‘True Champion’ Fauci Throws 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.
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.
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.