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
"A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." — Thomas Mann, German Nobel Prize Laureate
Smoke made a large impact on the island of Cuba
A History of Cuban Baseball, 1864-2006
The seminal and most comprehensive history of Cuban baseball, from its origins on the island in 1864 through the 45 seasons of "amateur league" competitions and national team triumphs following the 1959 communist revolution. Details on every pre- and post-revolution Cuban season and records of all international appearances by Cuban national teams. Touted by Library Journal (February 1, 2007) as "the definitive work" on Cuban baseball and featured on Havana's RADIO COCO Cuban League website. Recipient of the 2007 Robert Peterson Recognition Award from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Negro Leagues Committee.
Baseball's Other Big Red Machine: A History of the Cuban National Team
This ground-breaking present volume, penned by Cuban baseball's foremost historian, is the first to chronicle the complete story of baseball's most winning all-time "franchise." Bjarkman unfolds in colorful detail a remarkable half-century success run unparalleled at any level of professional or amateur baseball competition. Ever since Fidel Castro seized political power on the baseball-crazy island of Cuba—and in the process outlawed all professional sports—the thrust of the small nation's "national pastime" has been focused squarely on beating the rival American "Yankees" (i.e. the USA national amateur and professional teams) at their own game during prestigious international competitions. Baseball—in the guise of the showcase national team—has, in fact, become Cuba's greatest single propaganda weapon in an ongoing ideological struggle with "the great imperialist demon" to the north.
Who's Who in Cuban Baseball, 1962-2013
The volume represents the first and only biographical encyclopedia (in English or Spanish) devoted to Cuban ballplayers who have performed in the post-revolution Cuban "amateur" league (1962-present) and on Cuban national teams which have dominated international tournaments for the past half-century.
Diamonds Around the Globe: Encyclopedia of International Baseball
The first comprehensive encyclopedia of baseball as a world sport, with detailed histories of the game in all baseball-playing countries and coverage of all major international tournaments (Olympics, World Cup, Intercontinental Cup, Pan American Games, etc.). The first and still the only volume of its type to chronicle the international version of Cuba's and North America's avowed "national pastime." Winner of The Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award (2004) and Finalist for CASEY Award (2005).
Smoke — The Romance and Lore of Cuban Baseball (co-authored with Mark Rucker)
An award-winning coffee table pictorial revealing the history of Cuban baseball with both rare vintage photographs and informative historical text. This book has become a valued collectible on the island of Cuba, especially among an older generation of baseball aficionados. A finalist for CASEY Award and SABR-Seymour Medal (Best Baseball Book of the Year).
Baseball with a Latin Beat: A History of the Latin American Game
The first comprehensive history of baseball in Latin America and Latinos in the major leagues, with detailed accounts of baseball in each of the major Caribbean Rim ballplaying countries. A ground-breaking book in the early 1990s and also the basis for Bjarkman's later scholarship on Latin American and Cuban League baseball. Winner of the Macmillan-SABR Baseball Research Award (1994).
The Baseball Scrapbook (appearing in five editions)
This volume is 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. Four sections cover the following themes: (1) The Magic of Baseball, (2) The Art of Baseball, (3) The Baseball family, and (4) Take Me Out to the Ball Game.
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) as well as writing the "Introduction" to a paperback edition of William Brashler's acclaimed novel The Bingo Long Travelling All-Stars & Motor Kings.
The New York Mets Encyclopedia (and others)
Comprehensive history of one of baseball's most beloved franchises, including numerous photos and statistical summaries as well as a rich and detailed narrative text (with the book's 2013 Third Edition updated through 2012 season). Fifty years of New York Mets history colorfully documented in a single attractive volume. A half-dozen additional Bjarkman-authored team histories are also found here.
Basketball Histories and Biographies
Detailed portraits of numerous important figures from basketball's professional and collegiate history, plus debated-sparking chapters on the game's all-time greats and concise overview histories of NBA and NCAA play. The author's other basketball history books and biographies are also included here.
Young Adult Reader Sports Biographies Roberto Clemente is an award-winning biography for young adult readers (picked by the New York Public Library as a 1991 top choice for Young Adult Readers) and also one of four Bjarkman titles in the Chelsea House Baseball Legends Series of the early 1990s. The author's other titles in the same series include Duke Snider, Ernie Banks and Warren Spahn. Bjarkman is also author of five additional Young Adult sports titles for Enslow Publisher.