Andres Wirkmaa was born in the heart of the southern New Jersey farmlands--the first child born in the United States to his family of Estonian WWII refugees.
Growing up in the "company town" of Seabrook Farms, in an entirely ethnic immigrant community, Andy did not speak English until the age of five.
In 1962, his family moved to northern New Jersey--just outside of New York City--where his father worked as an accountant, and his mother worked as a fashion designer.
A genuine member of the post war "baby boom" generation, he embraced the pop culture of the 1960s and excelled as a musician in rock bands while attending high school and college (majoring in music theory & composition).
After graduating college, he earned his living as a professional musician and music teacher, as well as a recording engineer at a midtown Manhattan recording studio where he worked with many of the top session musicians and production people of the time.
In an abrupt career change, he entered law school in 1976. After passing the bar in 1979, he established his own practice, dealing in virtually all areas of law, (including criminal law, real estate, matrimonial law, civil litigation and business law), and he has continued to maintain an active practice since that time. Moreover, he has been a featured lecturer at seminars for both the Bergen County (New Jersey) Bar Association, as well as the New Jersey State Bar Association.
Although an avid baseball fan his entire life, his serious participation in the national past time did not begin until 1991, when he began coaching youth baseball (with a good deal of success--not the least of which was coaching the 1993 AABC Willie Mays Northeast Regional Champions and participating in the subsequent AABC World Series that same season).
In the years that followed, he devoted a great deal of time to all facets of baseball, including being the official scorer for many state and regional baseball tournaments, as well as local independent baseball leagues.
A true "student of the game", he self-published the first edition of a scorebook of his own design in 1999, and (after having written numerous short pieces dealing with various baseball topics) he contracted with McFarland & Company--a leading publisher of scholarly books--in 2001 to write a definitive dissertation on the official rules governing scorekeeping in baseball.
After two years of extensive work, "Baseball Scorekeeping: A Practical Guide to the Rules" was published in May of 2003. Since then, it is has been not only one of McFarland’s consistently best-selling baseball books, (of which there are well over 1,000 currently in print), but it has also been one of the best-selling books of all of the more than 5,100 titles that McFarland currently publishes, garnering praise throughout the baseball world.
On a number of occasions, Andy has appeared on the weekly radio show hosted by his good friend, Rich Marazzi, called “Inside Yankee Baseball” on WELI in New Haven, Connecticut.
(Rich is the Official Rules Consultant for the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox and other teams, and he has been the author of a regular column in Baseball Digest for many years – “The Rules Corner”).
While on the show, Andy answered a number of scorekeeping questions posed to him by Rich and various callers, as well as otherwise participating in a number of segments during the hour long broadcast.
In early 2007, Andy contracted with a new “high end” baseball quarterly – “108” – to have short Q&A pieces he’d composed about scorekeeping published on a regular basis under the title “How Would You Score That?”
The first article appeared in the Spring 2007 edition of 108, and the second in the Summer 2007 edition, with additional pieces slated to be published in the future.
In March of 2007, Walker & Co. reissued a longtime baseball best seller: “The Joy of Keeping Score” by Paul Dickson, and Andy had the distinct honor of being asked to provide a promotional blurb for the back cover of the book, (which blurb was featured as the leading endorsement of Dickson’s classic tome).
There is no single aspect of baseball that is more important to the game, and at the same time more overlooked and taken for granted, than scorekeeping. In “The Joy of Keeping Score”, Dickson rights that wrong by putting the spotlight on the subject, and making it shine.
In the summer of 2007, Andy was interviewed by Major League Baseball in anticipation of an extended piece being written on the subject of scorekeeping in baseball, which piece would be featured in the Official National League and American League Championship Series programs in the fall of 2007. Subsequently, an excellent and extended article on scorekeeping appeared in the official programs for both the NLCS and the ALCS play-offs in October of 2007 that contained numerous and extensive quotes from him on a number of aspects of scorekeeping. On top of that, an abbreviated piece appeared in the Official 2007 World Series Program that also quoted Andy and referenced his work.
In addition, over the years, Andy has answered many hundreds of inquires about scorekeeping issues from people throughout the United States (from Maine to California, Texas to Minnesota, Florida to Kansas, New York to Hawaii – and many points in-between) as well as from people as far away as Mexico, Canada, Italy, Holland, Australia, Venezuela and the Philippines, and he continues to receive and answer scorekeeping questions from disparate people in disparate places all year round.
In February of 2015, a completely reworked and greatly expanded book on scorekeeping was published: The Complete Baseball Scorekeeping Handbook.
It is entirely new - from top to bottom - and covers not only a comprehensive and thorough analysis of the rules governing scorekeeping in baseball (as revised by MLB in 2007) with abundant game situation examples given throughout, but it also includes detailed step-by-step instructions and suggestions for keeping a first rate scorecard, with numerous illustrations provided.