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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"There has never been a case in which a head of state has been involved so prominently and for such a long period in a nation's favored sport as Fidel Castro has been with baseball in Cuba." — Roberto González Echevarría, The Pride of Havana

BOOK UNDER CONTRACT (Rowman & Littlefield)

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. Here for the first time is the complete story of Fidel Castro's unique baseball empire built behind the Sugar Cane Curtain of the mid- and late-twentieth-century U.S-Cuba Cold War Era.

In this important and ground-breaking new work Chadwick Award Winner Peter Bjarkman establishes the baseball side of Fidel Castro's immense legacy. Covered here is the mythology of Fidel Castro as big league pitching prospect, the true of Fidel in guiding and rebuilding island baseball culture after the 1959 Communist Revolution, Fidel's success and failures at "beating the Americans at their own national game, reviews of the popular literature treating Fidel's actual and fiction life, and an insightful look at how baseball recent seeming collapse in Cuba and the flight of star players the Major League Baseball was intimately tied to Castro's health crises, departure from power (at the acme of Cuban baseball potency in early 2006) and eventual death (a decade later in late 2016).


Chapter 1 – “History Will Absolve Me”
Chapter 2 - Baseball's Most Outrageous Myth
Chapter 3 - Fidel and Baseball Fiction
Chapter 4 - The Infamous Barbudos Game
Chapter 5 - The Death of Cuba's Professional Baseball
Chapter 6 - The Socialist Baseball Experiment
Chapter 7 - The Other Big Red Machine
Chapter 8 - The Defectors Phenomenon
Chapter 9 - The Collapse of Cuban Baseball
Appendix I: A Fidel Castro Chronology
Appendix II: Fidel Castro Annotated Bibliography
Chapter Notes
Sources and Bibliography
The Author


English Language Articles

“Fidel Castro and Baseball” on-line at THE SABR BIOGRAPHY PROJECT (

“Fidel Castro and Baseball” in: Cuban Baseball Legends: Baseball’s Alternative Universe (Edited by Peter C. Bjarkman and Bill Nowlin). Phoenix: The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR Digital Library), 2016, 30-47.

“The Myth of Fidel Castro, Barbudos Ballplayer” (Chapter 9) in: Peter C. Bjarkman, A History of Cuban Baseball, 1864-2006. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company Publishers, 2007, 2014, pp. 299-314.

“Fidel on the Mound: Baseball Myth and History in Castro’s Cuba” in: Elysian Fields Quarterly 16:3 (Summer 1999), 31-41.

“Fidel Castro’s Pitching Career” in: International Baseball Rundown 9:2 (March-April 2000), 8-9.

“Baseball and Fidel Castro” in: The National Pastime: A Review of Baseball History 18 (1998), 64-68. The Society for American Baseball Research.

“Fidel Castro and Baseball” on-line at (November 26, 2016)

Spanish Language Articles

“Fidel Castro y El Béisbol” in: Leyendas del Béisbol Cubano: El Universo Alternativo del Béisbol (Edited by Peter C. Bjarkman and Bill Nowlin, translations by Reynaldo Cruz). Phoenix: The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR Digital Library), 2016, 31-49.

“Fidel Castro y el béisbol” in: Universo Béisbol 7:74 (Diciembre 2016), 32-43. (Translation by Reynaldo Cruz)

“Fidel Castro y el béisbol” (Translation by Reynaldo Cruz) on-line at (November 26, 2016)