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Custom-made baseball pins are a fun activity for a little slugger. To hit a home run with your child, learn how to save money ordering pins in our guide.

Did you know that the first Little League pins were shaped like a hot air balloon? The pins were for the 1983 Little League World Series. This started the pin trading culture that remains such an important part of youth baseball.

Whatever design you're considering for your custom-made baseball pins, you don't want to pay any more than you have to. You can save money without sacrificing quality. Learn more here about how to keep your costs low but your satisfaction high.

What Determines the Cost of Custom-Made Baseball Pins?

Before you can find ways to save money on custom-made baseball pins, you need to understand how the pricing structure works. The price depends on:

Each of these areas gives you opportunities to economize. You can create a unique design and stay within your budget.

Order Baseball Trading Pins in Bulk

Order your baseball trading pins in bulk to take advantage of the best pricing. Many pin manufacturers have a minimum order of 100 pins. You'll usually get a better price if you order at least 200 or 300.

Many teams find that they go through pins faster than they expected anyway. If you're ordering at the beginning of the season, you should plan to order at least 30 pins per player. For a specific tournament, multiply the number of teams in your age group or class by the number of players on your team.

Ordering some extra team baseball pins is always a good idea. You'll be sure that any late additions to the team can participate.

Custom Baseball Pins

Choose a Smaller Pin Size

One easy way to save money on baseball trading pins is to order smaller pins. Most trading pins are around 1.75".

Avoid sizes larger than 2" because they need an oversize mold that usually costs more. They also cost more to ship.

A smaller size can help you stretch your budget. You'll have money left for enhancements like glitter, danglers, or blinkers.

A smaller pin may mean simplifying your design. Some features are difficult or impossible to produce if the pin is too small. An experienced pin manufacturer will help you find the right-sized pin for your design and budget.

Choose the Right Type of Pin

You usually have four options for custom trading pins:

Each type of pin is priced differently. Choosing a less expensive type of pin can make a significant difference in your budget.

Soft Enamel

Soft enamel team baseball pins are typically the most expensive. They're durable and give you vivid colors with a textured surface. The raised metal areas make changing patterns of light and shadow on the pin's surface, which makes the design very vibrant.

You can add many different types of enhancements, like danglers or spinners, to soft enamel pins.

Offset Printed

Offset printed pins are less expensive than enamel. Because the design is printed, it can be very detailed. Drop shadows, gradients, and fine text will all come through on a printed pin.

Offset pins aren't as durable as soft enamel ones. For this reason, a special epoxy dome protects the design. The epoxy gives the pin a glossy appearance.

Quick Pins

Quick pins are a more expensive option because they can be ready very quickly. You can have your pins in as few as four business days.

You have several design options to choose from. Using a stock shape means your pin supplier doesn't have to make a die. This speeds up the production process.

Stock and Generic Pins

Stock and generic pins are an economical option. They give you few if any customization options, but they're available for immediate shipping. Stock pins are die-struck iron.

The minimum order size for stock and generic pins is often lower than for other types of pins. However, your supplier may not have a large quantity on hand if you want hundreds of stock pins immediately. Be sure to contact the supplier when you're considering this option.

Avoid Additional Color Fees

If you choose soft enamel pins, you can keep your costs lower by using only the number of colors included in the basic price. Many manufacturers of baseball trading pins include six or seven colors with no extra charge. You can combine similar colors in your design to reduce your total number.

You may feel that a wider variety of colors is a defining part of your design. In that case, you can ask your pin manufacturer for price quotes with options for different numbers of colors. You may choose to economize in another area if the color selection you want doesn't add significantly to the price.

Custom Baseball Pins

Plan Ahead

As for so many things in life, planning ahead can reduce your costs. Depending on your design and the type of baseball pins you order, production can take as long as four weeks. You may encounter production or shipping delays if you order during peak times of the year.

Planning ahead gives you the time to get the trading pins you really want without needing to pay extra for rush production or shipping.

Finding the Right Manufacturer for Your Custom-Made Baseball Pins

You want your custom-made baseball pins to be as cost-efficient as possible. You don't want them to look like a low-budget special. This is why working with the right pin manufacturer is so important.

