Scott Rolen's Signature
Evolution of an Autograph
Over the course of a modern day player's career, they may sign hundreds of thousands of autographs.
Between signing in-person at the stadiums, through the mail, charity events, and of course - baseball cards, there are many times a player may be requested to sign something.
Throughout the years some players' signatures evolve. Many contributing factors may explain this evolution. Signatures can change depending on the situation (ie: in-person at the ballpark vs. a paid signing). Signatures can even change due to an injury or the player's mood or age. There is an entire art of handwriting analysis devoted to studying these little nuances in a signature.
Handwriting analysis is a tool that is used by third party authenticators to validate whether a signature is likely authentic or likely inauthentic. They look for things like pen pressure, slant, pen lifts, and connecting strokes.
Below you will see an example of Scott Rolen's signature over the years. From 1995 until 2022, his signature has changed a few times; looking completely different now than when he first started signing baseball cards. I will try to point out some of the more notable changes.