"A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." — Thomas Mann, Nobel Prize Winner
CUBAN BASEBALL HISTORY
Over the past decade and more, Peter Bjarkman has focussed on covering baseball on the communist island of Cuba, both as historian and journalist. His most recent books trace the island's rich history with the sport which is perhaps more a "national pastime" in Castro's Cuba than in any other nation. Bjarkman's work on Cuban baseball has not only included books but numerous print and on-line articles and he has traveled to numerous international tournaments to cover the Cuban national team across Latin America, Europe and Asia for www.BaseballdeCuba.com and other internet sites. His earlier work, however, also produced books on big-leaguie baseball (including team histories), basketball history (NCAA and NBA), and sports biographies (baseball and basketball) for young adults. His work has also appeared in a number of translated editions in Spanish, French and Polish languages.
Fidel Castro and Baseball: The Untold Story
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 actual role of Fidel in guiding and rebuilding island baseball culture after the 1959 Communist Revolution, Fidel's successes 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's recent seeming collapse in Cuba and the flight of star players toMajor League Baseball was intimately tied to Castro's health crises, his departure from power (at the acme of Cuban baseball potency in early 2006) and his eventual death (a decade later in late 2016).
Cuba's Baseball Defectors: The Inside Story
MLB’s much ballyhooed steroids scandal of the 1990s and early 2000s was largely a temporary diversion and a much-trumpeted media entertainment of the type the sport seemingly enjoys every new generation (like introduction of the lively ball, or the DH, or artificial turf, or the sport’s hijacking by television). But in the end Bud Selig’s “steroid legacy” impacted only on the game’s sacred record books and had little currency outside the small world of professional baseball. No human lives were lost or even threatened, no serious impact on the world of international politics transpired. But now that MLB has begun to sully its hands in the sordid world of human trafficking and illegal immigration a far more serious scandal has begun to emerge.
A History of Cuban Baseball, 1864-2006 (hardcover and paperback editions)
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.
The Yanqui in Cuba's Dugout: Travels Inside Fidel Castro's Baseball Empire (in progress)
A long-awaited memoir of author Peter Bjarkman's two decades on the ground in Cuba, providing an insider's revealing details on the inner workings of Cuban baseball and offering an intimate portrait of the long-forbidden Communist bastion across its slow wind-down toward inevitable détente with the great empire to the north.
Cuban Baseball Legends (SABR Digital Library)
Smoke — The Romance and Lore of Cuban Baseball (co-authored with Mark Rucker)
Diamonds around the Globe: Encyclopedia of International Baseball
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).
New York Mets Encyclopedia
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.
The Baseball Scrapbook (Four 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.
Baseball & the Game of Life (Edited Fiction)
An inspiring collection of short baseball fiction featuring some of the games most renowned "wordsmiths" and including the editor's introductory essay providing an early 1990's guide to the world of baseball fiction.
Additional Baseball Team Histories
Bjarkman's post-academic writing career was launched in the early 1990s with a series of work-for-hire coffee table pictorials on the Toronto Blue Jays, the Cincinnati Reds, and the two manifestation of the franchise known on both coasts as The Dodgers.
The Biographical History of Basketball
Comprehension late 20th-century guide to the leading figures of NBA and NCAA basketball, plus the author's chapter-length articles capsulizing the rich history of the favorite American winter sport on both the collegiate and professional levels.
Hoopla: A Century of College Basketball
Boston Celtics Encyclopedia
Miscellaneous Basketball Books
Edited Books, Chapters and Introductions
In addition to several above-listed volumes, the author has contributed major introductions to both William Brashler's paperback reissue of the classic novel Bingo Long and the Travelling All-Stars and Severo Nieto's tome on Early U.S. Blackball Teams in Cuba. Included here also are numerous contributed chapters in various sports anthologies and team history volumes.
SABR Biography Project
Sports Books for Young Adult Readers
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.