BaseballTradingPins.net has been making high-quality pins since 2003. We want to develop a long-term relationship with you and your team, not price gouge you for a quick profit. We offer unique designs, great customer service, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

If you find a similar pin online at a lower price, we'll match it.

Contact us today for a free quote. Let's start designing the baseball trading pins that fit your dreams and your budget.

Wondering the cost of custom baseball trading pins? Wonder no longer! Check out this article to learn how much you should budget for your pins.

Everybody wants their team to have the coolest pin. It's a great way to build team spirit. It also makes it easier to find other pin collectors willing to make a trade.

But you also have to be realistic when putting your design together. Not every team has the budget to throw together an expensive pin with all the bells and whistles.

Custom Made Baseball Trading Pin

So how do you balance creating custom baseball trading pins that your team can be proud of with a sensible budget?

Let's look at the different design elements that go into a pin, how much they cost. By the end of this article, you will know where to spend your money.

1. Types of Pins

There are several different types of pins. Each one has pros and cons.

They do vary in price, but each type of pin will cost you about $2.00-3.00 per pin, assuming you are placing a bulk order of 200 1" pins with no special features.

Cloisonne Pins

Cloisonne pins are the most traditional type of enamel pins. Their completely smooth surface gives them the appearance of fine jewelry.

This type of pins works best for designs with clearly defined regions of color separated by bold lines. If this sounds like the type of design you want, the cloisonne process will make your pins pop like no other.

And, because they have a smooth surface, you can add additional details like color gradients to cloisonne pins with a silkscreen process. This makes cloisonne pins the most versatile type of pin.

The only drawback here is the expense. The extensive polishing and painting process that goes into these pins drives up the price.

Soft Enamel Pins

Soft enamel pins are very similar to cloisonne pins. They are best for designs that have clearly separated areas of color that can be defined by a thin metal border.

The big difference is that they do not have a flat surface. Instead of being polished to a flush, glossy surface, the enamel is recessed into each region of the design, and the metal borders are slightly raised.

This can be in itself a striking design element, but it does limit some of your creative possibilities. Because the surfaces of these pins are not smooth, they can not be silkscreened to add additional fine detail.

On the plus side, these pins are a bit more affordable because they don't have to go through the extensive hand-polishing process of cloisonne pins.

Die Struck Pins

Die struck pins are essentially soft enamel pins that aren't filled in with color.

The all-metal, monochromatic design also has a timeless and dignified aura. They have the look of an engraved ring or watch.

Of course, you lose out on color, but not every design needs color. For the same reason photographers sometimes still shoot in black-and-white, some things just look better with a classic look.

These pins cost about the same as a soft enamel pin.

Printed Pins

Offset printed pins are typically offered as an option for sports trading pins.

Offset printing provides the most accurate reproduction of a digital image. If you want photographic realism, this is the way to go. If you do decide to go with offset printing, be prepared with a high-resolution image file. If your image is blurry, it will be blurry on the pin. This is the most expensive type of pin.

2. Plating Options

Plating refers to the look of the metal used to make your pin design. There are a few standard options to choose from as well as a few specialized possibilities.

Plating Options with Your Custom Baseball Trading Pin

Standard Metal

Standard metal pins are the most common and cost-efficient choice. Common color options are gold, silver, copper, and black. These will have a shiny, polished finish.

This type of plating usually comes at no extra cost to you.

Antique Metal

These pins come in the same colors as the standard metal pins but have a different texture. They have been treated with steel brushes and special paint to give the pins a weathered look. These are a little more expensive, but give your pins a sense of rugged strength.

Dual Plating

This option combines two pins into one. You can get the bright colors of a cloisonne pin mixed with the classic look of antique metal.

This option requires two pins to be made and adhered to each other, so this is the most expensive option.

Iridescent Plating

This option will really make your pin stand apart from the rest of the pack. Using modern technology, these pins are made from anodized metals that have a rainbow-like finish that is sure to catch everyone's eye.

3. Add-Ons

Here's where we get to the fun stuff. These are the extra touches that will make your pin into something people will really want to remember!

Moving Parts

Add a spinner, dangler, or slider to give your pin that extra bit of sparkle. This adds about $0.50-$1.00 per pin and gives you design an interactive quality.

Lights

You can add lights to your pin for about an extra $1.00-2.00. This includes an off-switch, and you can get blinking lights or even multiple lights.

