Something that may have stood out for you on those cards was his autograph.
It looks like a fourth grader wrote that out. And where is the cursive, Sammy? A side note.....More and more schools aren't even bothering to teach cursive any more. But I'm a traditionalist and at my school we still teach cursive.
That same printed signature also showed up on some Heritage cards. I'm guessing that the printing job was the only Sammy signature that Topps had available. I'm thinking that Topps got this way back in the early years of his career and just kept trotting it out.
But in 1998 Sammy became SAMMY! He was all over the place. Printing your name wouldn't work any more - it wasn't classy enough.
So Sammy learned cursive, as we see on this Fleer card from 2000.
By 2005 Topps was able to ditch the printing, too. Sammy was getting lazy, also, as the letters of his name became less legible.
He also signed a bunch of stickers for Leaf and...
...this 2004 card is in my autograph collection. That doesn't look any of the other signatures. I wonder if he really signed it?
Sammy wouldn't cheat, would he??