Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the foremost experts on fighting diseases, now has another title: record holder for the most copies of TOPPS NOW cards ever sold.
The picture of Fauci tossing the first pitch at the season opener in Washington between the Yankees and Nationals last week was turned into a TOPPS NOW card and sold a record 51,512 copies. TOPPS NOW cards are printed on demand for 24 hours only and are based on specific events. The Fauci card originally was sold for $9.99; versions are now being priced on Ebay for more than $25.
The previous record for such a card featured Vladimir Guerrero and sold 19,306 copies. Other examples included Babe Ruth/Shohei Otani card which sold 17,750 cards, as well as Aaron Judge’s 50th homer card, which sold 16,138 cards in 2017.
The throw itself may have careened into the ground, but the moment was memorialized into a card.
“The popularity of the Dr. Fauci TOPPS NOW card is indicative of how excited fans are for the return of baseball, as well as a tribute to a man that has helped guide the country through this coronavirus crisis,” Jeff Heckman, TOPPS’ Global Director of Ecommerce, said in a statement. “The unique collectible has been a hit with not just those who follow baseball but all Americans who are appreciative of his service.”
The success of TOPPS NOW helped spur the Topps Company’s “Project 2020,” in which 20 commissioned popular artists re-imagine 20 iconic cards from the past 70 years. More than 1.2 milllion cards have been sold to date since the first card was issued on the original baseball opening day in March.