Two years after the Chicago Black Sox scandal rocked major league baseball, the Cincinnati Reds are still trying to prove that they won the 1919 World Series, and that the White Sox didn’t just hand it to them. Oliver Perriman, a Reds fan who’d like to remember happier times, wants to mount an exhibit of memorabilia featuring the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, who beat every team they played in a historic coast-to-coast tour. No sooner has the Reds management signed on to Ollie’s plan, though, than he’s shot to death, presumably by somebody who had an eye out for a particular bit of Red Stockings history. Could it have been the ball or the baseball cards he gave to the Reds’ latest acquisition, rolling-stone utility infielder Mickey Rawlings? Mickey promises his live-in girlfriend, ex-serial queen Margie Turner, that he’s not going to get involved this time, but it’s too late. By the time Mickey uncovers evidence of a 50-year-old murder, somebody’s already broken into his house looking for the fatal evidence, and somebody’s trying to smear him by linking him to the gamblers who bought the 1919 Series. Will Mickey end up a “permanent ineligible,” the latest casualty of autocratic Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis? No way, as Mickey never says. But his fifth adventure (Hunting a Detroit Tiger, 1997, etc.) is stronger on baseball trivia—the Reds have an especially rich tradition—than on that untidy old mystery.