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Makers of Louisville Slugger baseball bats close factory, furlough 90% of employees

The company that makes Louisville Slugger wood baseball bats has closed its factory, furloughed 90 percent of its employees and shut its popular museum because of the CONVID-19 pandemic.

Hillerich & Bradsby Co. says it has continued to cover all health care benefits for its 171 furloughed workers. The remaining 10% of employees have taken 25 percent pay cuts.

The wood bat factory closed on March 19, three days after the Louisville Slugger Museum shut. The 120-foot bat outside its headquarters now has a banner across the barrel reading “Flatten the Curve.”

The 165-year-old company produces about 2 million wood Louisville Slugger bats a year at its downtown Louisville plant, with around 50,000 going to Major League Baseball.

H&B CEO John Hillerich IV told The Louisville Courier Journal that if the company doesn’t soon crank up its Pennsylvania mill — and MLB has no timetable to start its season — then some of the set to become bats might spoil.

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