Epoxy Finish

This gives you a design that smoother-than-smooth look. A clear epoxy resin coats the entire design, giving the pin a unified and flawless appearance.

Finding the Perfect Custom Baseball Trading Pins for You

If you're placing a bulk order of about 200 pins for your team, you can expect to spend about $450.00-$500.00. There are a host of add-ons you can use to boost your design, but they will drive up the cost.

We hope you have found this article helpful. If you have any further questions about custom baseball trading pins, please don't hesitate to get in contact with us! You can also use our website to generate a free quote for your upcoming pin order.

Whether you're with a local Little League or a regional travel club, custom trading pins are a staple at baseball fields around the country.

Games and tournaments often see more trading than Wall Street. Players exchange their own pins for new ones, creating friendships and memories.

While most pin manufacturers offer to help with artwork, it's rewarding and special to design your team's pin yourself. Here's our guide on how to design custom trading pins for your baseball team.

Come Up With An Idea

Every great creation starts with an idea.

To design great custom trading pins for your baseball team, you need to brainstorm and develop a concept.

Just like with designing a logo, designing pins is easier said than done. Sometimes we can't come up with anything. Or the opposite happens -- with so many possibilities, it can be hard to narrow them all down.

Even the most creative minds can have "designer's block."

If you're stuck, search for inspiration!

A great way to start is by looking at some of the trading pins your team has used in the past or ones you've collected from other teams. Pick a few favorites, and write down what makes them so cool.

Another way to find inspiration is by browsing an online photo gallery of baseball pins. You can find pins of teams from all around the country, and you don't even need to meet them at a game or tournament to see them.

If you need even more ideas, don't be afraid to expand your search and look beyond baseball. Trading pins are a popular thing to collect in other sports as well. Check out pins made for football, hockey, basketball, and soccer teams.

Also search for pins from theme parks, museums, and events. They might not relate to sports, but they can show you all the possibilities of special things you can put on a trading pin.

Things You Might Include

Luckily, there's a lot of great imagery and symbols in the game of baseball. Here are some elements that you might consider including on your custom trading pins' design.

Baseballs

This is the obvious one, but your baseball pin needs to have a baseball!

Many pins take advantage of a baseball's round shape and use it as the main framework and outline of the design. Circular designs, called roundels, are a common feature of logos. They look great on hats, clothing, and yes, pins!

Baseballs are also great things to use as smaller design elements. They're the perfect thing to use for interactive pin enhancements like sliders, spinners, and danglers.

Diamonds

The diamond shape of the basepath is another iconic symbol of the sport.

Like the circular baseballs, a diamond is commonly used in the background to set the main shape of the pin.

Bats

Have you ever seen the skull and crossbones or crossed swords of the Jolly Roger?

Mirroring the famed pirate flag, long objects crossed into an X have long been a common design motif. Crossed baseball bats could add an aggressive feel to your design, even if your team name doesn't relate to pirates.

With their long, flat shape, baseball bats also make good underlines to the name of a team or player.

Team Name, Location, and Logo

After all, these pins are made to represent your team.

Featuring your team's branding helps the fans that wear your pins root on the ballclub. They also help the people you trade pins with remember who you are and where you are from.

Season-Specific Features

Some teams only have a generic pin for their team. It's economical, as they can order a lot of them at once to supply the team's players for several seasons.

But other teams like to order new pins for each season. Each group of players has a unique pin to remember that specific squad.

What can you add to a pin to make it unique? One thing is the year. You can also include the names and numbers of each player on the team, which will likely change every year.

You can also order special pins after the season and make note of the team's accomplishments. You can include the win-loss record and any championships and titles won.

Sketch Your Idea

When you've found inspiration and come up with some ideas in your head, it's time to sketch out your design.

This can be intimidating for some. But you don't need to be a great artist to make a design.

You don't need fancy art tools or an expensive sketch pad to draw some concepts for your pin. Some of the best ideas were drafted on a napkin with an ordinary pen.

Your first drafts will be rough drafts. Don't worry about perfection with these, because the point is only to make a proof of concept.

You may go through several versions of your design before narrowing it down and producing something you truly like. Tinker and tweak until you've found what you're looking for.

