I say Dennis Eckersley. He didn't become a closer until age 32 and still had 390 saves. He had a season with an 0.61 ERA.
Sandman,end of story.
Hoffman. Rivera only has the edge because of postseason appearances.
Hoyt Wilhelm, the pioneer ace closer.first pitcher to save 200 games.124 wins as a relief pitcher, still the record.Hoyt defined the role, all others since are followers.
Hard to argue with Rivera but I really liked Trevor Hoffman.
2 wordsMariano Rivera
Eckersley: Rivera the "Best Ever"http://web.yesnetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060717&content_id=1405320&oid=36019&vkey=4
Jose Mesa...provided you don't consider closers on any team other than the Phillies.
Rivera has 608 saves. 608. Longevity is not a knock, it's an asset.
Eckersley didn't start closing until age 32. If he closed from the beginning of his career he would have had over 700 saves.
ask breed_rover its Rodney ALL DAY.....hahhahaha
Goose Gossage they didnt even record saves back when he played for the white sox almost all of his saves then he pitched 3 inns