The save was not an official MLB record until 1969. The official record as we now know it was created by Chicago sportswriter Jerome Holtzman and used in The Sporting News since 1960. Topps didn't start making save leader cards until 1973. Back then they were referred to as Leading Firemen. What is now called the closer used to be referred to as the "Fireman". I think the last time Topps had a "Leading Firemen" card was in 1984. If I am wrong, please leave a comment to correct me.
John Wetteland was the Yankees closer before Mariano Rivera. He was the World Series MVP in 1996. Rivera was his set up man. He played for the Rangers from 1997-2000.
Francisco Cordero pitched for the Rangers from 2000-2006. His 49 saves in 2004 was second to Mariano Rivera's 53.
Neftali Feliz closed out game 4 pitching the last 2/3rds of the 9th without getting the save. He had 40 saves in 2010 and was named AL Rookie of the Year.