It's been about a year since I finished the road trip to track down all the players in that fateful pack of '86 Topps. I took some much-needed time to refresh and to allow my ideas to marinate, and then jumped into the massive task of transcribing interviews and synthesizing the thousands of pages of notes and research I had amassed. Writing a book is a daunting, multi-year task, and there's still a lot of work to be done. Writing and research often happen at the same time, with one research trail often branching off into several more as I go down rabbit holes of 1980s baseball.
While I continue the process, I am going to be more active here in the coming months, posting occasional blog posts and sometime soon, launching a podcast that will focus on baseball from this era and eventually, nostalgia more broadly. My goal is to start by interviewing the contemporaries of the Wax Packers; not just their teammates, but also the people who we rarely hear about but who had significant access to them, such as clubhouse managers, beat reporters, and scouts. More soon, and thanks for your continued interest!
The Wax Packers:
Wax Pack is the story of a single pack of 1986 Topps baseball cards and the attempt to track down each of the players inside nearly 30 years after they were bundled together with a stick of chalky bubblegum. (Yes, I chewed the gum. Gross.)
A going-of-age tale of what it means to truly grow up (or just my way of desperately clinging to childhood memories of mullets and mustaches), I chronicle the elliptical 11,341-mile-when-it-should-only-be-7,000 road trip adventure to find my heroes of the past and to tell the story of what happens to our most elite athletes after the spotlight has faded. It's a story of second (and third) chances, of our national pastime, and of running it back one last time.
Wax Pack is due out on shelves in 2018. In the meantime, you can read my latest take on the baseball and pop culture of the 1970s and 1980s below.
One Pack. No Turning Back.
By Brad Balukjian, email@example.com, 8.16.16
Cups of Coffee Consumed on Road Trip: 123