Selected 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
"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."
“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
"Smoke is visual, visceral energy ... Rarely does a baseball book offer so much ..."—Sports Collectors Digest
"... this gem is truly a triumph of research and good writing ..."—Library Journal
"An unrivaled definitive history of the Latino invasion of the North American pastime."—
Five-decade illustrated history of major league baseball's most successful and popular post-expansion-era franchise
Nine early Bjarkman authored volumes on basketball history, including a popular illustrated history of the Boston Celtics and what some in the late-1990s called a definitive history of college basketball
Nine early Bjarkman authored sports biographies for Young Adult Readers produced in the early and mid-1990s


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Bjarkman's Baseball Journalism

"Cuando Peter Bjarkman escribe de béisbol cubano hay que leerlo." — Jorge Ebro, Miami Herald

Peter Bjarkman is Senior Writer for, the leading Spanish/English Cuban baseball website

During the past decade-plus Pete Bjarkman has traveled the international baseball tournament scene to report (mostly on the Cuban national team) in both the print and eletronic media. Bjarkman's journalistic travels have included Olympic Baseball Tournament II (1996, Atlanta), Caribbean Series #39 (1997, Hermosillo), Pan American Games XIII (1999, Winnipeg), Baseball World Cup #35 (2003, Havana), Baseball World Cup #36 (2005, Netherlands), World Baseball Classic I (2006, San Juan, San Diego), Americas Pre-Olympic Tournament (2006, Havana), Caribbean Series #49 (2007, San Juan), Rotterdam World Port Tournaments 11/​13 (2007 and 2011, Netherlands), Jose Antonio Huelga Memorial Tournament (2008, Havana), Haarlem Honkbal Week (2008 and 2010, Netherlands), World Baseball Classic II (2009, Mexico City, San Diego, Los Angeles), Baseball World Cup #38 (2009, Spain, Netherlands, Italy), Baseball World Cup #39 (2011, Panama), and World Baseball Classic III (2013, Fukuoka and Tokyo, Japan).

Bjarkman has published more than 200 periodical articles in both English in Spanish, including regular Spanish-language features (plus coverage of major international tournaments since April 2005) in the monthly periodical Béisbol Mundial. He is also author of over 500 internet articles/​reports (most written since 2007 and treating Cuban League topics) featured on,, and his own personal MLB blog (consistently an MLB "Top 100 Blog" since 2008) at

Most of these articles treat major league and international tournament baseball history, but other sports and non-sports topics are also featured (for example, international travel, model railroading hobby, and NBA and NCAA basketball history). A complete listing is available in the Bjarkman Bibliography which can be downloaded from the NEW BOOK page of this website.

Selected Articles by Peter C. Bjarkman
Print Media
1. “Bridge to Cuba’s Baseball Past” (Portrait of Conrado Marrero) in: The New York Times (Sunday Edition, August 14, 2011), Sunday Sports, 9.
2. “Retiring Clemente’s ‘21’ as True Recognition for Latinos in the Majors” in: The National Pastime: A Review of Baseball History 27 (2007), 9-13. Cleveland: Society for American Baseball Research.
3. “Lost in the Crowd—Cuban legend Martín Dihigo was one of the most versatile players ever, and is in four halls of fame, yet many fans have never even heard of him” in: 108—Celebrating Baseball Volume 1:1 (Summer 2006), 61-69.
4. “Waiting for CHE—Chasing Illusions in the Modern-Era Cuban Ballpark” in: Elysian Fields Quarterly 21:2 (Spring 2004), 6-17.
5. “Six-Pointed Diamonds and the Ultimate Shiksa: Baseball and the American-Jewish Immigrant Experience” in: The Diamond Angle Quarterly #70 (Winter 2002), 32-34 (Part I).
6. “Latin America’s Game—History and the Latin Age: Exclusion, prejudice yield to a Latin Age” in: Devil Rays Magazine 3:3 (May-July 2000), 38-39, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50.
7. “The Baseball Half-Century of Conrado Marrero” in: Elysian Fields Quarterly 17:1 (Winter 2000), 27-44.
8. “Fidel on the Mound: Baseball Myth and History in Castro’s Cuba” in: Elysian Fields Quarterly 16:3 (Summer 1999), 31-41.
9. “Baseball and Fidel Castro” in: The National Pastime: A Review of Baseball History 18 (1998), 64-68. Cleveland: Society for American Baseball Research.
Electronic Media
10. “Centenarian in Need Receives Overdue Aid” (Conrado Marrero MLB Pension) for: The New York Times on-line edition (February 24, 2012)
11. “A Brief History of Cuban League Revolutionary Baseball” for: Prensa Latina Cuban News Agency (February 4, 2011) on-line article for PL English-language website (
12. La gran temporada de Aroldis Chapman—Perspectivas históricas necesarias (translated from English by Circles Robinson) (October 25, 2012) for
13. La conclusion del Campeonato Universitario de béisbol, es uno de los mejores juegos Cuba-USA de todos los tiempos (translated from English by Daniel de Malas) (August 23, 2010) for: Radio COCO website (Havana, Cuba)
14. “Un Clasico de Oro: Corea se impone en el ultimo torneo olímpico inolvidable” in: Béisbol Mundial (Volume 21, September-October 2008), 16-17.
15. “Crónica de Una Muerte Anunciada—Tras los últimos suspiros de la Liga Puertorriqueña, se esfuman 70 años de tradición” in: Béisbol Mundial (October 2007), 14-15.
16. “Una Historia Incompleta: Jackie Rompió La Barrera de Color, Pero No Fue El Primero” in: Béisbol Mundial (June-July 2007), 10-11.
17. “Un Mundo Aparte—Después del éxito en el Clásico Mundial, Cuba culmina una emocionante Serie Nacional” in: Béisbol Mundial (July 2006), 16-17.

