Baseball Cards Could Teach Biden an Inflation Lesson

30 Jun 2022

CLAY: I was telling Buck that I’m getting ready to go to Dave & Buster’s, ’cause my kids want to go play all the games, for those of you who are familiar with Dave & Buster’s. Did you see, Buck, we bought…? We went to the card shop. My kids are obsessed with card collecting, baseball, football, all those things, and I ended up spending the most money because I bought myself a big box of 1987 baseball cards that we have started to open, still with the old gum, if you remember the old Topps baseball cards.

BUCK: Oh, man. You might break your teeth on that at this point, buddy.

CLAY: Yeah, 35-year-old baseball cards that we’re starting to open, and it’s a lot of fun, but my kids couldn’t resist. The 7 and 11-year-old both tried the gum and they said it tasted like cardboard, but for anybody out there who remembers, it tasted like cardboard 35 years ago when it was new too. But they couldn’t resist. They had to try the gum.

BUCK: Now we’re gonna have some late eighties, early nineties throwback moments. Remember that gum they used to sell that was like a roll of tape ten feet long?

CLAY: Oh, yeah. Bubble Tape.

BUCK: Bubble Tape. Man, I remember running to the corner store after school and everybody was getting Bubble Tape, Airheads.

CLAY: Yeah.

BUCK: I think those are still around, Airheads candy. But the best part about Topps and Score… I actually had some baseball cards. I wanted to do whatever my older brother did at that age, and so he had some baseball cards.

CLAY: Topps, Fleer, and Donruss were three biggest. Score cards exist, too, but Topps, Fleer, and Donruss were the big three.

BUCK: I thought, you know, at age 8 or 9 that if I just held onto that Don Mattingly card, I’d be able to slap my butler around in a number of years with it, you know?

CLAY: Yeah.

BUCK: But didn’t really work out that way.

CLAY: Some of those cards, though, have ended up… We went to the baseball card shop. I love just seeing some of them. Some of them have ended up being really, really valuable. But the ’87, ’88, ’89, ’90, when card collecting was basically at its apex, they produced way too much for most of those cards to be very valuable.

BUCK: Right. They inflated!

CLAY: Yeah. There you go.

BUCK: They kind of printed too many cards, and then when you print too many baseball cards, and everybody else has the Don Mattingly rookie card that I have, it turns out that card isn’t worth as much. Maybe we should send this segment to the Biden administration and try to help them understand how inflation works.

CLAY: Joe, you might not understand this, but Hunter, “the smartest man you ever knew,” probably collected baseball cards, and his cards are not worth very much money because there were too many of them printed, much like what you are doing with our nation’s economy right now. What a lesson that is! My kids may actually understand inflation based on this. There you go.

BUCK: Look how it goes. Is there one card…? I would assume, as an outside-of-the-sports-bubble guy, that the Babe Ruth card is the most valuable card of all, but is that not true?

CLAY: Most valuable card historically… Now, it’s starting to change because they’re doing… The new thing, Buck, is scarcity in cards. So, they will get autographed, they now have pieces of uniform that they put in there. They have gotten really smart in limiting the production to drive up the value. But, historically, the Honus Wagner baseball card.

BUCK: Really!

CLAY: The Honus Wagner card, there were only like 180 of them made or something, and he was anti… I can’t remember all the details. I used to know it well. He was anti-smoking, and there was a smoking company that put them out. He demanded that they destroy all of his cards, and so I believe it’s the T206 Honus Wagner card has historically been the most valuable baseball card.

BUCK: You sound like you could open a baseball card memorabilia shop, man. You’ve got some game, buddy.

CLAY: I went to the baseball memorabilia shop yesterday with my boys and I actually remember as a kid, that one of my dream jobs was to own a baseball card collecting shop. That’s how much I was all-in. At the ages 8 to 12 I was obsessed.

BUCK: Remember for a short while I got really into making historical war dioramas in, like, the fourth and fifth grade, and I used to go —

CLAY: (laughing) How did you make fun of me for going to Civil War history camp — own dioramas?

BUCK: Baby steps here, right? I can’t give it all away at the beginning. Oh, yeah —

CLAY: Do you still have them?

BUCK: No. God, no. (laughing) It’s long since gone.

CLAY: What was the diorama you made that you are most proud of?

BUCK: I may have been in a war diorama club in school for a little while. We don’t have to talk about it.

CLAY: I can’t believe there was a club. There were more kids who did this?

BUCK: I took chess lessons for a little while. We have to talk about this? Chess is awesome, by the way.

CLAY: Chess is great.

BUCK: Chess, also, if you’ve got, like, a good spirit to drink, it’s fantastic.

CLAY: So, what was your favorite diorama that you produced?

BUCK: Oh, I was all about World War II. I was blowing up Nazis with little bits of paste and taking little pieces of plastic and stuff left and right. I was all about World War II blowing up the Nazis, ’cause why not? That’s what I had… Something else I wanted to say to you, but I cannot even remember what it is at this point.

CLAY: I’m sure we’ll have time tomorrow to discuss it.

BUCK: More nerd stories. Now, I feel like you know what, Clay? I feel like we’ve opened up the floodgates here. This audience has known us for a year. So we’ll go deep on the nerd stuff with them.

CLAY: My wife still cannot believe she married someone who went to Civil War sleep-away camp.

BUCK: I tell people that about you and I’m just like, “Clay’s a very multifaceted guy. A lot of things about him.” Like, he went to Civil War camp. I went to Bronx Zoo camp to play with the animals. Real thing.

CLAY: What was your favorite animal at the Bronx Zoo?

BUCK: Oh, man, I thought the red panda was really cool.

CLAY: Red panda, underrated animal.

BUCK: Unlike the other panda, the red panda probably won’t rip your face off.

CLAY: Also, tiny and hard to find in trees.



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