MLB jerseys to be made into masks for medical workers fighting coronavirus

MLB team jerseys will be made into a million protective masks to support medical workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement was made by league Commissioner Rob Manfred and Fanatics mogul Michael Rubin on what would have been opening day on CNN.

We hear that Rubin — who pitched the plan to Manfred and whose Fanatics brand is the licensed apparel partner of all major sports leagues and also owns the Majestic brand — hatched with the idea to begin making medical masks and gowns from the same Pennsylvania factory in Easton where the company currently makes baseball jerseys for players. The partners are working with experts from St. Luke’s hospital network in Pennsylvania.

The plan is to donate a million masks at $3 a piece to medical pros on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. MLB would be the first league to begin making the medical gear out of apparel as companies look for ways to help create materials for help fight the pandemic.

Said Rubin, who’s also a partner in the 76ers: ”Our brave frontline heroes need everyone’s help in this fight against COVID-19, and I’m glad Fanatics and MLB can assist in some capacity. I hope these million masks will help some of the shortages that Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York are dealing with.”

He added in a statement: “The COVID-19 crisis has compelled our country to be more collaborative, innovative and strategic than ever before. 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 immediately plan to start producing up to one million masks and gowns from the fabric used to make the official MLB jerseys and then donating to hospitals and emergency management personnel throughout Pennsylvania with the goal of expanding to New York and New Jersey.”

Manfred told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the league has also pledged millions to support ballpark employees who are out of work because of the season’s postponement. We hear that Rubin also was supported in the idea by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolfe.

Apparently logos would not be on the masks, but Yankees and Phillies pinstripes would be in the fabric.

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