RP: Lee Smith
The Numbers: 29.6 WAR, 25.4 JAWS, 478 saves, 3.03 ERA, Seven ASG, All-time saves leader at his retirement
It’s very difficult to get into the Hall of Fame as a closer. To do so, a pitcher really has to be extremely dominant. Smith saved a ton of games, but his 3.03 ERA would indicate that he was far from dominant during his career. Smith only had one season with an ERA under 2.00, the mark of a dominant closer, and had six with an ERA north of 3.50. The save does have a bit of a bad rap, because Smith gets a reputation as being a great pitcher because he compiled a ton of saves. He is still a great closer, but pitchers like Billy Wagner and Brad Lidge were more dominant than him despite having a lower save total. Wagner was utterly dominant, and is far more deserving of a call to the Hall.