From what I can tell by checking certified autographs of Sparky's, this looks like the real deal. The seller said he got it at spring training quite a while ago. Not sure, but it certainly is a nice signature. Very swoopy.
Interesting. I just looked up his profile on Baseball Reference. I didn't know that he only played in the majors for one season. 1959. That's all! .218 average! Below the Mendoza Line! Maybe it should be called the Sparky Line.
If that were all that made up Sparky, then the top of his page would not say, "Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000." He was a two-time Manager of the Year, both with Detroit. His first year as a manager, in 1970, saw his team win 102 games, eventually losing the World Series to the last of the great Baltimore teams. His teams won greater than 100 games three more times, and each time they won the World Series, two with Cincinnati and one with Detroit. I will always remember him as the skipper of the Big Red Machine, but he actually coached for 17 years in Detroit as compared to only 9 in Cinci. I'm glad this autograph is on his Reds card.