To coincide with Frank Wooley's induction into the baseball Hall of Fame, freelance writer T.S.W. Sheridan (The St. Lawrence Run, The Dry White Tear) is preparing an article on him for Sporting Life magazine. But Sheridan makes little headway with the former ballplayer (barred from the sport for brawling and consorting with known gambler Harry Lundquist) and is startled when Wooley apparently murders another writer, then commits suicide. But IdaRose, his woman, insists that Wooley was a different sort of man: Would Sheridan investigate and write the real story of his life? Inconsistencies abound. Sheridan learns that Wooley was violent/tender, intensely private/a rabble-rouser, etc. Meanwhile, there are old tales of a rigged poker game, and when Sheridan digs into them, he discovers the presence of the ubiquitous Lundquist, two Wooley teammates, a crooked bartender, a mark who became a corpse--and a thousand-dollar stipend paid to Wooley every month since the man died. Sheridan is almost dispatched in a batting catch before the true story of Wooley et al. emerges, and his profile of the old Yankee great hits the newsstands. Smooth and readable, with a bittersweet approach to heroes and national pastimes.