Dr. Anthony Fauci's ceremonial first-pitch kicking off the 2020 Major League Baseball season was off target, but a baseball card to commemorate the occasion wound up being a home run with fans.
The Topps NOW baseball card featuring Fauci set an all-time print record for the company, selling 51,512 cards in just 24 hours, Topps said on Monday.
The Fauci card demolished the previous record by more than 30,000 cards, according to Darren Rovell.
Topps NOW cards are only available for purchase for 24 hours and the Fauci one sold for $9.99.
The back of the card described the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as an "ardent Washington Nationals fan" and described his first-pitch before the Nationals took on the Yankees as "a strong effort."
The day after his less than stellar opening pitch, Fauci joked during an online event that he had practiced throwing a couple of days before the game but when he went out on the mound it looked like the catcher was 200 feet away.
"So I went way back and wham. And the ball went off somewhere on the ground ball, heading towards first base," Fauci recounted during a talk for the Center for Strategic and International Studies last week. Somebody made a comment that I thought was really funny. They said, well, he used to play shortstop in school, so maybe he threw to first base."