PETER C. BJARKMAN AUTHOR

CUBAN BASEBALL HISTORIAN AND JOURNALIST

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." — amazon.com
"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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BJARKMAN ON FILM AND ON THE AIR

"If travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it's a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end." — Pico Iyer, "Why I Travel"

"No Reservations Cuba" with Anthony Bourdain



In March 2011 author Peter Bjarkman appeared in the Havana episode of chef Anthony Bourdain's popular "No Reservations" — a regular Travel Channel feature aired for eight seasons. Bjarkman appears in three episode scenes — visiting a Havana little league championship baseball match with Tony, interpreting for Tony during a lively discussion of the Cuban national pastime with fans in Havana's historic Central Park, and attending a Cuban League game with Tony in historic Latin American Stadium. "No Reservations Cuba" first aired on July 11, 2011 and is now available as part of the "Anthony Bourdain No Reservations Collection 7" DVD (subtitled as "Forbidden Detour to Cuba and Beyond"). Click below images for links to several episode sequences featuring Peter Bjarkman.




ESPN "30 for 30" — "Brothers in Exile"


This award-winning documentary by Mario Diaz debuted on ESPN "30 for 30" in November 2014 and relates the saga of Cuban half-brothers Livan and Orlando (El Duque) Hernandez who defected from their native island in the 1990s to seek fame, fortune and considerable acclaim in North America's Major Leagues. Peter Bjarkman appears as a feature "talking head" and Cuban baseball expert through this acclaimed film. Click the image to which the complete documentary film.


MLB Productions — "Cuba: Island of Baseball"


Released in November 2016, the MLB Productions documentary film "Cuba: Isle of Baseball" relates both the formidable history and recent crises of Cuban national baseball, an institution now torn about by the "defections" for dozens of top island players to the lure of career triumphs and huge paychecks in the North American big leagues. While the film provides heart-wrenching stories of exiled Cuban players torn from their culture and families, it strictly avoids the issues of human trafficking which is the dark side of the MLB-Cuban ballplayer story. Peter Bjarkman appears as a featured "talking head" and Cuban baseball expert well versed in the subject. Click the photo for the full MLB episode.