A baseball pin collection is just about the most American thing anybody can own. It's a one-of-a-kind slice of Americana, steeped in nostalgia and fetching some incredible prices for the right pieces.
But how do you get started? Where do you trade these pins? And which pins should you collect?
These are all pertinent questions and, luckily for you, all ones we will be addressing in this blog piece. Join us, as we break down how you can start collecting the pins you really want, today!
Pin trading is central to the Little League experience, as much a part of it as the games and tournaments. You'll see tents set up at the Little League World Series and Facebook groups flooded with people doing thousands of trades every year.
But where do you start if you want to make this hobby legit? Baseball pins are everywhere, making them one of the easiest collections to pick up. Supply isn't the issue, but is there a "right" way to get started?
Not to get too philosophical, but your first point of order should be looking inwards. Ask yourself: "Why do I want to collect pins?" Are you supporting or commemorating your team, or is this more for the love of collecting?
Answer this question and you can gear your collection towards numbers, rare items, or whatever makes sense for you. Once you know what you'll be collecting and why it's time to start collecting.
In the world of baseball trading pins, there are four varieties of you can collect:
As with any collection, these pins tend to be traded for one of two reasons. Often, collectors will buy or trade pins based on their design, with more colorful, more intricate designs trading faster. Bold colors, limited edition designs, and eye-catching visuals go a long way, here.
Alternatively, there's always vintage items. These are valuable because of their age, not their design, as sometimes there are only a dozen or so of them left in circulation. The market for these can be great for the savvy buyer, but they are also an attractive option for nostalgic pin collectors.
As we've discussed, sometimes a pin collection is just a pin collection. You'll find boxes full of team pins from amateur locals, perhaps a few from your kids' big games. All of which is fine if you're just collecting for the sake of having a collection, in which case the value of the pin doesn't matter much.
But collectors also put a great deal of stock behind the value of many baseball pins. And, luckily, there are a lot of great resources online. As a collector, it's easy enough to research a pin's value on the Internet, either via articles or communications with antique dealers.
There's nowhere on this earth more important to a collector than the trade show and convention circuit. These meetups connect pin enthusiasts, collectors, dealers, and specialists with each other. Appraisers and pin dealers do great business at these events. But they also make their expertise available to help collectors gauge their pins' or collections' worth.
This is the promised land for an avid collector, bringing everyone from beginners to experts together under one roof. Spend the day indulging your passion for these pins, and you'll gain valuable insights, grow your collection and even find rare pins. What could a collector want more?
So you've cottoned on to the wonderful world of baseball pin collecting and now you're hooked. You've got the passion, and it's time to kickstart your own hobby, collecting pin after pin from your favorite teams. Or maybe you already have a collection, and you're just looking to expand.
Whatever your motivation, you'll want a working knowledge of where to get pins, and where to take the ones you do have to trade them.
A love of baseball pins often starts in the stands at actual baseball games. You're likely to spend a fair amount of time watching your local team play baseball games, either at home or away.
This is a perfect opportunity to meet other collectors, and meeting other collectors is the best way there is to get trading. Ask around and see if there are any pin fanatics in the stands with you. You might be surprised by who you meet and how many trades you'll kick off in this manner.
As an added bonus, there's always the chance you'll jumpstart someone else's passion for pins in the process.
Pin collectors often affectionately refer to themselves as "pinheads". Do your research and ask around for local postings about trading meetups.
These are specialized events where traders can start up or add to their collections, making connections in the process. It's an opportunity to meet people with your interests.
And knowing that everyone's there for the same reason makes starting conversations easier. You might even start your own smaller meetups with friends and collectors as a result.
Collectors will also often trade pins on internet forums and auctions. Websites dedicate resources to connecting collectors with opportunities to find and sell pins. Social media channels, similarly, offer an expansive number of avenues in which to trade.
Whether you're an avid local baseball supporter or just wanting a piece of the collectible pie, anyone can start a pin collection. For more on these pins and the people who collect them, check out some of our other awesome blog content today!