For some, this might be the end of your designing. You can send your sketch to your pin maker, and their professional artists will create a more finalized version based on the work you've already done.

The manufacturer will perk up your design to meet their requirements, but the design and ideas will still be yours.

Make Your Pin With Digital Design Software

For more advanced and tech-savvy graphic designers, you may choose to take the designing a step further and make a final version of your design with a digital program.

Hardcore artists may have access to top industry software such as Photoshop and Illustrator through Adobe Creative Cloud. These programs are powerful, but also expensive.

Luckily, budget-friendly alternatives are also available. GIMP and Inkscape are popular graphics programs that are completely free. You can even pull off some fantastic designs with some clever use of PowerPoint.

Digital graphic design might be tricky for novices, but learning how to use editing programs gives you more power to create the perfect artwork for your pin.

Create Your Custom Trading Pins

Once you've created your designs, upload them and send them to the manufacturer. They'll turn your great design into real pins for your team to collect and trade.

Contact us today to get a free quote on your order of custom trading pins for your baseball team.

Baseball Trading Pin Quote Form

This is the first step in getting your trading pins.
  • We will never send you spam, but we need your email to send artwork and a price quote.
  • We will only call if we have a question that cannot be addressed over email.
  • What team are these pins for?
  • Please tell us the date that you need your pins so that we can pair you with the appropriate style of pin for your artwork and time frame.
  • Let us know anything you want about your pins. Past customers have included items such as the state, city, age group, player numbers, tournament name, or year, as well as upgrade requests like jewels, glitter, danglers, sliders, and blinkers.
  • If you have a logo or design please upload it here. This form can accept jpg, jpeg, bmp, gif, svg, png, or pdf files. Max File Size: 20MB
    Accepted file types: jpg, pdf, png, gif, ai, eps, doc, jpeg, bmp, svg, Max. file size: 20 MB.
  • If you have a logo or design please upload it here. This form can accept jpg, jpeg, bmp, gif, svg, png, or pdf files. Max File Size: 20MB
    Accepted file types: jpg, pdf, png, gif, ai, eps, doc, jpeg, bmp, svg, Max. file size: 20 MB.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Ready to embark on your next collecting obsession? Follow these steps to start building the ultimate baseball trading pins collection.

If you play baseball and you haven't been introduced to the world of baseball trading pins, you're missing out.

This tradition is almost as timeless as the sport itself, and many people find great joy in this past-time. It offers players and fans alike a chance to share their love for baseball with something special.

But why are trading pins so special? It's really up to the beholder, but they can stand for the team effort.

These items represent the trials and tribulations that finally got you that championship win. Other pins in your collection might represent teams that you admire.

Not to mention that you can even find trading pins beyond the world of sports!

If you've never collected anything before, it can be difficult to know where to start. That's why, in this article, we're discussing how you can start your own baseball trading pins collection. Keep reading to learn more.

About Baseball Trading Pins

This tradition has its roots in the 1920s in Rochester, NY. It was a bakery that started the trend by distributing pinback buttons that featured hometown heroes or baseball players. You could collect a pin with each purchase of a loaf of bread, and the pins came in sets for collection and/or trade.

These original trading pins are quite valuable today. Fans wear them and collect them for various reasons that include supporting a team or honoring its history.

There are several different kinds of baseball trading pins that you can find for your collection:

Many collectors that are just starting out begin with soft enamel pins. They are long lasting and affordable.

Stock trading pins are simple and basic without personalized details.

Offset digital pins use designs that are encrypted on a metal plate. Photo-etched pins display images.

Why Trade?

No matter what type of baseball trading pins you prefer, you should start a collection.

Trading pins is a great way to get involved in your sport. You can make new friends among those who collect and show support for all of your favorite teams. You can even trade with other players from different states and regions to expand your collection further.

Collecting trading pins will give you something to talk about during the downtime at games and off the field. It's even more exciting when you find someone who has a pin that you've been looking for. Now, which pins are you willing to trade for that one special pin?

That's the fun in it. See how many pins you can collect in a season, and think about which friends you enjoy trading with the most. Remember that you can keep collecting for your whole life, so the opportunities to find your favorite pins are endless.

Find Pins That You Love

Start by finding baseball trading pins that really catch your eye. Pins that represent your own team are a good starting point too. You can also ask your friends if they have duplicates of any pins they may have collected.

