Periodic Hall of Fame

Larry Granillo at has quite the imagination. He followed up his odes to the World Series teams with this gem, a graphical representation of the current Hall of Fame members set to the tune of the periodic table. You’ll want to click here to see the full table in its resplendent glory.

Highlights of the table include the fact that he managed to group the 500-home-run, 3,000-hit, and 300-win clubs by color code, and the fact that the top-tier Hall of Famers are mostly in the top three rows of the chart. He also grouped the relievers and the defense-first HoFers, which serves to show how rare they are. In general, the best players trend towards the top and the right in most groups, too.

There’s plenty of smaller choices to bicker about, but one major choice – fundamental to the layout of the chart – concerns the baseball equivalent of ‘radioactive.’ Granillo goes with temperament, and that works to an extent. The ‘highly radioactive’ group consists of notable hothead Reggie Jackson, tough-as-nails Rogers Hornsby, and twitter superstar Old Hoss Radbourn.

But it’s a little strange to see the relievers right next to the ‘radiocative’ crew, and their placement on the left does not provide for a graded move from nice to nasty when moving to your left. In fact, that wouldn’t even be possible. And thinking about the chart in this way makes you wonder if the definition for radioactive may have come from a different place that could have served the chart better.

One of the most explosive conversations two fans of different teams can have is whether or not a player that once belonged to one of their teams belongs in the Hall of Fame. This only becomes more true when the player is borderline. Wasn’t the candidacy of Jim Rice one of the most talked-about and intense candidacies of modern times?

What if ‘radioactive’ was instead defined by the energy expended around a player’s inclusion in the Hall of Fame, and perhaps how borderline their candidacy was? Then we wouldn’t have to make decisions about the personalities of the players involved. Then we might be able to grade the chart from the most deserving on the right to those less deserving on the left. Then it would also suddenly make sense that the relievers were on the left, too.

Then again, this may be a little too much thinking about a moment meant for fun. At the very least, it’s certainly a chuckle-worthy chart.

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With a phone full of pictures of pitchers’ fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A’s or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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lar @ wezen-ball

Thanks for the thoughtful response, Eno. Glad you enjoyed it so much.

What you propose sounds similar to something I considered, basically doing the Periodic Table from best to worst HOFers. It’s a good way to do things – someone left a comment for me showing me his at – but it wasn’t what I was feeling.

Basically, I felt really strongly that the game’s greatest people (Jackie, Gehrig, Clemente) should be in the noble gases and the worst people (Cobb and Hornsby) needed to be in the bottom left. Everything after that was just a good bit of matching, fitting the remaining 500 HR guys & 300 win guys in the third block and whatnot.

I admit to kind of squeezing the relievers and other groups into certain sections, but I don’t think any of them were placed badly.

But your way would definitely work. Like I said, I loved the idea having the good and bad guys separated, and everything else just kind of fell together after that.