Mariano Rivera or Trevor Hoffman?

08/23/2011 11:20 AM ET
By Ethan Hammerman
Is Mariano Rivera the best closer of all-time? For San Diego Padres fans, that question may be up for debate.

In a ceremony retiring Trevor Hoffman's number 51 in Petco Park on Sunday, Padres radio announcer Ted Leitner called Hoffman the best closer of all time. He lauded Hoffman for his impressive accomplishments, and even said that his claim to the title of "best closer" was indisputable.

"This is not a Padre broadcast bias. It's not a Padre fan bias. We know this," Leitner said during the hour-long ceremony. "The only true measure of a closer is how many saves did you get. So today, without any fear of argument, I tell you that, today, the San Diego Padres retire the number of truly -- by that benchmark, the only benchmark -- the greatest closer in the history of Major League Baseball."

Rivera is currently nine saves behind Hoffman's record 601. Including postseason saves, Rivera is actually in front of the ex-Padre. Mariano has closed out 42 Yankees playoff victories in his career, including a few important ones in the 1998 World Series, when the Padres were swept.

Is Hoffman the best closer of all time? Or does Mariano Rivera lay claim to that title? Vote in the poll and leave your comments below! comments