Five pitchers who were primarily relievers have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame . Hoyt Wilhelm was the first to be elected in 1985,  followed by Rollie Fingers , Dennis Eckersley , Bruce Sutter , and Goose Gossage . [a] Eckersley was the first closer in the one-inning save era to be inducted. He believed that he was inducted because he was both a starter and a reliever.  "If I came up today as a closer and played 20 years, would I have made it [into the Hall of Fame]? These pitchers did the job they were supposed to do for 20 years. What else are they supposed to do?" said Eckersley.