A Weak Rookie Class in Potential and Penmanship?

The quality of a player’s auto have always been a hot button issue. Ever since player signed cards have been included in packs, the guys that have signed poorly have overshadowed the guys that take the time to impress. Although it shouldnt ever be a problem, the sheer number of cards they are required to sign forces a different result. As much as I would like to have every rookie sign like this beautiful example, Here are some of the worst ones in recent memory.

Vernand Morency – Give Up HOF

To discuss the worst of recent memory, we have to discuss the worst of all time. Vernand Morency was an attendee at the rookie premiere as a running back for the Texans. He obviously didnt care about signing cards, as you can see. He turned out to be a bust and never went anywhere, but his signature will forever live in infamy.

2005 Exquisite Vernand Morency Rookie Auto Patch

2005 SPX Vernand Morency Auto Jersey

Chris Johnson – Give Up HOF

One more auto to set the stage. Ever wonder why a guy that put up 2000 yards in a season has no autographs outside of 2009? Its because his signature was relatively blacklisted for lack of effort. He has longer signatures done in person, but this is about as bad as it gets.

2008 SPX Chris Johnson Auto Jersey

2008 Topps Chrome Chris Johnson Auto RC

Andrew Luck – Last Year’s Bad Sig MVP

The reason I am putting luck on this list is because he is so high profile. He doesnt have that complicated of a name, but his signature sure doesnt reflect that. Its unfortunate that the best rookie in the last 10 years has such a horrible signature, because his cards are ridiculously valuable.

2012 Contenders Andrew Luck Auto Ticket RC

2012 Topps Andrew Luck Rookie Premiere Auto

Christine Michael

Its disappointing that Michael’s signature is such a disaster, because his on card examples dont look all that bad. When his sticker autographs in Prestige and Elite started to show up, all of a sudden, his autograph is on the same level as Morency. I will never understand the lack of care someone has, but thus is the attitude of today’s athletes. Michael actually has some potential to be productive in the league, and these cards look like they will be a stain on his impact in the hobby.

2013 Elite Christine Michael Turn of the Century Auto

2013 Elite Christine Michael Red Status Die Cut Auto

Matt Barkley

Some people might like this signature because it is so stylized looking, but its a complete give up. Barkley may end up as the starter in Philly this year, but his autographs will display a situation that could have been a lot better. Dont get me wrong, there are ones that are much worse, but not for a higher profile guy like him.

2013 Elite Matt Barkley Hard Hats Auto /199

2013 Elite Matt Barkley Status Die Cuts Auto /49

Mike Gillislee

Another guy that really has no excuse for a signature like he has, but alas he barely signs more than two letters. What I dont understand is why these guys dont see this as an opportunity to immortalize themselves in a card? In all liklihood, Gillislee wont have a superstar career. Why not take the opportunity to use your signature as a way to showcase the fact that for one time or another during your life, you made it?

2013 Elite Mike Gillislee Gold Status Die Cut Auto

Kenny Stills

Over the last few years, players have resorted to basically signing their initals. Kenny Stills is the perfect example of one of these guys. Im almost wondering if this is a direct result of the sheer amount of autographs the companies make them sign over the course of the weekend, but we see that he puts no effort in regardless of the situation. The result is pretty bad, and he will be all over products this year.

2013 Elite Kenny Stills Turn of the Century Auto

Datone Jones

Its easy to see when someone has horrible penmanship regardless of what their signature looks like. Datone Jones looks like one of those people. Maybe its a good thing his signature is so bad. I was trying to stay away from scrub autos that werent at the premiere in this article, but this guy’s auto was too awful to go without mentioning.

2013 Elite Datone Jones Turn of the Century Auto

DeAndre Hopkins

You would think that a guy would at least take the time to make his signature look somewhat like his name. I really dont know what Hopkins is trying to write, but it doesnt really look like he cares either way. Pretty bad.

2013 Elite DeAndre Hopkins Status Die Cut Auto /49

These are not even all of the bad signatures this year, its just the highest profile examples. Its really sad that we have gotten to this point, as autographs continue to be a big part of our hobby. Hopefully things improve as players start to realize how important it is to their fans.

4 thoughts on “A Weak Rookie Class in Potential and Penmanship?

  1. BARF….I have a Stafford on card press pass auto that I pulled his rookie season from press pass SE. It is my favorite signature to this date of an autograph card I own because his auto is SO sweet. It really upsets me to see the lack of effort these guys put into their sigs…and yea I do believe it is because of the sheer amount of autos the companies make them sign.

  2. I think you’re right about the number of autographs these guys have to sign, especially on stickers (another reason stickers are terrible). Think about it, someone gives you a bunch of sheets of stickers and tells you to sign all of them. I think it’s human nature for your signature to get sloppy and lazy when you’re signing the same boring thing over and over.

  3. My two favorite signatures of all time. #1 Johnny Unitas. Great player, great legible autograph. My second favorite was Terrell Davis. His is not as legible as Unitas but it is distinct. Out of all of these autographs I’d say Christine Michael’s auto is as bad as Mr. Checkmark Vernand Morency. Barkely’s is the least worst of these examples. I like the stylized sig even if it’s simple.

  4. Pingback: “You mean people actually look back there?” | Sports Card Frenzy

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