You only need one pin to start collecting. Later, it will feel like a game to see when and where you'll find your next pins. Hopefully, it's not too challenging, and you'll be well on your way to a fine collection in no time.

Take Inventory

Now that you have a few trading pins in your inventory, check everything you've collected so far.

You want to make sure you know which pins you have, and which ones mean the most to you. This can help you organize your pins, which will prevent you from accidentally trading them.

If you have any duplicates, ask your friends if they're up for trading something. Or you can wait until the next game and see if there are other players with pins that you might not ordinarily find.

Keep duplicates separated from the rest so you'll be able to access them easier when it comes the time to trade.

Research Values

Believe it or not, baseball trading pins can hold significant value.

It's not likely that your local team pin is worth more than what you paid for it. Who knows, maybe you'll even find one of those original trading pins from the 1920s!

The Internet is a good place to start researching values. You can also take your pins to a local collector's shop where they may be able to assess their worth for you.

Look up trading pin forums and collector's sites online. Don't forget to ask questions.

Don't ever give up a pin if you think it holds value. Do your research first.

Attend a Meeting

Beyond catching up with the other players at your games, try to find out where other pinheads are.

You can find pin meets where collectors come from far and wide to see what other pin collectors have. These are extremely social events that add a little dose of competition to the mix.

Ask teammates and fellow collectors where to find a pin meet near you.

Check online forums to find out where other collectors are meeting in your region or state.

Have Fun

The most important thing to collecting trading pins is to have fun.

This is an awesome hobby for many sports enthusiasts who want to further involve themselves in this awesome sport.

Don't be let down by a shutout. Get out there and trade some baseball pins with your opponents, and make friends.

Get Your Trading Pins

Starting a new baseball trading pins collection is exciting because you'll have an opportunity to share with all of your friends.

As you get older, your pins might even be worth some money. Not to mention the sentimental value they hold for years to come.

Look for other 'pinheads', those that also enjoy collecting these items, so you can have others to trade with. You can easily display your pins on a cap or backpack so that they know you're interested in trading too.

Keep this timeless tradition alive by starting your own collection today. You won't be disappointed.

If you're interested in purchasing baseball trading pins, or if you have questions, contact us. We offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee!

Hello Pin Traders! Today’s post talks about another one of our most frequently asked questions: What size pin should I get for my team? This article should lead you in the right direction:

Start with your Budget:

As the baseball trading pins size reflects the amount of material used and shipping weight, sports pin size has a direct correlation to price, which is often the most important factor our customers consider. Using your budget is often a good place to start with your trading pin size.

If you know roughly how many pins you’re ordering (check out this article if you don’t) and divide your budget by that number, you can get a good starting point for your trading pin size.

Consider Impact on Tradability

For baseball, 2.0” pins are the most common to the tune of 70% of our orders. With a 2.0” pin the amount of detail typically incorporated on a trading pin can be included and made highly visible.

Just because 2.0” is the norm does not mean it’s the best for you, especially when it comes to tradability (For more on tradability check out this article). If most of the trading pins your kids are trading for are 2.0”, 12 year old logic dictates anything larger will be more popular. We’re not saying you need to go all the way to 3.0” to stand out. As trading pins are 2D, a 3”x3” pin (9 sq in) is more than twice the area of a 2”x2” (4 sq in) pin, so the price jump is considerable.

2.25” pins are a great way to stand out without incurring too much cost, especially if you’re buying less because of the increased size. Not to say only larger pins are more popular, a well designed 1.75” pin with some catchy upgrades will trade much better than a simple 2.0” pin.

Consider your Baseball Pin Design Details

When deciding on a trading pin size, another item to consider is the amount of detail going on in your trading pin design. In another article we talked about details to include on your design. If a detail is important enough to include on the pin you want to make sure it’s big enough to see. The more you want to include on your pin, the better off you are with a larger size. Player names, for example, don’t show well on an enamel pin 2.0” or smaller unless they are the primary focus of the pin, as shown below

Tecumsuh Rangers Sports Trading Pin

Printed trading pins can include more detail at a smaller size, if you’re curious to learn more about the different styles we offer, check out this article: What's the difference between baseball trading pin styles.

