According to Mike Schmidt, the Phillies Need to Take a Penmanship Course

Mike Schmidt—ya know, the Hall of Fame third baseman that belted a bajillion homers for the Phils back in his day—has a bone to pick with today’s current players. Mainly, he’s concerned that they’re hardly literate. Schmidt writes that he had requested some autographed balls from prominent Phils so that he could auction them off for charity, but had a hell of a time trying to discern who signed what.

He also says that the entire process of getting autographs from athletes and celebrities has been marginalized by collectors and hawks.

The point is this generation and its athletes have allowed the autograph phenomenon to assimilate into a game, of sorts. Who will be where and when, and what scam do seekers need to run to take advantage of the moment? It’s a game the fans and players play every day. Collectors using small children and pretty girlfriends to get sellable merchandise, hiding out at various locations with briefcases, planning their attack just to get a scribble. []