Phillies red pinstripes are now being repurposed for desperately needed masks and gowns for hospital workers on the front lines fighting COVID-19.
With healthcare facilities across the U.S. running low on supplies needed to help combat the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, coming up with innovative ways to replenish supplies, including gowns and masks, is a must.
Michael Rubin, Fanatics Executive Chairman and Philadelphia 76ers Co-owner, recently did just that. Last week, Rubin says he “woke up in the middle of the night” when he came up with the idea to convert the Fanatics’ Philadelphia-based factory in Pennsylvania, which makes official Major League Baseball jerseys, into a facility that can help produce the much-needed personal protective equipment.
The need for Rubin’s midnight idea to come to fruition was only supported more, when this past weekend, he received calls from both Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro saying they desperately needed help getting masks and gowns.
“Fast forward to today,” Rubin continues in his Thursday tweet, “Fanatics and MLB have halted production of all MLB jerseys and instead using that same fabric we make the jerseys with to make masks and gowns!”
According to Rubin, Fanatics has nearly 100 factory workers safely ready to make one million masks and gowns to then “immediately donate and distribute them to hospitals and emergency management personnel.” Fanatics looks to initially help those on the front lines in Pennsylvania, with the goal to extend their support to those in New Jersey and New York.
Rubin, in addition to thanking Fanatics workers who volunteered to help make the masks and gowns, praised MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred for agreeing to halt production of MLB jerseys and for doing “everything possible to make this happen as quickly as possible.”
Manfred praised Fanatics, through Forbes, for their creativity and flexibility. “Those qualities are what drew us to partner with them in the first place,” he says, adding, “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.”
According to Forbes, MLB and Fanatics are covering all costs necessary for manufacturing the items. Currently, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees pinstripes, originally meant to create jerseys, are being used to now create masks and gowns.
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures, and this is the latest example of just that. Although the Phillies cannot play on the field, it is heartwarming to know their jerseys are being repurposed for an important and crucial cause.