Bjarkman Books

“Daring, honest, exceptional… Peter C. Bjarkman has written a must-read primer for anyone considering the truth behind Cuban baseball’s impact on Major League Baseball.” — Ray Otero
No world leader has had the impact on his nation's leading pastime to the same degree that the half-century rule of Fidel Castro would produce in the baseball fanatic island of Cuba.
“Nobody knows more about the intertwining of politics and baseball in Cuba than Peter Bjarkman ...” — Omar Minaya
"Bjarkman delivers the definitive work on Cuban baseball" — Library Journal
Pioneering bilingual editions (English and Spanish volumes) edited by Peter C. Bjarkman and Bill Nowlin and drawn from SABR Biography Project archives on legendary Cuban ballplayers. Features portraits of many of Cuba's most legendary pre- and post-revolution stars.
"Truly a triumph of research and good writing, this gem should be on the reference shelves of any library boasting a serious baseball collection." — Paul Kaplan, Library Journal
"Smoke is visual, visceral energy ... Rarely does a baseball book offer so much ..." — Sports Collectors Digest
"An unrivaled definitive history of the Latino invasion of the North American pastime." —
"A celebration of the powerful grip that America's game has on its millions of fans, and an attempt to recreate baseball history as it lives in our memory and imagination."
Pete Bjarkman also edited the popular early-1990s collection of baseball short stories entitled Baseball & The Game of Life (which appeared in both English and Japanese editions)
An ultimate guide to the top figures (on the court and off) timed for the sports collegiate centennial and also covering the first half-century of the professional game.
The composite story of American collegiate basketball, written on the occasion of the sport's centennial and later reissued in an attractive paperback edition.
Five-decade illustrated history of major league baseball's most successful and popular post-expansion-era franchise
Colorful review of one of pro basketball's most-storied franchises, focusing equally on the Russell-Cousy-Auerbach unparalleled dynasties years during the strife-torn Sixties and the rebirth of glory under Larry Bird and Robert Parrish in the Eighties and Nineties.
Early Bjarkman coffee table pictorial team history volumes include books on the Toronto Blue Jays, Brooklyn Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers (the latter pair published in the Brompton Book's "Baseball Great Dynasties Series).
A quintet (appropriately enough) of pro and college basketball volumes representing the author's free-lance work in the final decade of the 20th century, before the siren-call of baseball in Cuba.
A collection of additional baseball and basketball volumes edited by the author, plus major contributed chapters and a handful of volume "introductions" contributed over the years.
Bjarkman's several dozen SABR BioProject articles (on-line and forthcoming) are all linked here (Cuban and Japanese players). The author's Bios for Cuban big leaguers are also linked above on the separate Cuban Baseball Legends book page.
Nine early Bjarkman authored sports biographies for Young Adult Readers produced in the early and mid-1990s
The author's work has also appeared extensively in Spanish, including numerous journal articles. Several of his books have also been translated into other foreign-language editions (Japanese, French and Polish)


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The Baseball Scrapbook

Bjarkman's often-reprinted coffetable pictorial will reappear in a fifth revised edition from World Publications (JG Press) in late summer of 2008. This will be the most recent of numerous reprintings for the popular gift book since its initial publication (1991) more that fifteen years ago. The various editions of this book include the following:

The Baseball Scrabook—The Men and Magic of America's National Pastime. Revised Fifth Edition. New York: JG Press (World Publications), 2008.

The Baseball Scrabook—The Men and Magic of America's National Pastime. Revised Fourth Edition. New York: JG Press (World Publications), 2004.

The Baseball Scrabook—The Men and Magic of America's National Pastime. Revised Third Edition. New York: Barnes & Noble Publishers, 2000.

The Baseball Scrabook—The Men and Magic of America's National Pastime. Revised Second Edition. New York: JG Press (World Publications), 1995 (also reprinted in 1996).

The Baseball Scrabook—The Men and Magic of America's National Pastime. First Edition. New York: Dorset Press (Barnes & Noble), 1991 (also reprinted in October 1992).

