Thursday was scheduled to be Opening Day for Major League Baseball in 2020, but the annual hyped-up occasion to kick off a new season has since been pushed back amid the pandemic outbreak of coronavirus. However, on March 26, instead of merely being sad there are no games to watch, MLB and Fanatics teamed up to do their part to help America’s nurses and doctors who are putting their life on the line to help patients across the country.
Michael Rubin, Fanatics executive chairman Michael Rubin tweeted that he “woke up in the middle of the night last week with the 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.”
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement, “We hope this effort can play a part in coming together as a community to help us through this challenging situation. 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. They are truly heroes.”
The first batch of gowns and masks were created using the jerseys intended for the Phillies and the Yankees, and you can tell by the distinctive color of the pinstripes shown. As production grows, more teams’ colors and styles will be used and donated.
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
Rubin tweeted that he received a call from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro about the state’s desperate need for supplies to protect their “frontline workers,” and a week later, MLB and Fanatics have about 100 workers making masks and gowns from official jersey fabric.
The supply of gowns and masks will start distribution in Pennsylvania, but Rubin tweeted that they plan to extend their protective gear donations to New York and New Jersey, two America’s main hot zones affected by COVID-19.