Ranking the best Chicago Cubs closers of the last 25 years

Rod Beck / Chicago Cubs (Matthew Stockman /Allsport)
Rod Beck / Chicago Cubs (Matthew Stockman /Allsport) /
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Chicago Cubs
Ryan De mpster / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Dempster did it all during his run with the club

For all you kids out there, Ryan Dempster wasn’t always just a late-night talk show host on Marquee Network, known for his Harry Caray impersonations. He spent nine years on the North Side, both as a valuable jack-of-all-trades.

In his second year with Chicago, the right-hander assumed the closer’s duties, running off 33 saves and finishing 53 games for the 89-73 ball club. He was never a big swing-and-miss guy, which is probably why he only spent three seasons in the ninth inning during his career, but he got the job done.

From 2005 to 2007, Dempster finished 175 games for the Cubs, racking up 85 saves. He worked to a 110 ERA+ in his 205 appearances, which included a half-dozen starts. Of course, he transitioned to a starter in 2008 and proceeded to run off four consecutive campaigns of at least 200 innings pitched, making 132 starts during that span with an even more impressive 113 ERA+

Theo Epstein rode Dempster’s hot hand heading into the 2012 trade deadline, flipping Dempster to the Texas Rangers for highly-touted prospect Christian Villanueva and some guy named Kyle Hendricks.

Fun fact: Dempster is the only pitcher in Cubs history with at least 50 saves and 50 wins with the team.