One of the things that drives me crazy when getting an autographed card is how illegible some of them are. It's no secret that today's athletes don't have the penmanship of their forefathers. Maybe it's a sign of the times (excuse the pun), that up and coming athletes -- children of a digital era -- don't pay as much attention to their signature as athletes of yesteryear.
One story I read recently was that of Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer had your typical modern scribble autograph when he broke in with the Twins. At a signing he sat alongside Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew who called him out for having a sloppy, illegible autograph. Cuddyer said that from that point forward, he began to take his time with autographs; and it shows, he now has one of the nicer autographs in baseball.
It's even worse, in my opinion, when all you get are initials or scribbles. Take a look at Matt Elam's autograph here. He signed it "ME", which is something I've always wanted to do, but he can get away with it since it's his initials. But initials? From a guy who hasn't even been drafted yet? And it's not just the rookies, I saw an autograph from Leaf Originals Wrestling of Missy Hyatt that was simply signed with a script M.
So with Harmon Killebrew no longer around to start calling out people, who can we turn to? I have an idea. The card companies. How, you ask? Simple. Structure the agreements that full signatures equal full paydays for the athletes signing your stickers/cards. Tell them that if they want to sign with initials, they should also be prepared to accept less money.
Will this happen? Very unlikely. It probably would lead to some players opting not to sign at all. And if that happened, there would be less autographs to go around and less "hits" per box. But really, wouldn't you almost rather have that than "ME"?