His Autograph Stinks and He Knows It

Penmanship is rarely a point of pride for pro players these days and while it might be fun to hand write that statement–let alone say it out loud–it’s become a bit of an epidemic.  Digital age players would rather text their name than put it on a baseball or photo, but they know it’s part of being “fan friendly”, so they try to sign as often as possible (well, most anyway).

The result isn’t pretty.  A perfect storm of fan demand, time constraints, lack of concern and an even bigger lack of outrage are keeping signatures looking more like scribbles.

One player, Tampa Bay’s big Jeff Niemann, admits his autograph doesn’t look pretty.  To experienced collectors, it may look better than most.  That’s the sad part.

Niemann says he tries to be accommodating but that leads to a fast signature rather than a fantastic one.

At least he isn’t too sensitive about it.

He talked with Houston Chronicle columnist Ken Hoffman during a recent baseball camp where he was more than willing to hand out autographs and be grilled about his graph.