It’s official: Dr. Anthony Fauci is the real MVP of the nation’s battle against coronavirus
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has become one of the most recognizable faces in the country over the last six months. Early on in the pandemic, the 79-year-old and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force effortlessly emerged as America’s go-to coronavirus expert. Since, Fauci has become a national treasure and was recently even asked to throw the first pitch during last Thursday’s MLB season opening game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees. It only made sense that baseball card purveyor Topps issued a limited-edition trading card capturing the moment. And guess what? It broke company records in just 24 hours.
According to Topps, their Topps NOW limited-edition baseball trading card featuring Fauci set an all-time print record run, selling 51,512 cards. The cards were only available for 24 hours and retailed for $9.99 each.
“We’re excited by the popularity of Dr. Fauci’s Topps NOW card,” Emily Kless, Topps communications manager, said in an email, according to News-Press. “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.”
In the card’s image, the beloved doctor wears his team’s jersey (the Nationals, ICYDK) — with a hat and face mask, of course — honoring the team’s 2019 World Series Championship. On the back of the card, usually reserved for player stats, Fauci is revered as an “ardent Washington Nationals fan” explaining that his pitch “signaled the official start of the 2020 MLB season.”
“I feel a little embarrassed and humbled,” Fauci told CNN about the card sales. “I hope that Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle are not looking up at me saying, ‘What the heck is going on here?’”
Fauci has become such an icon in America, that Academy Award winning actor Brad Pitt depicted him on SNL. In fact, Pitt was even nominated for an Emmy for said performance of Fauci. But you know what’s even cooler? That Fauci was instrumental in his casting. During an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” in April, when asked which actor should play him on TV, Fauci said, “Oh, Brad Pitt, of course.”