I've mentioned on more than a few occasions in this forum about the state of today's players' autographs. They are horrible, largely illegible and one reason why collectors covet signatures of players gone by. If anyone has tried to decipher a team-signed ball from the past few years, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
The only way to identify some player's signature is to seem an exemplar or see them sign it in person, so you know what their signature is based on image recognition. You certainly can't read it.
In a column posted on philly.com today, Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt laments about today's autographs and why signatures are so important to him – why his signature is legible at all times.