First the question. What the lleh is an 'H'. Looking at last night's box score I see that Okajima got a W, Papelbon got an S, and Gagne got an H, his third of the season. What the lleh is an 'H'.
Now for closers; a lot of people think Riviera was the best. I like Riviera. IMHO he and Posada are the most professional of the Yanks, true to the ideals of the game and its fans, and I will miss them when they're gone. However I still think Eckersly was the best closer ever. There is always a tendency to see the latest as the best and the memory of older players fades. I can recall when the "S" had either not been invented or was rarely mentioned. I don't recall people talking about saves in the 50s and I suspect that the save stats
that exist today from that era were retrieved later from old box scores. Virtually every BB game ever played has a complete record. Anyhow my favorite closers were Roy Face and Dick Radatz. Face had the advantage of playing for a good team. In 1959 he had the best record ever for a closer going 18-1. That's W-L. He also won the first 17 of his decisions that season, which is also the MLB record for consecutive wins. That is mind blowing. More here;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Face Dick Radatz labored for the hapless Red Sox of the early 60s. For 3 seasons he was virtually untouchable. His wikpedia entry does not show his most remarkable feat so I will trust memory.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Radatz He
pitched 16 innings of shutout relief and won both games of a double header. He pitched 2 innings of relief in the first game and was brought in for the 9th of the second game, which went 16 innings. One is tempted to say they don't make men like that any more, but no manager would let anyone try for that any more!