Historical: (partial listing)
As the Browns open a promising season with victory over the Chicago White Sox, East St. Louis marks the passing of Crawford, apparently lynched by a mob of white men after J.D. Whalen, who looked terrible against him in the exhibition, said he heard him insult a white woman. Most of the Elcars and Enoch are members of the Ku Klux Klan. Mickey is recruited by Karl Landfors and Franklin Aubury to investigate the crime.
Rawlings is performing terribly at the plate, is temporarily abandoned by live-in girlfriend Margie Turner after she reveals she had married someone else when she was younger on a dare (and therefore could not marry him), and as worse comes to worse, is suspended for fifteen days after his participation in the semipro game is revealed. But his investigation introduces him to the world of Black America, as revealed in his interactions with Aubury, Bell and other black men. Rawlings' investigations take him to Indianapolis and Evansville, Indiana, even as the Klan try to get him on their side. There are back and forth incidents of retaliation, including the destrucion of Enoch's car service, the burning down of Cubs Park and the beating up of Enoch's son. Finally, after a memorable day on the field, Rawlings is beaten with a bullwhip by six Klansmen, prompting him to fight back.
Rawlings learns that the reason for Crawford's death leads back to the riots of 1917 in St. Louis. J.D. Whalen, while he thought he was alone, killed a white co-worker, Tim Lowrey, who he thought was muscling in on the chance to succeed Enoch and marry his unattractive daughter Jessalyn. Unbeknownst to Whalen, Crawford saw him do it and at the game, mentioned it to him, causing Whalen to panic and stir up a mob against Crawford to kill him. After confronting Whalen, Rawlings goes to Enoch with his findings and a few days later, Whalen is found dead on the train tracks.