This rare book contains 320 pages of the most famous ballplayers ever to play the game. Mays, Bench, Mantle, Mathewson, Ruth, Cobb, Walter Johnson--along with old team portraits, the 1955 Dodgers, the Casey Stengel Yankees--they are all here. Numerous black and white and color photos offset a charming interwoven text which captures the magic and lore of America's national pastime. This beautiful oversized coffee table volume was originally released in 1991 by Barnes and Noble under its Dorset Press imprint and has since undergone numerous updates and new editions. Four colorful sections laced with hundreds of photos explore:
The Magic of Baseball
The Art of Baseball
The Baseball Family
Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Bjarkman Volume "Introductions"

William Brashler, The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1993.
This Illini Books paperback 20th-anniversary reprint edition of Brashler's popular novel contains an original 17-page "introductory" essay by Pete Bjarkman. Bjarkman's "Introduction" reprises the history and culture of Negro league barnstorming teams of the 1920s and 1930s and also includes a useful bibliography of previous works on Negro league baseball history.

Severo Nieto, Early U.S. Blackball Teams in Cuba, Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company Publishers, 2008.
Nieto's small volume contains box scores, rosters, and statistics (along with brief summaries) of North American ball clubs barnstorming on the Cuban winter league scene of the pre-revolutionary period (1900-1945. Bjarkman 8-page introductory essay ("Foreword") sets both the volume and Nieto's overall contributions to Cuban baseball history in proper context.

BASEBALL & THE GAME OF LIFE: Stories for the Thinking Fan

Baseball & the Game of Life: Stories for the Thinking Fan was listed by George Johnson of the New York Times (April 7, 1991) as a "noteworthy" new publication.

Of certain lasting interest to readers of baseball's multifarious creative literature will be Pete Bjarkman's pioneering edited collection of short stories—a marvelously diverse and literate collection which includes original works by Rober Coover, W.P. Kinsella and Jay Neugeborn. American writers from Walt Whitman to Bernard Malamud and Philip Roth have been intrigued by baseball. Something about that "boy's game played by grown men"—its combination of chivalry and furious competitiveness, its otherworldly timelessness and its permanent aura of nostalgia, even its oddly "narrative" structure—seems to inspire extraordinary works of fiction.

Witness the fifteen stories in Baseball & the Game of Life, which includes pieces by such designated hitters as Robert Coover, Jay Neugeboren, Luke Salisbury, and W.P. Kinsella (whose novel Shoeless Joe inspired the popular film Field of Dreams). Here are a slapstick version of "Casey at the Bat," seen seen from the dazed perspective of the opposing pitcher; the sly tale of a Brooklyn sandlot team that recruits a juvenile deliquent as its star player; a tour de force of magical realism that turns a battered batter into a figure of Christian martyrdom and redemption. In other words, here are stories that treat every aspect of the human condition within the parameters of the baseball diamond, and do so with humor, imagination, and a wicked verbal spin. Also featured is an introduction essay by Bjarkman on the scope of baseball fiction, plus a listing of critical additional readings in baseball fiction. Copies of this long-out-of-print classic can still be found on the websites of many internet book dealers. A colorful Japanese language edition was issued in 1994 by Shinjuku Shobo Limited (see below illustration).

Table of Contents

Introduction by Peter C. Bjarkman
McDuff on the Mound by Robert Coover
The Zodiacs by Jay Neugeboren
Lumpy Drobot, Designated Hitter by W.P. Kinsella
Pinstripe by Lawrence Watson
The Day God Invented Baseball by Leslie W. Hedley
A Rookie Southpay, With Talent by Tom Tolnay
The Glory of Their Haze by Irwin Chusid
Exploding Curve by Merritt Clifton
There Ain't Enough Mustard by Jay Feldman
The Professor & the Chicago Cubs by William Stafford
Frankie's Home Run by James Kissane
Jack Wolfe's Tryout by Like Salisbury
The Cinderella Kid by Henry H. Roth
His Big Chance by John Hildebidle
Browning's Lamps by David Nemec
Baseball's Dozen Best Adult Novels by Peter C. Bjarkman
Fifty Recommended Baseball Novels by Peter C. Bjarkman
Baseball Literature Anthologies by Peter C. Bjarkman
Critical Readings on Baseball Fiction by Peter C. Bjarkman