MLB Author: "I Had To Go Rogue" With Carlton Fisk

Brad Balukjian used "guerrilla tactics" to get face time with Fisk for a new book, "The Wax Pack"

The DA Show
April 01, 2020 - 10:51 am
Carlton Fisk MLB Hall of Fame

USA Today Images


Author Brad Balukjian dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday to discuss his new book, “The Wax Pack: On the Open Road in Search of Baseball’s Afterlife.” 

An avid card collector, Balukjian opened a pack of baseball cards from 1986 – the first year he began collecting – and embarked on a quest to interview all of the players in the pack. Thirty-states, forty-eight days and 11,341 miles later, Balukjian achieved his goal – or close to it.

Not every player would speak to Balukjian, but he doggedly chased down several, including Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk.

“I had to go rogue with Carlton and use some guerrilla tactics,” Balukjian said on The DA Show. “Just like [Vince] Coleman, he said, ‘Nope, not interested.’”

Balukjian, though, wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“I found out from a source where he always golfs in Florida – this really exclusive resort and golf course,” Balukjian said. “I posed as a millionaire home buyer interested in buying a house there, just so I could get on the course and get to him.”

Thus, there’s a chapter in the book called “Chasing Carlton” and another called “Catching Carlton.”

“You can see what happens when I finally get face-to-face with him,” Balukjian said.

Other players, meanwhile, were much more willing to chat with Balukjian. In fact, he enjoyed a hitting lesson with Rance Mulliniks, watched kung fu movies with Garry Templeton, and went to the zoo with Don Carman. While traveling the country, Balukjian also reconnected with lost loves and came to terms with his lifelong battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Click below to listen to his interview in its entirety.