Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Barbara Gregorich  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult; Children;

Born: 1943 in Sharon, Pennsylvania

-- Website --
-- Barbara Gregorich on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Barbara lives in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Gregorich writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, for adults and also for children. In 2014 she was an Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar for her presentation on women who played baseball — ''Margaret, Nellie, and Rose: The Story of Women in Baseball''. She also teaches various courses on writing and on self-publishing.Barbara earned her B.A. in literature and 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. A former English instructor at Kent State University and Cuyahoga Community College, she also worked as a typesetter for the Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune and a letter carrier for the US Postal Service.She is a member of the Authors Guild, the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Private Eye Writers of America, and the Society for American Baseball Research. She is married to Phil Passen, hammered dulcimer musician.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Guide to Writing the Mystery Novel: Lots of Examples, Plus Dead Bodies
ISBN: 1500714488

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2014

For those contemplating writing a mystery novel and those who have written one or more but are looking for fresh and invigorating insights into the approach, Guide to Writing the Mystery Novel provides an overall view of how to think like a writer in general and a mystery writer in particular. Covered are topics such as: What are the possible patterns of suspicion when the villain is a major character? What changes when the villain is a minor character? How many subplots work best, and in what order can they be introduced? How can a writer throw suspicion on innocent characters while at the same time providing clues that point to the guilty one? These topics and many more are examined and analyzed in this solid how-to book which is rich with examples and suggestions.

Sound Proof
ISBN: 1456533266

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2011

Publishers Weekly called Frank Dragovic, who first appeared in Dirty Proof, "an enlightened detective" and "a charming, savvy narrator." Now Chicago private eye Dragovic is back, working undercover at Midwest Music Madness, a folk festival targeted by a thief. The corn is high in Iroquois County, the food deliciously Midwestern, the music old-time tunes and songs. But sour notes abound, and theft of musical instruments soon crescendos to murder. Working undercover as a carpenter, Frank finds himself repairing corn cribs and pigpens in the July heat. At the same time, he must determine the thief and murderer -- difficult to do while surrounded by suspects playing fiddles, banjos, guitars, autoharps, hammered dulcimers, bowed psaltries, and rhythm bones.

Dirty Proof
ISBN: 1463585705

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2011

Ralph Blasingame was a rising executive at the Chicago Truth-Examiner until he fell into the presses late one night and came out as bad news. Now his former lover, Suzanne Quering, is suspected of giving him a helping hand into the spinning wheel of death. She hires private eye Frank Dragovic to prove she didn't do it. Trouble is, on the night of Blasingame's death, Suzanne Quering was working late at the Truth-Examiner. Worse still, a silk scarf was found in the presses with Blasingame's body. She had such a scarf. Trouble is, she can't find it anywhere. In taking on the case, Dragovic encounters numerous suspects. He also encounters police lieutenant Dragan Brdar, who grew up with him in Chicago's southside Croatian neighborhood. Brdar informs Frank that Quering isn't as innocent as she sounds: not so long ago, she had threatened to kill Blasingame. With the police eager to prove murder, can Frank clear his stubborn red-headed client -- or will the memory of her flaming hair haunt him long after she's locked away? First published in 1988, now back in print.

Jack and Larry: Jack Graney and Larry, the Cleveland Baseball Dog
ISBN: 1467958018

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2012

Jack and Larry is the heartwarming story of a man, a dog, and a baseball team. Leadoff batter for the Cleveland American League team from 1910-22, Jack Graney was loved for many reasons, not least among them the fact that he owned Larry, bull terrier mascot of the woebegone, 102-losses, 48-games-out team that struggled to prove itself worthy. Larry, too, was loved, not only by the Cleveland fans, but by porters, bellhops, ship captains and trolly car conductors in all American League cities and in Canada. Loyal, sensitive, intelligent, Larry was more than a mascot -- he was part of the team. Jack and Larry is a story about the pursuit of the pennant, a story of devotion, commitment, and persistence, illustrating what it means to be major league. For ages 10 to adult.

She's on First
ISBN: 144957307X

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2010

She's on First is back! Full of riveting baseball action and captivating characters, this is the story of Linda Sunshine, first female major leaguer, shortstop for the never-in-first-place Chicago Eagles. It's also the story of Big Al Mowerinski, the owner who hired her for ulterior motives Neal Vanderlin, the reporter who supports her and the various teammates who want her on - or off - the Eagles.

