 86
John Smoltz is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
peis added John Smoltz Starting pitcher, Pitcher

10
157 124
John Franco is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
John Franco Relief pitcher, Pitcher

11
176 86
Dan Quisenberry is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Dan Quisenberry Relief pitcher, Pitcher

12
119 111
John Wetteland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
John Wetteland Relief pitcher, Pitcher

13
127 99
Hoyt Wilhelm is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Hoyt Wilhelm Pitcher

14
102 82
Jeff Reardon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Jeff Reardon Relief pitcher, Pitcher

15
190 91
Craig Kimbrel is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Craig Kimbrel Relief pitcher, Pitcher

16
112 109
Troy Percival is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Troy Percival Relief pitcher, Pitcher

17
126 104
Francisco Rodríguez is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

18
117 74
Dave Righetti is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Dave Righetti Relief pitcher, Pitcher

19
94 51
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 89
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
80 95
Robb Nen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Robb Nen Pitcher

22
74 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
138 49
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
115 73
Sparky Lyle is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Sparky Lyle Relief pitcher, Pitcher

25
69 77
Rod Beck is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rod Beck Pitcher

26
59 34
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buskieboy added Tom Henke Relief pitcher, Pitcher

27
122 98
Éric Gagné is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Éric Gagné Relief pitcher, Pitcher

28
42 10
Kenley Jansen is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Kenley Jansen Catcher, Pitcher

29
63 78
Randy Myers is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Randy Myers Relief pitcher, Pitcher

30
74 97
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Brian Wilson Relief pitcher

31
103 110
Jonathan Papelbon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Videoport Jones added Jonathan Papelbon Pitcher

32
44 28
Al Hrabosky is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Al Hrabosky Pitcher

33
30 20
Jesse Orosco is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
lavj81 added Jesse Orosco Pitcher

34
73 70
Willie Hernández is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
peis added Willie Hernández Pitcher

35
30 27
Steve Bedrosian is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Steve Bedrosian Pitcher

36
24 33
Greg Minton is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
mksyko added Greg Minton Pitcher

37
52 92
Jason Isringhausen is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Jason Isringhausen Relief pitcher, Pitcher

38
72 61
Bobby Thigpen is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Bobby Thigpen Pitcher

39
39 36
Brad Lidge is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Brad Lidge Pitcher

40
63 82
Mitch Williams is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mitch Williams Pitcher

41
16 26
Woodie Fryman is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
rouj79 added Woodie Fryman Pitcher

42
36 92
Francisco Cordero is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Francisco Cordero Relief pitcher, Pitcher

43
48 49
Mike Marshall is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Mike Marshall Pitcher

44
43 49
Rick Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Rick Aguilera Pitcher

45
15 29
Jeff Shaw is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Jeff Shaw Relief pitcher, Pitcher

46
26 43
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
22 34
Rafael Soriano is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Rafael Soriano Relief pitcher, Pitcher

48
21 32
John Axford is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
ebelkids added John Axford Pitcher

49
32 69
Todd Jones is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Todd Jones Pitcher

50
12 22
Ervin Santana is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
-1456082551498 added Ervin Santana Starting pitcher, Pitcher