Walter Walker. The Appearance of Impropriety (1993) 324 pp.
Publisher’s description: “It’s not the best of times from the San Francisco GoldenGaters. Beset by a series of dispiriting defeats, by an oblivious supermarket tycoon/owner fond of equating rebounds with rutabagas, and by a coach rapidly growing ‘weary of trying to motivate millionaires, adolescents, and egomaniacs,’ the team is mired in fifth place. But as the ‘Gaters embark on a road trip through the Southwest, their win-loss record suddenly takes a backseat to the shocking rumor that somebody on the club is throwing games. Nobody on the ‘Gaters—from its All-American playmaker to its moody superstar—is immune to the storm clouds rapidly gathering over the team. And as the players scramble to evade the full-court pressure of the spotlight, San Francisco’s leading sports columnist, Colin Cromwell, sets out to report the story that will rocket him to national status. In his quest for journalistic immortality, this Bard of the Boards unearths as many questions as he answers. Why, for example, has dignified team leader W.E.B. Pancake been so secretive about his past? And why has the team’s leading scorer, Del Fuego Dixon, stopped handling the ball during the final minutes of close games?”
Setting: San Francisco