Published to stellar reviews in hardback in 1987 and paperback in 1988, full of warmth, humor, and tough sentiment, She's on First is a great read with great baseball action, as commanding as a fastball, as surprising as a curve, and as satisfying as a home run. Too long out of print, this novel is a welcome-back addition to the field of baseball literature - don't miss it!

Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball/ a Harvest Original
ISBN: 0156982978

Harcourt. 1993

A comprehensive history of women in baseball chronicles the role of women in the sport from the game's inception in 1869 to the present. By the author of She's on First. Original. 12,500 first printing.

Research Notes for Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball: Maud Nelson, Margaret Nabel
ISBN: 1453875557

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2010

Research Notes for Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball is a chronological collection of public domain newspaper articles - research information on which Barbara Gregorich's book detailing the history of women in hardball, 1893 to 1993, was based. The reprints and notes are arranged not only chronologically, but also by three topics: Bloomer Baseball Before Maud Nelson Midwest Bloomer Baseball, Mostly Maud Nelson Eastern Bloomers, Mostly Margaret Nabel. Within these broad categories are articles on the Blondes and Brunettes the Western Bloomer Girls the Cherokee Indian Base Ball team the New York Bloomer Girls the Baltimore Black Sox the Philadelphia Bobbies, and others. In addition, the book includes the article "My Darling Clementine," detailing Barbara Gregorich's steps in discovering the importance and identity of Maud Nelson.

Research Notes for Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball: Lizzie Arlington, Alta Weiss, Lizzie Murphy, Edith Houghton, Jackie Mitchell, Babe Didrikson (Volume 2)
ISBN: 1491023597

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2013

Research Notes for Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball is a chronological collection of public domain newspaper articles and public documents -- research information on which Women at Play was based. Research Notes, Volume I documented women ballplayers of the late 19th Century, most of them Bloomer Girls.

Volume II documents six women who played on otherwise all-male teams from roughly 1890 through 1935:

Lizzie Arlington, who signed a minor-league contract in 1898
Alta Weiss, who pitched against men's teams throughout Ohio
Lizzie Murphy, who played semipro ball for over twenty years
Edith Houghton, who was playing semipro ball at the age of ten
Jackie Mitchell, who struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in 1931
Babe Didrikson, who pitched spring training against major league teams

Volume II offers the most important of the newspaper and magazine articles about these six players, some articles in their entirety and some in summary. Included at the end of the volume is "The Only Lizzie," an article about Lizzie Arlington. This book will be of interest to baseball researchers in general, to women in baseball who want to know their history, to people who enjoy reading old newspaper articles, to high school English teachers who assign research topics and papers to students, and to all teachers interested in introducing students to primary source materials.

Crossing the Skyway: Poems
ISBN: 1481209981

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2013

Throughout this collection of accessible new and previously published poems (most in free verse) about nature, family, and the decay of capitalism, there is a unity of vision and a strong sense of justice. Barbara Gregorich writes with humor and playfulness as well, with quirky takes on subjects such as foul balls, driving on twisty roads, and making conversation.

Waltur Buys a Pig in a Poke and Other Stories
ISBN: 0618473068

HMH Books for Young Readers. 2006

“Be careful,” said Matilda. “Do not buy a pig in a poke.” “What’s a poke?” asked Darwin.

Yes, what is a poke? And why would Waltur, a bear, buy a pig, anyway?
Together with the help of his best friends, Matilda and Darwin, Waltur is about to find out the wisdom of Matilda’s words. Through trial and error, he will also learn the truths behind two other funny old sayings: “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch” (why not?) and “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” (wanna bet?).

Waltur Paints Himself Into a Corner and Other Stories
ISBN: 0618747966

HMH Books for Young Readers. 2007

Waltur and his friends Matilda and Darwin are back in this collection of three stories that help beginning readers understand funny everyday sayings—like trying not to paint yourself into a corner (easier said than done!), putting the cart before the horse (how backwards can you get?), and letting sleeping dogs lie (not much good can come from waking up a cranky dog!).
What kind of trouble will Waltur get himself into this time? How much the wiser will he be for it?


  • Chicago Women in Publishing Award for Childrens Books ''Sue Likes Blue'', 1984
  • SABR-MacMillan Baseball Research Award ''Women at Play

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

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    Speeches and Seminars include

  • Thinking Like a Mystery Writer
  • Mountain Passes in American History
  • When Women Played Baseball The Story of Margaret, Nellie, and Rose
  • Self-Publishing Through CreateSpace The Step-by-Step Process
  • Keeping the Wolf from the Door A Look at Idioms
  • Charlie Chans Poppa The Life of Earl Derr Biggers