The Art of the Autograph

The world of baseball is full of fun and hubbub as well as intricate quirks that arouse excitement. One certain tradition in baseball has been lost over the years to most people. The people who hold strong to this tradition are avid about and are thus viewed as catawampus. It’s the autograph, the act of a player scribbling his name to a baseball or other object to the delight of avid fans.

I don’t know why, but it seems like professional baseball players have the handwriting of epileptic raccoons. Or do they? At first glance, yes; with the exception of a few elite players who practically ink calligraphy on baseballs. But are most signatures really just random scribbles? Personally, I don’t think so. Considering most big name stars get paid big bucks to sign dozens after dozens of autographs, their short handed signatures don’t look half bad.

I have not been collecting autographs for a long time, and I am certainly not avid about it. The only time I really get signatures are the few minutes during batting practice prior to Marlins at Nationals games. But last year I had the opportunity to go down to South Florida for Spring Training where I garnered quite a few Hancocks. And it was then I realized that most of these signatures are rather artistic, and consistent.

I’ve divided all the signatures I’ve seen into three categories. The first is an average autograph consisting of a few full letters you see in the player’s name and then just shorthand for the rest (possibly a jersey number at the end for identification). Pictured in this category below is Sean West. The second group is rare and I refer to it more as a symbol than a name. Emilio Bonifacio’s is below. These signatures are generally not as lateral as the others. The last group is also rare, they are the full names. Andre Dawson has one of the games best autographs and his is in this category.Ricky Nolasco’s signature is rather interesting. When I first saw his I thought it was just scribbles, but it’s complex and calligraphic after a closer look. My favourite part about this signature is the ‘N’ in his last name. Also, after the ‘R’ is a strange loop-like symbol that I have seen other players add into their signatures…like Hanley Ramirez.Every single signature has it’s own characteristics, flow, etc. All the autographs I’ve put in here are cool, but I have to say, Matt Treanor takes the cake:

That’s the best I’ve seen so far. Sincerely,

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