Baseball with a Latin Beat

A History of the Latin American Game


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About the Book

Since Cuba’s Esteban Bellan made his debut for the Troy Haymakers of the National Association in 1871, Latin Americans have played a large role in the major leagues. Nearly 15 percent of big league rosters are made up of Latinos, while the region’s colorful and competitive winter leagues have been a proving ground for up-and-coming major league players and managers. Early Latin American stars were barred purely because of the color of their skin from playing in the major leagues. Players such as Jose Mendez and Martin Dihigo (the only player elected to the U.S., Cuban and Mexican halls of fame) made their marks on the Negro Leagues, turning the leagues’ barnstorming tours into major attractions in many Caribbean countries. This history of the players and events that make up the rich tradition of Latin American baseball gives a unique insight to this long-neglected area of baseball.

About the Author(s)

The late Peter C. Bjarkman was a widely recognized authority on Cuban baseball history and a frequent visitor to the island nation. A past winner of the The Sporting News–SABR and Macmillan–SABR awards for baseball research, in 2011 he appeared on the Cuba episode of the Travel Channel’s No Reservations. He was the senior baseball writer for, the leading Cuban League website.

Bibliographic Details

Peter C. Bjarkman
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 486
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 1994
pISBN: 978-0-89950-973-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8308-2
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Winner, Macmillan–SABR Baseball Research Award
  • “A retrospective…and a look at the lore of the winter leagues”—USA Today Sports Weekly
  • “A valuable summary of Latin American contributors to U.S. baseball”—Choice.