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

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

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.

Los Angeles Times bestseller and NPR Best Book of 2020

Paperback now available from your local bookstore!

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"The Wax Pack is one of the most interesting and pleasing baseball-themed books I have read in quite some time. An original idea, brought to fruition with graceful prose, a sense of humor, empathy, and insight."
-Bob Costas
"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.”
-Susan Orlean
"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."
-Tyler Kepner
"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.'"
-George F. Will
"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."
-Jeff Pearlman

IN THE PRESS

Selected Wax Pack reviews

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER LIST

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/books/story/2020-05-18/best-sellers-list-sun-may-17-2020

NPR

From The California Report: https://www.kqed.org/news/11867771/the-wax-pack-author-brad-balukjian-on-baseballs-afterlife

From It's Only A Game: https://www.wbur.org/onlyagame/2020/06/05/wax-pack-book-brad-balukjian-garry-templeton

MLB NETWORK'S HOT STOVE

https://www.mlb.com/video/brad-balukjian-on-the-wax-pack?t=mlb-network

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

https://apnews.com/d363450354b7bc7fc6946f38d9afb466

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

https://www.latimes.com/sports/newsletter/2020-04-09/baseball-may-dodgers-dugout

MLB NETWORK'S MLB CENTRAL

https://www.mlb.com/video/balukjian-on-the-wax-pack?t=mlb-network

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

https://www.si.com/mlb/dodgers/news/book-excerpt-the-wax-pack-on-the-open-road-in-search-of-baseballs-afterlife

THE ATHLETIC

https://theathletic.com/1824747/2020/05/22/the-wax-pack-book-exceprt/

FIVETHIRTYEIGHT

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/yes-sabrina-ionescu-will-be-the-no-1-pick-but-what-happens-next/

MAD DOG UNNLEASHED WITH CHRIS RUSSO

https://www.siriusxm.com/podcasts/ad93847d-c57b-4905-ac74-5d450cb3642c/5aa1aeda-60cb-40e6-8f79-4e7b94883826

THE NEW YORK POST

https://nypost.com/2020/03/28/the-best-books-of-the-week-69/

NBC SPORTS

https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/how-random-pack-old-baseball-cards-made-la-times-bestseller-list