Dr. Fauci opening pitch baseball card breaks record, sells over 51,000 prints in a day
Topps Now, a subsidiary of Topps, the historic bubblegum turned collectible sports cards producer, announced on Monday that its Dr. Anthony Fauci baseball card broke a record, selling 51,512 prints in 24 hours, overtaking the previous record set in 2019 by the Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. card, which sold 19,396 prints.
Topps Now was introduced by the company in 2016. The subsidiary specializes in “utilizing on-demand printing technology” to produce daily trading card products “that captures the greatest moments from sports and pop culture” as it happens, according the Topps website.
“We’re excited by the popularity of Dr. Fauci’s Topps NOW card,” according to an emailed statement from Topps. “Topps prides itself on capturing the memorable moments of the MLB season, one baseball card at a time, and Dr. Fauci’s inclusion in this year’s Topps NOW cards is just one way in which we are highlighting the uniqueness of the 2020 season.”
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, threw the first pitch for the Washington Nationals on opening day, July 23, against the New York Yankees. The Yankees ended up winning the game.
"Dr. Fauci has been a true champion for our country during the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career, so it is only fitting that we honor him as we kick off the 2020 season and defend our World Series Championship title," the Nationals said in a statement on July 20.
"Well, besides the fact that I bounced it, it was an awesome feeling to be out there... To throw that pitch was such a great feeling," Fauci said during an interview with "America’s Newsroom" host John Roberts.
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Fauci drew criticism the same day he threw the first pitch after a photo of himself, along with his wife and a close friend, according to Fauci, was shared on social media showing the doctor with his mask beneath his chin.
"I had my mask around my chin. I had taken it down. I was totally dehydrated and I was drinking water trying to rehydrate myself," Fauci explained on "America’s Newsroom".
"And, by the way, I was negative COVID literally the day before.""So, I guess people want to make it a big event. I wear a mask all the time when I'm outside. To pull it down to take some sips of water and put it back up again — I guess if people want to make something about that they can," Fauci continued. "But to me, I think that's just mischievous."
The popular baseball card is not the first time Fauci-themed merchandise has broken records.
Back in April, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum reached the $100,000 mark in donations to support the American Hospital Association’s 100 Million Mask Challenge through the sale of Dr. Fauci bobbleheads.
“Dr. Fauci’s bobblehead became the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s best-selling bobblehead of all time, surpassing Sister Jean’s bobblehead, which went viral during the 2018 NCAA Tournament,” according to a National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum news release.
RELATED: Dr. Fauci bobblehead raises $100K and counting to support ‘100 Million Mask Challenge’
News of the record-breaking baseball card sales was announced after two major league games had to be postponed on Monday following reports that more than a dozen Miami Marlins players and staff tested positive for COVID-19.
The Marlins' home opener against the Baltimore Orioles was called off, as was the Yankees' match-up with the Philadelphia Phillies.
“The members of the Marlins’ traveling party are self-quarantining in place while awaiting the outcome of those results,” MLB said in a statement.
RELATED: Marlins home opener postponed amid COVID-19 outbreak; Phillies-Yankees also postponed
The Associated Press and FOX News contributed to this report.