MLB, Fanatics use old jersey material to make coronavirus masks, gowns

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Major League Baseball and the manufacturer of the jerseys worn by its players are partnering to produce much-needed hospital gowns and protective masks out of the material used to make the uniforms.

Sports apparel maker Fanatics has converted its Easton, Pa., factory to produce the protective gear for health care professionals on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re proud to partner with @MLB to support emergency personnel who are fighting against COVID-19 and face a need for masks and hospital gowns,” the company said in a tweet accompanied with images of pinstriped gowns and masks that resemble the jerseys worn by the New York Yankees and Philidelphia Phillies.

Hospitals have been working to treat those infected with the virus and to conduct testing amid a shortage of desperately-needed protective gear. The lack of supplies has left many medical professionals vulnerable to the illness.

Fanatics plans to produce up to a million masks and gowns, with the possibility of making more if needed.

“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,” Michael Rubin, the founder and executive chairman of Fanatics, told Fox News in a statement.

The first batch of products will be shipped to the Pennsylvania Management Agency first, Rubin told Fox News. The state offered to pay for production, but MLB and Fanatics agreed to foot the bill.


The plan is to expand the distribution of the products to hospitals in New York and New Jersey.

“I’m proud that Major League Baseball can partner with Fanatics to help support the brave healthcare workers and emergency personnel who are on the front lines of helping patients with COVID-19,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “They are truly heroes.”

The 2020 MLB season was delayed because of the pandemic. Opening Day was originally scheduled for Thursday.

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