If you're into baseball collector's items, why not start a collection of baseball items you can actually wear? After all, what good is that giant album of baseball cards if no one ever sees them?
Baseball pins collections are a fun way to commemorate your favorite moments in baseball history, favorite teams, players, and brands.
Whether you're looking to start a new collection or you've already got several pins, here are 5 essential things your baseball pins collection needs to be a complete set.
Trading pins is a tradition dating all the way back to the 1896 Olympics. This was the first, modern, official, Olympics and athletes were given small, paper or cardboard pins to wear for identification.
As a gesture of sportsmanship, athletes would swap pins. In later years, pins or national badges were created specifically for Olympians to trade after a match or game. Thus, the baseball pin trade came into being.
Because of this rich history and method of demonstrating good sportsmanship, owning a vintage baseball pin is a perfect way to harken back to the roots of pin-trading.
If your current pins collections don't include a vintage baseball pin, it's time to get one!
Baseball pin trading became especially big in the early 1900s. If you are really savvy at the trade, you can even find a rare baseball pin from the 1940s when the making of pins stopped following the 1936 Olympics.
Pins from before, and especially during 1940, are some of the most prestigious to possess. Including one in your collection is a sure way to show how legit your pin-trading abilities are.
Many collectors will choose to display the pins they are willing to trade on a tri-fold display. This can be cardboard or wood if you're really serious about showing off your pins.
Be aware that if you're wearing your pins to an event with the intention of trading, you shouldn't wear any pins you don't plan to trade. Displaying your pins is a way of saying they are up for trading.
During tournaments, traders often look for pins being worn so they know who they can approach for a trade deal.
The way you display your pins will depend on how many you plan to trade. Scarfs, shirts, and hats are the most common ways to display. However, tri-folds are usually better for large collections.
Just choose the display method that best suits your needs and personality.
If you plan on having a real baseball pin collection, you better know the rules of the trading game first. There is a certain etiquette assumed in pin trading that you definitely need to understand before trying to build your collection.
If you need to, write these rules down so you can avoid embarrassing yourself at a tournament or trading event. Having a good grasp of trading etiquette is an important part of collecting.
Rule number 1, don't touch another person's pins. You can look, but don't touch. Until that pin is yours, no one will appreciate you grabbing or handling their pins.
Rule number 2, don't interrupt a conversation. If someone is talking to a pin-owner about a pin you just "gotta have," you're simply going to have to wait your turn.
Jumping in or asserting yourself into a trade negotiation that doesn't involve you is just bad manners. Wait for traders to finish talking before you offer your trade.
Another important etiquette rule, keep things friendly.
If things start getting heated, call off a trade. Also, remember that trades should occur among equals. Don't try to scam someone into trading a more valuable pin for one less prestigious.
They may not be the most desired pins of other traders, but your baseball pin collection will never be complete unless it includes a pin branded with your own team logo.
Even if all you ever did was play one season of little league, having your own team pin says you value the game and the experience of participating in it.
Not to mention, designing your own pins is a fun way to show off your creativity. Pull in some design ideas from the classic, vintage pins, and include a modern twist.
Your teammates will love the reference to the "good old days" of baseball and the opportunity to commemorate your season.
If your current team doesn't keep the tradition of trading pins with opponents, you could help get it started. Having your own team pins is a great way to promote good sportsmanship and the love of the game.
Just as with your own team pin, no true collection is complete without the pin of a rival team. Whether this is a pin from an opponent you've played yourself or a pin from your favorite Major League's greatest rival, opponent pins are fun to have.
Sure, you may not wear them to a game or tournament, but they help round out your collection and give it diversity.
Not to mention, it can be hard to trade if the only pins you have in your collection are of one single team.
Diversity in your pins collections gives you more chances to trade and broadens your collection. If you don't already have an opponent or rival's pin, try branching out.
Again, if you've begun the tradition of trading pins with your own team logo, consider encouraging a rival team to do the same. It can be a fun way to start the swapping tradition in your own league.
Baseball pins collections are a fun way to let your love of the game be known. Creating your own pins is a great way to build team unity and start a fun tradition within a league.
Pin collections always start small, but as you find others who share your passion for the all-American sport, your collection will grow.
Browse soft enamel pins today and get started on creating your own team pin.