The Wax Pack: On The Open Road in Search of Baseball’s Afterlife

Date(s) - 03/25/2021
7:00 pm-8:00 pm


MARCH 25th, 7-8 p.m.



With Opening Day of the 2021 Major League Baseball season fast approaching, the Great Fenway Park Writers Series is excited to announce our Thursday, March 25th Zoom event, featuring “The Wax Pack: On the Open Road in Search of Baseball’s Afterlife” by author Brad Balukjian.

“Wax Pack” is a book inspired by an absurdly wild premise: Balukjian took a single pack of baseball cards from 1986 (the first year he began collecting), opened it, chewed the gum inside, then embarked on a quest to find all the players in the pack. That journey took him 11,341 miles through 30 states in 48 days, led to such improbable encounters as taking a hitting lesson from Rance Mulliniks, watching kung fu movies with Garry Templeton, and going to the zoo with Don Carman, and also became an odyssey of self-discovery.

Come join us, less than a week from Opening Day, for what promises to be a memorable evening.


The Great Fenway Park Writers Series would like to encourage you to make use of the great local bookstores in your community! For this event, we have partnered with Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury.


If you don’t live in Boston, you might consider looking for an independent bookstore closer to home.

*Donations to the Red Sox Foundation are Encouraged

About the Book and Author

“Wax Pack” reached as high as No. 7 on the Los Angeles Times’ best-seller list and was named one of 2020’s best books by National Public Radio. A native Rhode Islander, Balukjian studied journalism and island bio-geography at Duke University and earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Science from UC Berkeley. A freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Rolling Stone, National Geographic, the Los Angeles Times and many other publications, Balukjian is also the director of the new Natural History & Sustainability program at Merritt College in Oakland, Ca.

We are deeply grateful to you if you are among those who have registered for our previous events, and many thanks to the groups that have lent us their support, including the Pawtucket (Worcester) Red Sox, the BoSox Club, and SABR. And, of course, many thanks to the special friends of our founder, George Mitrovich, and long-time supporters of the Great Fenway Park Writers Series.

“Wax Pack” has earned wide praise. Here’s Hall of Fame baseball writer Jayson Stark: “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.”

An excerpt from Wax Pack: “As I wander the gallery of greatness, reading about the exploits of baseball’s all-time best, I think about who’s missing or, rather, who would be in my Hall of Fame. I’ve learned that the real greatness of a game that’s supposed to be about numbers has nothing to do with numbers, that all the home runs in the world can’t replace the strength demonstrated when you’re honest with yourself and deal with what’s right in front of you. My Hall of Fame doesn’t have Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle and Carlton Fisk—it’s got Garry Templeton, who spoke up when young black men weren’t supposed to; Don Carman, who pursued a doctorate in psychology to exorcise his wounds from childhood abuse; Randy Ready, who was not afraid to love again after what happened to his wife, Dorene. These men, who were my childhood heroes, are still my heroes, but for entirely different reasons.’’