July 27 (UPI) -- Dr. Anthony Fauci's baseball card, which displayed his errant first pitch from Thursday's season opener between the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees, set a new Topps record Monday.
The card of Fauci was printed as a Topps NOW card -- which commemorates specific events and are only sold for 24 hours -- and became the best-selling baseball card in Topps NOW history. The company sold 51,512 Fauci cards, shattering the previous record of 19,396 cards sold of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s debut hit in MLB.
"We're excited by the popularity of Dr. Fauci's Topps NOW card," Topps communications manager Emily Kless said in an email Monday. "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."
The card, which sold for $9.99, shows Fauci -- in a Nationals jersey, hat and mask -- delivering the first pitch. The ball sailed to the left toward a group of photographers and fell short of home plate.
The back of the card calls Fauci an "ardent Washington Nationals fan" and that his pitch "signaled the official start of the 2020 MLB season" after the coronavirus pandemic halted the start of play earlier this year.
Fauci, the United States' top expert on infectious diseases, is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force. He has been one of the nation's most visible public health experts throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.