NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

‘True Champion’ Fauci Throws First Pitch on Opening Day

Fauci walks to the mound
NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci throws the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day.

NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci threw the ceremonial first pitch on Major League Baseball’s Opening Day July 23 at Nationals Park. 

Fauci throws a wild pitch
Fauci tosses the first pitch for the Washington Nationals.

Calling him a “Nats super-fan,” the Washington Nationals said in a statement, “Dr. Fauci has been a true champion for our country during the Covid-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career, so it is only fitting that we honor him as we kick off the 2020 season and defend our World Series Championship title.”

The Topps limited edition baseball trading card featuring Fauci’s toss—on sale for just 24 hours—set an all-time record print run, selling 51,512 cards. That scorched the previous record of 19,396 cards sold in honor of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s debut hit for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2019.

Fauci walks off the mounds with his arms raised
The Topps limited edition baseball trading card featuring Fauci’s toss set an all-time record print run.

Owing to the pandemic and to limit spread of the coronavirus, Opening Day was nearly 4 months later than normal and stadium stands were virtually empty as the 2020 60-game season will be played without in-person audiences until further notice.

The Nats dropped their first game, and first series, to the New York Yankees.

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

Published 25 times each year, it comes out on payday Fridays.

Assistant Editor: Eric Bock (link sends e-mail)

Staff Writer: Amber Snyder (link sends e-mail)