Guest article by Spuds1961

I don’t know whether most collectors have noticed, but today’s athletes are getting very lackadaisical with their signatures. As collectors, we spend a lot of money on packs of cards in the hope of obtaining that special autograph of our favorite player. Unfortunately, it is often only to find that our five year old son has better handwriting skills than most of today’s athletes.

Athletes in eras gone by seemed to take pride in their signature like it was a part of who they were and what they represented. Guys like Ruth, Gehrig, Dimaggio, Cobb, and a lot of other athletes who are far more revered than today’s had full sweet signatures.

I do not know if today’s athletes even care who might be getting their signature, maybe it is the card companies fault for having today’s athletes sign thousands upon thousands of stickers to be placed on cards. But with that being said, some of these athletes are paid six figure salaries to do this, surely the money earned alone should give them an incentive to do this properly…

Personally, I think it is a disgrace to get an autograph with a checkmark. Thank you Mr.Vernand Morency, I think? Who can tell! Compare his autograph to Ladainian Tomlinson’s below. Or what about Lawrence Timmons’ autograph? When did initials become a signature? I think the card companies who pay these athletes need to have better quality control.

I mean after all you are paying them; make sure a signature is just that. If the so-called athlete can not write his name in a legible fashion, do not include him in your product until he can. This would give the fans what they want and insure some level of customer satisfaction. The card companies seem to be getting so many things wrong these days; redemptions program, replacement for damaged cards pulled and now this. It seems to me they should be aiming to address easy issues such as this one.

I really can’t track down a specific time in my card collecting endeavors when athletes’ signatures started to be just initials, but one thing I can say is it is much more prevalent with today’s athletes. A major part of the problem would be the sticker autographs, take Adrian Peterson’s autograph for example it is a nice legible signature and if you are lucky enough to get an on card autograph of his you would see that .I have seen his sticker autographs however and the standard is just not the same… there is not enough room on a sticker for a nice full signature unfortunately.

I feel companies should hold off on their release dates and have on card autograph inserted into packs with no redemptions either (don’t get me started on redemptions that’s a different fight for another day).With a later release date, the athlete wouldn’t feel pressured into just initialing the 1,000 or so stickers but could take their time and make their signature a thing of beauty.

In closing maybe the card companies need to scale back the amount of autographs put in their products and perhaps then, the signatures we receive will actually be just that. These were just a few thoughts from a concerned autographs collector.