The company's previous record was for a card featuring Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., which sold 19,396 copies

By Nicholas Rice
July 28, 2020 01:45 PM
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Topps Now's all-time best-selling baseball card doesn't even feature a player.

The sports trading card manufacturer announced Monday that their sale of a limited-edition card featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci, 79, throwing the MLB’s opening pitch has sold out at more than 51,000 cards, making it the bestselling card in the history of Topps Now, the company's collection of limited-edition cards.

Featuring Fauci — who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Taskforce — the card shows the medical professional mid-pitch as he wears a Nationals jersey, hat and a mask that commemorates the team's 2019 World Series Championship.

Topps Now cards are available for only 24 hours on the Topps website and the company's previous record was for a card of Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., which sold 19,396 copies and featured Guerrero's first hit.

Fauci's card sold for $9.99 and the back described him as an "ardent Washington Nationals fan" and that his pitch "signaled the official start of the 2020 MLB season," according to USA Today.

Fauci reacted to the monumental card sales, telling CNN, "I feel a little embarrassed and humbled."

"I hope that Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle are not looking up at me saying, 'What the heck is going on here?,' " he joked.

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Fauci threw out the first pitch during last Thursday's MLB season-opening game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees, and the longtime Nationals fan's pitch was off-the-mark, by his own admission.

Fauci explained his performance to The Wall Street Journal, saying that he had hurt his arm the night before practicing his swing in preparation for the moment, stating, "My arm was hanging down around my shoes."

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But Topps and many sports fans are praising Fauci for his involvement amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"Topps prides itself on capturing the unique 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,” Emily Kless, Topps communications manager, said in an emailed statement to PEOPLE.

"Dr. Fauci has been a true champion for our country during the COVID-10 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,” wrote the Washington Nationals previously in an official public statement announcing Fauci’s acceptance of their invitation to throw the opening pitch.