Before the rise of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s, baseball was a game of white men, cloth caps and concrete walls. Four men helped to change the sport as America knew it: Branch Rickey, Larry MacPhail, Jackie Robinson and Pete Reiser.
These men were essential to the evolution of baseball, especially in their home of Brooklyn's Ebbets Field. It was there that the first major league game was televised, where the batting helmet was developed, where the first walls were padded and the first outfield warning tracks laid down and - with the arrival of Jackie Robinson, it is where the color line was broken.
This richly researched history which includes chapters such as "1940: MacPhail Starts a Dodger Dynasty," "1942: FDR Says the Show Must Go On" and "The War Years," presents an exploration of how a crucial decade of Dodger accomplishments transformed American baseball.