Barbara Gregorich writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for adults and also for children. She's on First, her first novel, was published in 1976 and heralded as a serious (as opposed to sensational) look at the possibility of a woman in the major leagues. Her nonfiction book, Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball, won the SABR-Macmillan Award for best baseball research and received a major review in The New York Times. In 2013 Women at Play was included in Ron Kaplan's 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read Before They Die.
In addition to loving baseball, Barbara loves reading and writing mysteries. Dirty Proof, her first mystery, introduced Chicago private eye Frank Dragovic. Sound Proof is the sequel. For children, Barbara has ghostwritten four titles in the Boxcar Children series.
Barbara earned her B.A. in literature and in history from Kent State University; her M.A. in literature from the University of Wisconsin; and she completed postgraduate courses in American Studies at Harvard University. She taught English at Kent State University and Cuyahoga Community College.
For years Barbara wrote educational books of all kinds: activity books for preschoool through high school, stories for middle grades, and storybooks for elementary grades. Waltur Buys a Pig in a Poke and Waltur Paints Himself into a Corner, her early readers featuring a bear who misunderstands idioms, were published by Houghton and received many starred reviews. Waltur Buys a Pig in a Poke was chosen as book-of-the-week by the Cooperative Children's Book Center.
In 2011 with the publication of Jack and Larry and in 2013 with the publication of Crossing the Skyway, Barbara added poetry to her writing. Jack and Larry is the free verse true story of major leaguer Jack Graney and his bull terrier Larry. The book depicts the seemingly insurmountable hardships that life hurled at Graney and his team, the Cleveland Indians, as they strove to win a pennant.
Crossing the Skyway is Barbara's first collection of poems. In it, she is serious and at times playful about topics which interest her deeply — nature, justice, baseball, and even basket weaving.
Each year Barbara spends several months presenting programs to the public through schools, universities, and libraries. In 2012 she taught a week-long How to Write the Novel program, funded by the NEA. Throughout 2014 Barbara is traveling as one of the Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholars, speaking on When Women Played Baseball: The Story of Margaret, Nellie, and Rose to communities throughout the state.
As she writes, Barbara listens to live music on the hammered dulcimer, played by her husband, Phil Passen.