1975 topps wax packWax-Stained Memories

Do you remember what it was like to finally get your hands on the first wax pack of baseball cards before each baseball season?

For four long months, the winter had beaten you down, and you hadn’t seen a new swatch of cardboard since the summer before.

Sure, you had football and football cards — and they were great — but they weren’t quite the same as baseball cards.

And just when you thought maybe the darkness would never end and that you’d be stuck thumbing through your stack of 1981 Topps Joe Pettini cards forever, it happened …

1981 Topps Joe PettiniSome years, it was sudden. You’d go shopping with your mom after school, or your dad would drag you to the hardware store on Saturday morning, and they’d smack you in the face in the checkout line — stacks of crisp new wax packs nestled in among the Snickers bars and Bubble Yum boxes.

If the cards happened to be sheathed in cellophane instead of wax, you’d strain your neck to catch a glimpse at the fresh design. Your heart skipped a beat, and you involuntarily grabbed at your parent’s hand to draw their attention to the beautiful sight, formulating how you were going to sell the purchase amid more real-world concerns like a tight food budget or a busted radiator hose.

In later years, you had plenty of advance intel about the new crop of baseball cards courtesy of your devotion to hobby magazines like Baseball Cards, Beckett, and Sports Collectors Digest.

You already knew when the new cards should be hitting store shelves.

You already knew that 1986 Topps cards looked pretty bland and that 1990 Donruss cards were going to be the Red Menace and that 1988 Score was going to revolutionize the hobby.

1986-topps-pete-rose-card-1And you wanted them all — couldn’t wait to hold them in your hands and bathe yourself in their new-card smell and chomp on their already stale gum or cast aside their puzzle pieces or team stickers.

You’d make excuses to go to the drugstore or the supermarket, and the cards never snuck up on you. Yet, they still managed to take your breath way when you found them.

The package colors were so exotic — red and yellow instead of last year’s blue and red. Did the packs feel heavier when you held them? Maybe there was something extra inside those was wax wrappers — an unannounced lagniappe that you’d be the first in the world to discover.

You barely made it out of the store before you slid your finger under the back flap, careful not to tear the wrapper because you might need it later on for something.

Your heart almost pounded out of your chest as you pulled the slab of cardboard from its wrapper. Should you start with the card back that was staring you in the face, or should you shield your eyes and start with the card front on the top of the stack?

What superstars would you find?

Which old favorites would appear in new uniforms?

Which hot rookie card would you discover?

Would you finally pull Mike Schmidt from a fresh pack?1976 Topps Mike Schmidt

An entire year of possibilities washed through your mind, and your whole body nearly exploded with anticipation as you popped that first stick of pink gum into your mouth and feasted your eyes on your first baseball card of the new season.

Do you remember those days?

Do you long for that innocent exhilaration?

If you do, then I think Wax Pack Gods is for you.

This site is dedicated to breathing new life into the baseball cards of our youth, when life and the hobby were full of unbridled promise, and we knew — we just knew — that the next pack would be the greatest one ever.

If a card was issued between 1948 and 1994, there’s a good chance we’ll talk about it here.

But just be forewarned — we tend toward nostalgia around these parts, so prepare to be slathered in some sweet cardboard memories.

Enjoy the ride!

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