With ballparks around baseball closed down due to the coronavirus outbreak, Fanatics is instead using material for jerseys to make hospital masks and gowns.
A time of crisis like the United States is going through right now due to the coronavirus pandemic is also a moment for great deeds. That is exactly what Michael Rubin and Fanatics, the company that manufactures MLB jerseys, is doing.
Rubin, the CEO of Kynetic, the parent company of Fanatics, announced on Thursday that his company is stopping the production of MLB jerseys. Instead, the material used in making those jerseys will be utilized for masks and gowns as hospitals around the country are ravaged by the viral outbreak.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf asked Rubin for his help on the weekend as the virus continues to spread across the state. There are currently 1,687 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, a number that is still grown. Eighteen people have died in Pennsylvania. The state had one million N95 masks available in their stockpile before the outbreak but will likely need more.
That’s where Fanatics is coming in, joining a list of charitable institutions to help alleviate the strain on the medical system. Fanatics has 100 people currently working in their factory to make the masks and gowns. Even the Amish community of Pennsylvania is producing 13,000 masks. Fanatics is also planning on giving masks to New Jersey and New York, the state with the most confirmed cases in the United States.
Thursday was supposed to be Opening Day for the 2020 MLB season. But the pandemic has caused baseball and other American sports to grind to a halt, with no clear indication when play will be able to resume. So while Bryce Harper’s Phillies jersey continues to hang in a locker instead of patrolling right field at Citizens Bank Park, the league and its partners are doing their part to help the country through this difficult time.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.