Our artists have designed thousands upon thousands of pins so and they will certainly make recommendations throughout the design process, so if you’re stuck by all means ask us during your design process.

To find out more about these pins, click the red ‘Get Pricing Now’ button below, or give us a call at 888-998-1746 to get started on your teams design today!

 

Baseball Trading Pins Pricing

Design Tips On How To Customize Your Baseball Trading Pin

Trading pins are a cherished feature of the youth baseball. Since 1983, the Little League made its first "official" pin available and ever since it's become a staple part of baseball culture. Pins mean far more than representing a team. Baseball trading pins unite players, parents, coaches and opposing teams as they share their love of baseball through them.  It's a fun way for everyone to get to know each other and return home with a unique collection of pins.

Custom baseball trading pins are a great way to express the team's loyalty and boost team spirit from the players in the field to the parents in the audience. It's important that the pins are well-designed to increase their value and make trading with other players more exciting.

Ready to design a winning pin for the best little league team?

Pre-Design Tips

Deciding on a pin design is a creative process and the perfect chance to create one that best symbolizes the team. Players and even baseball parents keep their pins for years so you need to make sure everyone loves the design.

Use this time to double-check the teams' roster numbers and names to correct any errors. It’s important to stick to a budget before designing the pin. Know which size to use, the preferred material and which add-ons your team want to jazz it up.

Decide What to Include in Your Custom Baseball Trading Pin

There are many features and factors to consider when designing your team's pin. Here's a breakdown of each aspect:

Pin Types
There are three types of trading pins: Soft Enamel, Offset Printed Pins and Quick Pins.

Soft Enamel: This material is a popular choice as it’s perfect for intricate designs. The painted enamel has metallic ridges to separate the colors which enhances the artwork. Soft Enamel is perfect if your little league team want add-ons such as glitter, spinners, and sliders.

Offset Printed Pins: The designer transfers your digital artwork onto the pin, making this a quick and cost-effective option. It’s essential that the designer uses high-resolution artwork to create sharp imagery for an eye-catching pin.

Quick Pins: These are the perfect option for last-minute situations.  These cheap pins are made by US manufacturers and are ready in time for your Little League tournament. Like an Offset Pin, the image is printed, but with a thicker base.

Team Name, State and City
Your team’s name is the first thing they’ll see, so you need to be creative. Decide which font best represents your team and whether you want to shout out your city and state.

You can add your city to the design. It could be its outline on a map, your city’s skyline or a small image that represents your hometown. This will help personalize your pin so opposite teams will know instantly that it’s yours.

Team colors
Not only is this the main feature of the pin but it’s your identity! To find the perfect colors, use our PMS (Pantone Color System) color scheme so our designer knows the exact shade. If you aren't sure which color, we could try a couple colors to find that perfect match.

Baseball Pin traders see hundreds of baseball pins so we suggest using bold colors to stand out.

Mascot
Got a mascot? Great, add them to the pin! Mascots are a great way to boost team recognition and make your pin stand out.

Continuing the mascot theme means your pin matches your jersey and hat so everyone knows you’re 100% about team spirit. Parents and coaches can also wear them to show their support.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a mascot. Let the team decide on a mascot and ask the pin designer to incorporate it into the artwork.   Remember to be specific. If you want a Panther, decide if you want it to be fierce or friendly.

Add Your Motto
Chances are you have an awesome motto. If there's a motto everyone chants during Little League games, add it to your pin. It doesn't have to be the whole phrase. Instead, pick the few words that best represent your team.

Roster
Add the team’s roster to your Little League pin to personalize it. Use numbers to ensure everyone fits on the pin. You can use bats, baseballs and even stars to show off your teammates.

Season-Specific Features
Instead of one design, order pins for each season. This will boost morale and keep everyone excited from the players to parents. Make it unique by adding the year and the team's names or numbers as they change every year.  Or incorporate the team’s accomplishments to the design. Add any Little League championships you’ve won or include the win-loss record.  Special features will make your pins rarer and increase its trade value.

Upgrade with Add-Ons
Let the team add their special flair and maximize the pin's trading power. Your team can choose from a variety of add-ons including:

Ready to Get Trading?

Custom baseball trading pins boost trading value so little league players can be proud of their team and form a one-of-a-kind collection. Trading pins have the power to unify players, parents and opposing teams who will hold on to these pins for years to come.