Bjarkman's best-known essay is his now oft-cited EFQ article (Summer 1999) explaining the background and origins of a much-celebrated and often-repeated myth carried in the American press about Fidel Castro's reputed one-time status as a major league pitching prospect. For those who have heard this fanciful tale (often retold by Bob Costas on FOX TV World Series broadcasts), or those who may have wondered about possible historical foundations for Tim Wendel's recent fanciful novel Castro's Curveball, Bjarkman's article is perhaps worth once more revisiting.

SABR Baseball Biography Project

Bjarkman's SABR BIO PROJECT Essays:
Published on-line biographies available by clicking images on right
Fidel Castro and Baseball (August 2013, revised July 2017)
Camilo Pascual (January 2017)
Orlando "El Duque" Hernández and Liván Hernández (January 2017)
José de la Caridad Méndez (January 2017)
Cristobal Torriente (January 2017)
Tommie de la Cruz (October 2014)
Fidel Castro (August 2013, revised July 2017)
Sadaharu Oh (July 2013)
Victor Starffin (June 2013)
Aquino Abreu (December 2012)
Zoilo Versalles (April 2012) (revised September 2014)
Tony Oliva (April 2012) (revised September 2014)
Pedro Ramos (August 2011)
Cuban League (February 2011, revised July 2016)
Omar Linares (January 2011)
Adolfo Luque (April 2010)
Martín Dihigo (March 2010)
Connie Marrero (March 2010, revised April 2011)
Bjarkman SABR Biographies currently in preparation:
World Baseball Classic
Baseball World Cup
Olympic Baseball
Cuban Winter League
Caribbean Series
Havana Latin American Stadium
Orestes Kindelán
José Valdivielso
Humberto "Chico" Fernández
Cristobal Torriente
Pedro Luis Lazo
Bjarkman has also co-editing (with Bill Nowlin) the SABR BioProject companion volumes entitled Cuban Baseball Legends: Baseball's Alternative Universe" and "Leyendas del Béisbol Cubano: El Universo Alternativo del Béisbol"

Baseball Century of Conrado Marrero

Pete Bjarkman as written a half-dozen feature stories and columns on Cuba's Conrado Marrero, MLB's oldest living ex-player and only centenarian. The former pitcher lives in Havana and will turn 102 on April 25, 2014. Click this image to read Pete Bjarkman's April 2011 centennial birthday tribute on for the occasion of Connie Marrero crossing the 100-year longevity mark.

Pete Bjarkman's feature full-page story in the Sunday edition of the New York Times (August 9, 2011) captured the remarkable career of Conrado Marrero and also documented the ballplayer's half-century struggle to receive unpaid (and unfairly withheld) pension funds from the Major League Baseball Players Association. The digital version of this story also can be accessed by clicking on this image.

Conrado Marrero Articles by Peter C. Bjarkman
1. “Centenarian in Need Receives Overdue Aid” (Conrado Marrero MLB Pension) in: The New York Times (on-line edition, February 24, 2012)
2. “Bridge to Cuba’s Baseball Past--Conrado Marrero, the oldest former major leaguer, has not lef the game behind him” in: The New York Times (Sunday Edition, August 14, 2011), Sunday Sports, Page 9.
3. “Conrado Marrero” for: The Baseball Biography Project (On-line biographical encyclopedia of the Society for American Baseball Research) ( (March 2010, updated April 2011 for occasion of Conrado Marrero’s centennial)
4. “The Mysteries and Misconceptions Surrounding Conrado Marrero” for: Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Website ( (April 25, 2011)
5. “The Mysteries and Misconceptions Surrounding Conrado Marrero” for: (April 25, 2011)
6. “Cuba’s and World’s Oldest Ballplayer Celebrates a Centennial Anniversary” for: (April 18, 2011)
7. “Cuba’s and World’s Oldest Ballplayer Celebrates 100 Years” for: Prensa Latina Cuban News Agency in: for Prensa Latina (Cuba News Agency) English-language website ( (April 11, 2011)
8. “Cuba’s & World’s Oldest Ballplayer Celebrates 100th” for: International Baseball Federation (IBAF) website ( (April 10, 2011)
9. “Cuba’s & World’s Oldest Ballplayer Celebrates 100th” for: Havana Times on-line ( (April 9, 2011)
10. “Connie Marrero Still Strong at 99” for: (April 18, 2010)
11. “The Baseball Half-Cenury of Conrado Marrero” (Chapter 4) in: Peter C. Bjarkman, A History of Cuban Baseball, 1864-2006. Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland & Company Publisher, 2007, 63-75.
12. “The Baseball Half-Century of Conrado Marrero” in: Elysian Fields Quarterly 17:1 (Winter 2000), 27-44.