MLB’s Opening Day came and went without a pitch thrown, ball batted or a fan in the stands. We can attribute this unprecedented occurrence to the coronavirus and the way it has paralyzed a nation. Many people, including our very own Rob Parker, took it hard.
Just because games aren’t being played doesn’t mean that MLB and its corporate associates aren’t engaged in what’s happening and finding ways to help ease the strain of the virus on the country.
Fanatics, the top provider of MLB hats, jerseys and other merchandise is taking the lead in a big way.
Fanatics will be using the jersey material the company has on hand to create masks and gowns, which are in short supply for medical workers on the front lines of the pandemic.
Michael Rubin, the executive director of Fanatics, said the idea came to him last week and he got approval and assistance from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to make it happen.
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
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro reached out to Rubin in a desperate attempt to get gowns and masks for healthcare workers dealing with patients.
“The COVID-19 crisis has compelled our country to be more collaborative, innovative and strategic than ever before,” Rubin said in a statement to MLB.com. “As the demand for masks and gowns has 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.”