Louisville Slugger Manufacturer Closes Factory, Furloughs 171 Workers

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

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 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.