For more than half a century Sports Illustrated has put its best face forward every week with one iconic image-the cover. The work of some of the world's greatest photographers and illustrators, there are now nearly 3,000 examples of this magazine art, all curated here in book form for the first time. The greatest moments in sports history are celebrated, as they happened: Ali's defeat of Liston, the Miracle on Ice, Dwight Clark's Catch, Doug Flutie's Hail Mary, Mark Spitz's golds and then Michael Phelps's. Virtually every important athlete in the world-from Roger Bannister in 1955, to Roger Maris in '61, to Roger Staubach in '78 and Roger Federer in 2009-has appeared there, and those are just the Rogers. It's the one arena in which Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and Jack Nicklaus have all competed together, for the distinction of having the most SI covers. These images are now unique cultural artifacts, and taken together they add up to a delightful and entertaining chronicle of the sporting scene like no other.