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Hillerich & Bradsby Co. has started production on protective masks

LOUISVILLE, KY (April 28, 2020) The global need for personal protective equipment created by COVID-19 has inspired Hillerich & Bradsby Co. (H&B) to enter the non-medical face mask market. The historic company has introduced Maskonic™ antibacterial masks, which are reusable, water repellent, and treated with a bactericide that lasts for up to 10 washes.

“Given the current health crisis and the need for protective equipment, we’re joining hands in the fight against the spread of COVID-19,” said H&B President & CEO John Hillerich. His family-owned company manufactures wood baseball bats for Wilson Sporting Goods’ Louisville Slugger® brand, operates the renowned Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, and produces and sells award-winning Bionic™ gloves.

“We’ve channeled our Bionic glove production and supply chain to offer Maskonic non-medical masks for the general public,” said Hillerich. “Our factory’s expertise is in cutting and sewing materials, so this was a natural progression, particularly in a time of global crisis.”

Maskonic face masks are sold in 4-packs for $16.99. Shipping is free.

“Offering quality masks that were also affordable was a key goal for the company as we explored this market,” Hillerich said. “The four-pack pricing equates to $4.25 per mask, and they can be worn multiple times, further increasing the value.”

They’re available at www.maskonic.com and www.bionicgloves.com.  A portion of proceeds from sales will go to Feeding America food banks which feeds more than 46-million Americans in need.

“It’s been said that ‘from crisis comes opportunity,’” Hillerich said. “Like many companies impacted by COVID-19, we’ve had very little revenue coming in over the past 6 weeks. Maskonic provides an opportunity for H&B to create a revenue stream, provide an important service to the public, and allow us to support Feeding America.”

Historically, H&B has evolved its business over its 164 years. Starting in 1856 as a woodturner making butter churns, balusters, and porch railings, it took 28 years before the company made its first baseball bat, the world-renowned Louisville Slugger®. Sixty years would pass before H&B made its first golf club. The company would pivot to make gunstocks, tank pins, and Billy Clubs for the military during World War II.  H&B started its Bionic gloves division nearly 20 years ago when a chance encounter with orthopedic hand surgeon Dr. James Kleinert happened during a museum visit. Now, because of COVID-19, H&B adds Maskonic to its product line.

“Is this a continuing and sustainable business for us? We don’t know the answer to that yet as this ‘new normal’ world evolves,” Hillerich said. “Either way, H&B looks forward to the day, soon hopefully, when we can get back to making wood bats and re-open our museum.”

H&B will be shipping masks to the homes of all of its employees for their families’ protection during the COVID-19 crisis.

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