MLB, Fanatics to manufacture masks and gowns using jersey material

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Major League Baseball (MLB) and Fanatics are partnering to manufacture hospital gowns and protective masks with the same fabric used to produce jerseys to bolster the supply needed to fight the coronavirus, the two businesses announced Thursday.

Fanatics, the company that makes MLB jerseys, is converting its manufacturing center in Easton, Pa., to a production center for the personal protective gear hospital workers have been clamoring for as the virus spreads. MLB and Fanatics will cover all costs associated with the endeavor, they said.

“We hope this effort can play a part in coming together as a community to help us through this challenging situation,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

Fanatics will produce up to 1 million masks and gowns and distribute them throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, the latter of which has been the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S.

The company is making its first batch of masks and gowns using materials typically used to make jerseys for the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees. Other team jersey materials will be featured as production expands.

Thursday was originally scheduled to be MLB’s Opening Day, but the start of the season has been delayed due to the virus.

There are more than 80,000 cases of coronavirus in the U.S. as of early Thursday evening, and more than 1,100 Americans have died of the disease. Nearly 300 of those deaths have come from New York City.

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