Pull an autograph card out of a pack today and if it’s a current player, the chances you can actually read it are 50-50 at best. You’ll get a hurried scribble in most cases as players try to get through the stack of cards as quickly as possible and move on to something more fun. The fact that they’re getting paid to do it doesn’t seem to matter.
It’s not the way things used to be done.
The same idea held true for the late Harmon Killebrew. Cuddyer, who was fresh out of college when he first met Killebrew in 2001, carried on a friendship with the Hall of Famer and in this touching column written just a day before Killebrew died last week at age 74, he recalled one autograph appearance that changed the way he went about his business with pen in hand.