It's an annoying fact, at least to aficionados of other sports, that baseball fans are as enamored of its history as they are of the game itself. They seem to delight in telling one and all of the exploits of various greats "back in the day." Of course, this love of the past can be a two-edged sword ask any Cubs fan about the last time they won a World Series. But more than the Cubs, more than the Red Sox or the Yankees, there is the team known as the Dodgers whose story goes back to the very beginning of the game. Glenn Stout has written a definitive history of the team in The Dodgers: 120 Years of Dodgers Baseball. In many ways the Dodgers embody America, what with their pastoral roots, coping with a gradual change to big-city life, being the first to embark on racial equality, then pursing the wide-open lifestyle of the West Coast. Stout takes us through each step of the team's storied history, pulling no punches. He sheds new light on Jackie Robinson's breaking the color barrier, the sad story of the end of Sandy Kofax's career, the many motivations for the move to Los Angeles, and the eclipse and subsequent resurgence of the franchise in recent times. Filled to bursting with an amazing array of photographs selected by Richard A. Johnson, The Dodgers is a rarity: a great coffee-table book as well as a well-written, thoughtful history.

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