MLB The Best Closers in Baseball History  

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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
956 169
Mariano Rivera is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

2
455 151
Dennis Eckersley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

3
353 146
Rollie Fingers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher

4
387 132
Trevor Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

5
335 101
Goose Gossage is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher

6
257 112
Bruce Sutter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher

7
213 128
Billy Wagner is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

8
242 120
Lee Smith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

9
292 89
John Smoltz is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
peis added Starting pitcher, Pitcher

10
162 131
John Franco is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

11
180 93
Dan Quisenberry is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

12
121 121
John Wetteland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

13
135 103
Hoyt Wilhelm is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher

14
210 103
Craig Kimbrel is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

15
103 89
Jeff Reardon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

16
115 117
Troy Percival is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

17
137 112
Francisco Rodríguez is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History

18
122 79
Dave Righetti is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

19
98 55
Tug McGraw is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
AriBenarroch added Relief pitcher, Pitcher

20
114 92
Joe Nathan is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
dca1983 added Relief pitcher, Setup pitcher, Pitcher

21
156 56
Aroldis Chapman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Paul Nyhart added Relief pitcher, Pitcher

22
82 101
Robb Nen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher

23
76 40
Kent Tekulve is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Relief pitcher, Pitcher

24
119 77
Sparky Lyle is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

25
72 80
Rod Beck is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher

26
131 102
Éric Gagné is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

27
61 40
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buskieboy added Relief pitcher, Pitcher

28
53 15
Kenley Jansen is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Catcher, Pitcher

29
65 84
Randy Myers is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

30
77 101
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher

31
112 117
Jonathan Papelbon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Videoport Jones added Pitcher

32
46 34
Al Hrabosky is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Pitcher

33
74 77
Willie Hernández is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
peis added Pitcher

34
77 65
Bobby Thigpen is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher

35
53 99
Jason Isringhausen is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

36
31 34
Steve Bedrosian is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Pitcher

37
30 28
Jesse Orosco is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
lavj81 added Pitcher

38
24 41
Greg Minton is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
mksyko added Pitcher

39
39 41
Brad Lidge is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
chile6880 added Pitcher

40
63 89
Mitch Williams is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher

41
16 32
Woodie Fryman is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
rouj79 added Pitcher

42
36 97
Francisco Cordero is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Relief pitcher, Pitcher

43
50 53
Mike Marshall is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher

44
45 53
Rick Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher

45
26 37
Rafael Soriano is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Relief pitcher, Pitcher

46
27 48
José Valverde is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Relief pitcher, Closer, Pitcher

47
15 34
Jeff Shaw is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
slaft added Relief pitcher, Pitcher

48
23 36
John Axford is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
ebelkids added Pitcher

49
33 74
Todd Jones is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher

50
40 78
José Mesa is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Closers in Baseball History
Pitcher