The Yankees and Phillies may have to wait a while until Major League Baseball tells them it’s once again time to play ball. So while they’re sheltering at home with the rest of the country, the jersey fabrics that would ordinarily be used to make their uniforms will become face masks and gowns for the medical industry.
On Thursday, MLB and Fanatics said they will team to help fill the need for face masks and hospital gowns. Fanatics, which manufactures the official MLB player jerseys, has halted jersey production efforts at its 360,000-square-foot factory in Easton, Pa., and will use the fabrics to produce up to 1 million masks and gowns that will sport the teams’ legendary pinstripes. Products from other teams will be added in the future.
The products will be distributed immediately to hospitals and emergency personnel in Pennsylvania, followed by New York and New Jersey.
Fanatics executive chairman Michael Rubin worked with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro on the initiative and got the OK from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to move ahead with the production.
“The COVID-19 crisis has compelled our country to be more collaborative, innovative and strategic than ever before,” Rubin said. “As the demand for masks and gowns have surged, we’re fortunate to have teamed up with Major League Baseball to find a unique way to support our frontline workers in this fight to stem the virus, who are in dire need of essential resources.”
“We hope this effort can play a part in coming together as a community to help us through this challenging situation.” Manfred said.