COVID-19 is surging across much of America and so was Dr. Anthony Facui’s TOPPS NOW card illustrating his MLB opening day first pitch last Thursday before the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals game as it sold a record 51,512 cards distributed via the TOPPS Company platform. Perhaps his selection was a premonition against the reopening of baseball because the Florida Marlins reported today that 11 players and 2 coaches have tested positive for the virus after playing last night against the Philadelphia Phillies even though 4 players had been infected over the past 3 days making the decision to play baffling, reckless and unwise. Fauci and his family have received recent death threats by crazy people that see him as leading a coronavirus conspiracy because he is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. As the Infectious Diseases advisor for the past 6 US presidents including President Trump, it makes no sense that he is that guy. Instead, the man works tirelessly at his job and has the weight of the country on his shoulders on a daily basis. To reward his sincere and positive efforts, Fauci was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008. The Sports Techie community blog is happy to witness the overwhelming support for him through the sale of this truly one-of-a-kind, limited edition collectible card depicting the most influential sports and entertainment moments of the previous day then made available to purchase for only 24 hours. The more than fifty-one thousand trading cards sold doubles the previous record for this five-year old digital program available at Topps.com. Fauci is no longer on the White House COVID-19 task force to the obvious detriment of American lives but he remains a respect voice and an ardent fan of Major League Baseball.
Sports Loving Doctor’s First Pitch Experience
The 79- year old good doctor is from Brooklyn and a well-known Nationals fan. He wore a Nats jersey, hat and cool looking logoed mask to celebrate the teams 2019 World Series Championship trophy. Fauci’s throw from the pitching mound at Nationals Park in the fanless stadium was low and super wide left of homeplate. The nasty pitch made his elbow look like a flailing spaghetti noodle. Not a fan in Washington D.C. was present to witness this well-intended effort but millions saw it on the live TV broadcast or streaming on MLB.TV.
Dr. Fauci told CNN he is ‘humbled’ to be put on a limited edition baseball card. Dr. Anthony Fauci’s reaction to being on a limited edition baseball card, “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?”
Perhaps it was a blessing that fans were not in attendance as the chorus of loud cheers clashing with the scattered amount of boos would definitely have taken away from the Doctor’s well deserved special moment.
“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,” said Jeff Heckman, Global Director of Ecommerce. “The unique collectible has been a hit with not just those who follow baseball but all Americans who are appreciative of his service.”
The record selling amount of Fauci’s first pitch is an all-time print record for the company’s daily card production of MLB highlights.
In comparison, 19,306 copies were sold on April 26, 2019 showcasing the first at-bat by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays franchise.
The 3rd, 4th and 5th best sellers in the history of TOPPS NOW include, Babe Ruth/Shohei Ohtani Moment of the Week in 2018 (17,750), offseason Ohtani on December 10, 2017 (17,323), and Aaron Judge’s 50th home run occurring on Sept. 25, 2017 with 16,138 sold.
Other top TOPPS NOW moments this year featured San Francisco Giants coach Alyssa Nakken (4,782 cards) and the MLB Players Unite for Change (3,499). Net proceeds from MLB’s cause were donated to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
TOPPS NOW is credited with inspiring the creation of “Project 2020,” featuring 20 commissioned contemporary artists re-imagining 20 iconic cards from the past 70 years. The Topps Company, Inc. was founded in 1938. In excess of 1.2 million cards are now in circulation since the first card was issued on baseball’s original opening day back in March when the pandemic struck the United States and Trump called it a “hoax.”
Visit https://www.topps.com/toppsnow for each day’s card print priced at $9.99.
Sports Techie, I have always loved baseball as a player, coach and lifelong student of the game. My fandom starts with the Seattle Mariners but has expanded to include the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and Detroit Tigers. I attended Whittier College in L.A. even though I go back as a Dodgers fan to the late 1970s. I’ve lived in Georgia for the past 6 years (7 in total) so when in Rome. And because my Dad grew up in MoTown with a love for the Tigers it rubbed off on me. I know many of you can relate.
However for a day, I was a super Nats fan and enjoyed opening day as much as first pitch, TOPPS NOW superstar, Anthony Fauci, did despite the ongoing spread of COVID-19 across our divided nation.
I hope the Marlins team is quarantined tomorrow but Commissioner Manfred already whiffed with the Houston Astros sign stealing incidents making it easy to predict he will fail to deal with the pandemic adequately and in a timely manner.
Be sure to visit Topps site tomorrow to see if the Marlins are the TOPPS NOW subject matter of the day.
It’s a no-brainer they should be, just like wearing a mask is.
Just ask Dr. Fauci as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently did to learn more about the virus, mask wearing and vaccines.
Let’s play ball in 2021 if need be, MLB owners.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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