- EXCLUSIVE STORY
TOP MLB CLOSERS OF ALL TIME
Check out these 5 legends that finished games like nobody else.
5. Lee Smith- The special part about Lee Smith was that his 6’6’’ frame made his mid-nineties fastball look even faster. Lee set a record for saves at the time with 47 in a single season in 1991. He held the all-time saves lead until 2006, when he was passed by Trevor Hoffman.
4. Rollie Fingers- Rollie Fingers was special in that he could pitch 2-3 innings at once to close out games for his team. He sported a career 2.90 earn run average while being essential to the Athletics run in which they won three straight championships between 1972-1974.
3. Trevor Hoffman- Hoffman started as a shortstop when his mid-nineties fastball was discovered after rotator cuff surgery in 1993. The rest is history, his 601 saves held the all-time saves record until Mariano Rivera passed him in 2011.
2. Dennis Eckersley- Eckersley, a 6-time all-star, invented the closers role and was unhittable from 1988-1992. Eckersley’s 390 are an impressive feat considering he won 20 games during his 12-year run as a starter. But his dominance as a closer is most commended by the fact that he won CY Young and AL MVP in 1992.
1. Mariano Rivera- Arguably the greatest out of the Yankees “core four,” consisting of Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada. Rivera’s switch from starter to closer changed the course of baseball history. He is the current holder of baseball’s all-time saves lead at 608 saves. He will also be the last player to ever wear the number 42 on a regular basis.