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  #1  
Old 03-26-2021, 09:39 AM
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Default Lost Art: Handwriting/Signatures of Athletes.

I had a brief discussion about this with another user on a different thread a while back but the more I look into it, the more tragic this topic becomes!

If we look at the signatures of most of the premier players from the 20th century we are greeted with some beautiful examples of penmanship. From Cobb, Mathewson, and Ruth to players like Mantle, Ted Williams, and Jackie Robinson. All of them had such nice signatures, you look at a signed baseball or photo or letter and it's a thing of beauty. I've collected a number of auto's from players from the 50's and 60's and you can really tell the pride that most of these players had with their signature.

Nowadays it seems almost the opposite. Mike Trout's signature is quite frankly, hideous, it seems like a rushed scribble. The same goes for guys like Ronald Acuna, or Cody Bellinger. It's really disappointing, I might be generalizing a bit but it's a shame what signatures have become. Anyone else feel this way?
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Old 03-26-2021, 09:44 AM
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I agree. I was looking at some signatures I have from the last 10-15 years, and I felt like I was taking a Rorschach test.
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Old 03-26-2021, 02:58 PM
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The old time autographs you mentioned have an inherent beauty, because the 'kid' that got it could forever lose himself in reverie as he looked upon the signature and read his hero's name. A Jackie Robinson signature says "Jackie Robinson" to every single human who views it. There is no dispute. His name is right there. These days? Holy heck!!! Calling them just scribbles is an insult to scribblers. It's pathetic, and no one (who's unfamiliar with that player's signature) looking at them would ever be able to tell you who signed the item. Hell, they wouldn't even be able to tell you what either the first or last name is. Not a single person.
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Old 03-27-2021, 09:21 AM
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A lot of the so called signatures of today have about as much appeal to me as a simple X. I have purchased some Topps etc. issued signed cards when they could be had for 20$ or less over the last 15 years, Bellinger and Kershaw off the top of my head.
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Old 03-30-2021, 07:50 AM
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A long-time autograph collector like myself is saddened by the lost art of penmanship. I started writing to retired players from Jack Smalling's Address book so long ago I hate to admit, but getting back sigs like Charlie Gehringer and Gene Lillard got me hooked.

The are several factors at work regarding athlete "scribbles", notably:

1) Penmanship and handwriting (cursive for us old folks) no longer being taught (or encouraged, apparently) in schools.
2) The rise of computers and now voice input means less and less people have to actually write in their jobs.
3) Do to identity theft, athletes are now encouraged to develop an "autograph" that is different from their every-day signature.
4) Far more people than there used to are now chasing autographs, unfortunately many for the purposes of financial gain, those athletes that do sign autographs are having to deal with more people at a time, making "quick" signatures a necessity.

The sad thing to me is that a lot high profile athletes, such as Trout, now do mail-in signing events, and you get the same scribble but pay $400 for the privilege (and extra for "inscriptions").

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven View Post
I had a brief discussion about this with another user on a different thread a while back but the more I look into it, the more tragic this topic becomes!

If we look at the signatures of most of the premier players from the 20th century we are greeted with some beautiful examples of penmanship. From Cobb, Mathewson, and Ruth to players like Mantle, Ted Williams, and Jackie Robinson. All of them had such nice signatures, you look at a signed baseball or photo or letter and it's a thing of beauty. I've collected a number of auto's from players from the 50's and 60's and you can really tell the pride that most of these players had with their signature.

Nowadays it seems almost the opposite. Mike Trout's signature is quite frankly, hideous, it seems like a rushed scribble. The same goes for guys like Ronald Acuna, or Cody Bellinger. It's really disappointing, I might be generalizing a bit but it's a shame what signatures have become. Anyone else feel this way?
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