Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack
image131

By Brad Balukjian
THE GREATER MEANING BEHIND OUR GREATEST GAME.

A single, unopened pack of 1986 baseball cards. A vow to track down all the players inside. What could possibly go wrong?

Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack Wax Pack

By Brad Balukjian
THE GREATER MEANING BEHIND OUR GREATEST GAME.

A single, unopened pack of 1986 baseball cards. A vow to track down all the players inside. What could possibly go wrong?

image132

image133

The Wax pack: oN THE OPEN ROAD IN SEARCH OF BASEBALL'S AFTERLIFE is available for pre-order below

The Wax Packers: Al Cowens, Carlton Fisk, Don Carman, Doc Gooden, Garry Templeton, Gary Pettis, Jaime Cocanower, Lee Mazzilli, Rance Mulliniks, Randy Ready, Richie Hebner, Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Yeager, Vince Coleman

The Premise

The Wax Pack: On the open road in search of baseball's afterlife is the true story of tracking down all the players in a single pack of 1986 Topps on a 11,341-mile road trip across the U.S. What started out as a fit of nostalgia became something much bigger than baseball: A meditation on the loss of innocence, what it means to grow up, and the surprising gift accessible to us all: Impermanence.


Pre-Order Now!

Available on Amazon

AVAILABLE FROM UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA PRESS


Site Content

Susan orlean, author of the library book

"A wonderful journey that opens into an exploration of sports, nostalgia,  American culture, and memory, The Wax Pack will surprise and engage  you. It’s a delight to read and a tribute to the power of curiosity.”

TYLER KEPNER, THE NEW YORK TIMES

"The players on your childhood baseball cards might as well be superheroes: young, handsome and strong, in colorful costumes, certain they will conquer the world. That is how we viewed them once, but in time they grow up – and so do we. What happens after the lights go out on those big stadiums? What becomes of them when they join the rest of us in the real world, and nobody puts their picture on cardboard anymore? In this poignant and powerful masterpiece, Brad Balukjian finds out. He covers more than 10,000 miles to track down the stories of 14 men from a single pack of 1986 Topps baseball cards, learning a lot about their lives – and his own. Hop in the backseat and join him for the journey."

George F. Will

"As pleasing as the pink slab of bubble gum that, long ago, came with baseball cards inside five cent packets, this slender volume gives fresh flavor to the familiar phrase 'inside baseball.'" 


Advance Praise for The Wax Pack

Eric Stangel, Writer/Producer Late night with david letterman

"The Wax Pack is a fun read for card collectors, fans of 80s baseball or anyone who just wants to know what Rance Mulliniks is up to. I want to buy an old pack of cards and do what Brad Balukjian did!"

josh wilker, author of cardboard gods

"Brad Balukjian’s The Wax Pack swiftly and joyfully unfolds like a baseball-loving version of Almost Famous. Bursting with life, laughter, and heartbreak, it’s  an absolutely essential work of baseball literature; a rollicking  page-turner; and a deep, rewarding search for wisdom."

jayson stark, the athletic

"What if a pack of baseball cards could come to life? It sounds like a  Spielberg movie plot, except it happened. It happened because Brad  Balukjian made it happen, in real life, with the most eclectic cast of  baseball characters ever assembled.  And the result is one of the most fun, honest, funny, human and  uniquely creative baseball books of the year. I’ll admit it. I loved the  Wax Pack!"

Jeff Pearlman, author of SHOWTIME

"What a weird, quirky, fun read. There have been 50,000 books written on Major League Baseball, but Brad Balukjian's "The Wax Pack" is a uniquely romantic love letter to a game, a time period and its random soldiers. Well done."

BEN LINDBERGH, AUTHOR OF THE MVP MACHINE

"The Wax Pack is the perfect synthesis of what makes baseball (and baseball cards) compelling, combining the thrill of discovery, the reassurance of shared memory, and poignant metaphors for life. Balukjian's cross-country, cardboard-based bildungsroman reminds us that baseball's best stories are sometimes told by and about players who've long since left the league."

JASON TURBOW, AUTHOR OF THEY BLED BLUE

"With The Wax Pack, Brad Balukjian takes the simplest of ideas—opening an old pack of baseball cards—and twists it into knots, wringing every ounce of goodness from a familiar activity. With clarity of purpose and depth of prose he tells an endearing tale, deftly melding fan with player to provide a joyous, entertaining look at a sport he clearly loves."


Site Content

Rob neyer, author of power ball

"Brad Balukjian's book is for all those little kids with cardboard heroes who turned into big kids and started wondering ... Hey, what if there's more to life than just the cardboard? (Turns out, there is.)"

Jeff katz, author of split season

"Every pack of baseball cards is like a birthday gift. It’s carefully wrapped, and, though what’s inside is a mystery, you know it’s going to be great. Same with Th Wax Pack. Until you open it, you have no idea how good the contents are. They’re good, very good. I’ve opened thousands and thousands of packs in my lifetime, but this is one of my favorites."

Matt boyd, pitcher, detroit tigers

"Collecting baseball cards is something of a childhood rite-of-passage,  and The Wax Pack is an awesome look into something many of us would have  never dreamed of doing; chasing down our childhood heroes. What seemed  so distant on a  small piece of cardboard, Brad chronicles his stories of chasing down  these ball players and telling their stories unlike anyone ever has  before from the unique perspective as author and fan."

image134

Available April 1, 2020 from the University of Nebraska Press and wherever books are sold


Join My Reader List