With the start of the baseball season on hold and personal protection equipment for healthcare workers in short supply, the company that manufactures MLB uniforms says it will instead manufacture hospital masks and gowns at one of its factories.
Fanatics, an online retailer of college and professional sports apparel, said Thursday that it will begin making masks and gowns at their manufacturing plant in Easton, Pennsylvania.
Michael Rubin, the company's chairman, tweeted Thursday that the company plans to make one million masks and gowns and distribute them to healthcare workers across Pennsylvania. Rubin said he hopes to soon expand the distribution of the equipment to hospitals in New Jersey and New York.
Woke up in the middle of the night last week with idea of converting our @Fanatics factory in PA that makes official @MLB jerseys into a facility that makes much needed masks and gowns and then donating them to help fight this horrendous virus. pic.twitter.com/r6FAxUdlgH
— Michael Rubin (@MichaelGRubin) March 26, 2020
The masks are made from the same material used to make MLB jerseys. According to MLB.com, the first set of equipment was made from the pinstriped material usually used to make uniforms for the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies.
The masks and gowns are classified as "level 1," meaning they will only be used for low-risk, non-surgical procedures for a single use.
According to ESPN, the cost of producing the equipment will cost Fanatics about $3 million, in addition to the lost opportunity cost of no longer manufacturing baseball uniforms.