NOCONA (KFDX/KJTL) — For more than 85 years, Nokona American Ballgloves has made some of the finest gloves used by the greatest players in the MLB.
In this time of great need, they are shifting gears in their production, going from gloves, to face masks.
“Being basically a cut and sew operation, although we are used to sewing with leather and heavier thread and such we saw that we had the opportunity as well as the materials, the know how and the equipment to help with the cause,” Nokona American Ballgloves Executive Vice President Rob Storey said.
Since 1934, Nokona American Ballgloves has been a major fixture in american ball glove making. Yet during these unprecedented times, there is an even bigger calling to make something more important.
“We’ve seen the need locally, both nationally as well, for masks to supplement the hospitals and to allow them to conserve their N-95’s and some of the high performing masks,” Storey said.
If this request is approved, it would also help keep their staff employed at a time where other local businesses aren’t so lucky.
“Our people are our number one asset and by converting over to the masks this gives us the opportunity to give those people busy and employed and helps them out while hopefully helping out the community and the country,” Storey said.
Nokona American Ballgloves Production Manager Lisa Nobile said they are facing one challenge of converting from making gloves to masks.
“Getting the machines setup for lighter weight fabric,” Nobile said. “So, they are having to get different threads, needles, the mechanic is having to re-setup the machine for a lighter weight. Then, of course, we are having to bring out a lot of things we used a long time ago, presses and cutters, setting up a cutting area.”
Storey said they are working on a distribution plan to get these masks to the people working on the frontlines.
“Currently we are in the prototype stage where we are developing two or three different styles and as we figure that out and then get into production then we’ll be able to fill some orders and maybe figure out how we want to distribute these, whether that’s locally or in Texas or nationally,” Storey said.
For Nokona American Ballgloves, this is a major moment in the company’s history, where they can say they stepped up to home plate and helped our country.