Players change their autographs over time. As they sign more and more autographs every day - some for fans, some for money - they find ways to make their autograph easier to write thousands of times. Other parts of their autograph merge with other letters and a new creation is born.
There is a clear transformation in Derek Jeter autographs.
Here is a 1994 Derek Jeter auto when he was just a little boy thinking of making it big.
It's very big and loopy. Sort of like the little whipper snapper was thrilled to get his name on baseball cards.
Here is his auto from 1998, his third full season in the league.
The loops are a little smaller and it doesn't seem as refined as the first autograph. Jeter's autograph stayed mostly within this frame, but has changed slightly over the years.
This is from 2010.
Now his signature looks like a roller coaster ride with all the loops.
This isn't the purpose of the post though. This was an example to show the transformation of someone's signature over the course of 16 years.
On eBay, I found this Kevin Kouzmanoff in-person autograph auction.
This is the first time I have ever seen his full name autographed on anything. Players will changed their in-person or TTM signatures from what they do on authentic pieces to curb resales of their items. But I have never seen his autograph look this way.
It's interesting that the auction states if you get this autograph authenticated by a third party and it's not real, you will get a refund. But who is going to spend the money to get something authenticated when then authentication would cost more than the card.
Then, I found another in-person autograph by Kouz on a bat. This auction even states, check his signature on eBay and bid with confidence. Only, this is just one of two autos I have seen like this and both come with COAs I would wipe my you-know-what with.
Here is Kouz's autograph on his first card from 2004. Notice he just writes 'Kouz' on it, which I happen to like better.
Then, in his rookie year of 2007, he signed a ton of autographs for card companies. I probably have over 100 autos of his because he is one of the filler guys in products.
And now this from supposedly this year's spring training.
Who thinks this is actually his signature?