Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Baseball-goods factory moving from Minn. town to China

Star Tribune photo by John Reinan
As Major League Baseball's playoffs begin, the residents of Caledonia, Minnesota, in the state's southeastern corner, may feel a little soured on the sport. That's because their baseball-equipment factory is shutting down and moving most of its jobs to China, The Caledonia Argus reports.

The Miken Sports plant, which makes baseball helmets and bats, has operated in Caledonia since 1999. It provides about 80 jobs in the community of 2,800, and is partly owned by MLB and Rawlings Sporting Goods. But Miken announced over the summer that the factory will close down over the next 18 to 24 months, and 59 of the jobs will go to China (the rest will go to Missouri), John Reinan reports for the StarTribune in Minneapolis.

An MLB spokesperson told Reinan that it owns less than 20% of the factory, and that Rawlings made the decision independently. The spokesperson also noted that batting helmets will continued to be made in the U.S.

"We'll miss the jobs," Caledonia resident Nick Stadtler told Reinan. He added that baseball "will lose their fans in this area. That's for sure."

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