If your team wants high-quality trading pins for next season, contact us here.

Wanna swap? Pin fanatics celebrate Little League the only way they know how- with pins! Trading baseball pins is a hobby with its own unique history and following. Read on to learn

1. The Olympic Connection

The Olympic pin tradition began with the small cardboard badges worn by athletes and officials at the first modern Olympics in 1896. They traded these items as a gesture of goodwill between competing nationalities. Later, official badges and medals were created specifically for athletes and others to trade.

Baseball at the Summer Olympics unofficially debuted at the 1904 Summer Games, in St. Louis, MO. and with it, the pin trading obsession officially began.

At the 1908 games in Paris, different pin styles designated specific groups like media professionals or judges. By 1912, a specific pin was created as a spectator souvenir. By 1924 in Paris pin trading was expected between athletes and officials as a way to represent goodwill between nations.

More than 1 million pins were sold in preparation for the 1936 Berlin Games. Especially rare are pins from the 1940 games, as they were canceled. 1952 saw 218 variations of the participants' pins produced. 1960 brought the first corporate sponsored pins. The 1980 Moscow games firmly established a souvenir pin trading culture- with those pins being exceedingly rare and valuable in the U.S.

The pin-trading tradition was firmly established in 1980's with official trading stations and corporate sets. Because pins are portable, affordable, and diverse they became extremely popular by the 1984 Olympic Games, with nearly 17 million made for trading fans. Coca-Cola and the Hard Rock Cafe sponsored their own swap days and venues, establishing a tradition of pin trading separate from the sports action.

Baseball also made its return to the Olympic Games after a 20-year hiatus in 1984 and with it baseball trading pins. Very popular? Sam the Eagle (the 1984 mascot) swinging a bat.

1988 saw the establishment of the official Coca-Cola pin trading venue and the recognition of the Olympic trading pin to the International Olympic Committee marketing plan for future games.

2. There's a Special Etiquette for Trading

Certain days and venues are scheduled at many events specifically for baseball pin trading. Baseball trading pins are specifically created for each team, tournament, and event. Some pins are very much in demand due to design, scarcity or novelty. Individuals often create unique pins just for trade.

Wear your trades. People who collect usually wear a hat, scarf, vest or shirt to display their pins to swap.

Look, but don't touch (unless invited.) If you want to take a closer look at a baseball trading pin, please use your eyes, not your fingers, especially when the pin is attached to a person.

Negotiations are among equals. If you want to get a pin from another collector, you must present a pin or pins of equal value to that person.

Start a conversation. Introduce yourself and offer one of your pins in trade for the one that you want.

Continue a conversation. Offer information about your interesting pins that others may find interesting. That way, the history of certain pins isn't lost.

Please don't interrupt a trade in progress. Wait until they are finished, and then approach the person.

Remain friendly! Call off a trade if there are raised tempers.

At the end of a deal, shake hands and say, "Thank you," to properly close.

In game tradition. Since the issuing of the first official Little League World Series pin in 1983, at the end of each tournament game, in the handshake line, players trade a commemorative baseball trading pin with a member of the opposing team. This allows players from each team to take away a reminder of their opponent and the Little League memories they experienced together. Along the way, each player may also receive recognition pins for representing their district or region.

All-Star and other Little League events are often centers of pin trading as players barter for rare or innovative pins.

In some trading venues, there are senior pin collectors and traders mingling with youngsters. In other places, unexpected swaps were happening where young people feared to tread. Late night launderers washing uniforms at last year's Little League World Series found themselves with the rare (and hilarious) washing board pin. Hotels, Wegman's and even Dunkin Donuts got in on the fun, each offering their own pin to start swaps.

3. There's No Cutoff Age

The trading tents might be crowded with kids making their first trades and savvy 8-year-olds with a few dozen pins, then there are the big collectors.

Jay Freeman, owner the Natural Energy Utility Corporation and 17 year Little League umpire and usher has been making Little League mascot Dugout pins for more than a decade. He made a pin to reflect each of her 13 different outfits.

Freeman designs his baseball trading pins every year and sends them off to be produced. He creates more than 20 new designs out of his own pocket annually and trades them away by the pocketful. He has a collection of more than 15,000 that grows by three or four thousand each year.

