For The Love of The Game: Trading and Collecting Custom Baseball Pins
By Caryn Smith © 2010, All Rights Reserved
There’s no denying it: Americans love collecting things. The treasures we label as keepsakes add unique flourishes to our personalities and significant meaning to our lives.
For the parents and players of Little League baseball, this phenomenon is just as prominent. However, it isn’t baseball cards, gloves, bats, hats, jerseys or autographs. This particular group is passionate about collecting and trading customized baseball pins.
As far as parents are concerned, these tiny decorative mementos are much more than the sum of their parts. To the teams and their individual players they represent a symbol of unity, pride and collective hard work. These pins directly reflect passion, determination, relentlessness, devotion and universal message of good sportsmanship.
Trading pins are as unique as the teams they reflect. They can range in size (2 inches to as wide as 4 inches), color and presentation. Many pins highlight a team’s name, their hometown, the age group, gender, team colors, the team’s mascot and the list goes on.
Just as British football fans proudly display their club’s colors via scarves and flags, parents of Little League Baseball players utilize trading pins to show their support. Players, on the other hand, trade and collect pins for regular season games, tournaments and the Little League World Series, not just as a show of good faith, but a kind of unspoken love for the game and universal friendship.
When it comes to collecting and trading these pins for their personal collections, players are only interested in those with the wildest and most inventive designs. Whether it’s a bat-shaped pin with the team’s name emblazoned across it, or a glove/hat combination with the team’s mascot in the background, players love trading the “cool-looking” pins almost as much as they love playing the game.
With each incoming season, pin making companies are bombarded with massive orders. This level of demand means prices and service can suffer. But if you look carefully, you’ll find a few companies that provide exceptional value. Everything from free design services to multiple colors at no extra charge, to expedited production and free delivery are available for smart shoppers.
Even though these trading pins are highly sought after by avid enthusiasts, when the dust settles, these small pictorial pieces of America’s pastime are seen as endearing accessories to windbreakers, hats, lapels, sweatshirts and even ear lobes. They’re small metallic acts of creative expression for those that look forward to springtime with giddy anticipation and serious ambition.
The players have dreams of becoming the next Alex Rodriguez, Cliff Lee or Johnny Damon and winning a World Series. The parents, on the other hand, stand holding these trading pins with an affectionate grip, watching their dreams growing up right before their eyes.