Collector Frank Cataldi has amassed more than 120,000 baseball trading pins since 1979 and is still present in at the Little League World Series each year for trading. He also designs and produces special pins just for trading each year.

Cataldi admits an Olympic connection, as his first entry into collecting was with a 1964 Olympic pin given to him by Olympic gold medalist and Super Bowl Champion Robert Lee "Bullet Bob" Hayes.

11-year veteran Lloyd Vollmuth makes an annual pilgrimage to Williamsport for the Little League World Series specifically for pin trading. The pride of his collection is the pin collected by his son, more than 20 years ago.

Pin trading is easily adopted by youngsters too, with teams bringing their own custom baseball trading pins to tournaments. Even the smallest t-ball player masters the basics of the swap. Last year's Little League World Series champs Kitasuna, Tokyo, Japan came away with incredible memories of their final game, and a few hundred pins.

Check out our collection of pins and let's get started on a design for your swap! Call us at 1-888-998-1746 or fill out our form for a free quote!

Baseball Trading Pin Quote Form

This is the first step in getting your trading pins.
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  • What team are these pins for?
  • Please tell us the date that you need your pins so that we can pair you with the appropriate style of pin for your artwork and time frame.
  • Let us know anything you want about your pins. Past customers have included items such as the state, city, age group, player numbers, tournament name, or year, as well as upgrade requests like jewels, glitter, danglers, sliders, and blinkers.
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  • If you have a logo or design please upload it here. This form can accept jpg, jpeg, bmp, gif, svg, png, or pdf files. Max File Size: 20MB
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How to Maximize Tradability of your Baseball Trading Pins

Hello Pin Traders! Today’s post is very special, one you may not expect to see from a trading pin company. Today we’re going to speak to methods, some more well-known than others, to increase the popularity of your trading pin while saving you and your team money!

First, a definition:

Tradability – Not a real word but a term we use at BaseballTradingPins that refers to how well a pin trades at the tournament. Some tournaments will encourage 1 for 1 trading, but inevitably the laws of supply & demand will always take over, as soon as trading starts certain baseball pins gain popularity and will go for 2, 4, 8, sometimes over 10 pins per trade. This article is going to talk about 4 ways customers can increase tradability:

Tradability Route 1: Trading Pin Size & Add-ons

The phrase ‘Go Big or Go Home’ has some meaning when it comes to baseball pin trading. The most common size for a baseball trading pin is 2.0”, however 1.5” and 1.75” are also fairly common. Teams looking to stand out will go with 2.5”-3.0” pins, sometimes even larger. A larger sports trading pin can accommodate more detail, and also more…

Upgrades! Add-ons such as glitter, crystals, blinkers, or add on pins like sliders, spinners, or danglers can really enhance the appeal of a pin. Larger pins, and those with multiple upgrades, however, can add up in price quick.

West LA Bruins Baseball Trading Pin Design

West LA Bruins Soft Enamel Trading Pin Example

Tradability Route 2: Design Two Trading Pins

A popular route for teams going to Cooperstown is designing two pins, usually termed a ‘standard team pin’ and a ‘limited edition pin’.

The standard pin is typically 2.0” or less and bought at a little less than the quantity needed for each kid to trade with all teams at the tournament.

The limited edition pin is typically bigger than 2.0” and will have 2 or more upgrades. As the name suggests, the limited edition pin is bought in fewer quantity than the standard pin. (Customer Recommendation: we can laser etch the number of each pin on the back to further show the limited availability: 001/200, 002/200…200/200)

Baseball Trading Pins

Tradability Route 3: Versions of your Trading Pins

This approach uses aspects of the three prior routes, buying two pins, on more limited but with upgrades, but instead of being two different pins, these pins utilize the same mold

Before looking at this further deeper, it’s worth discussing how pins get their cost. The most expensive part of a pin order, accounting for 10-30% of the cost, is the custom mold. The mold is machined out of a hardened steel and is used to stamp the individual pins. The key to cost savings in creating two differing pins is to utilize the same mold for each version of the pin. For example, ordering  500 pins of two different designs (and two different molds) each would be priced at the 500 pin order pricing. Using the same mold, using the same design for two editions (same mold) would be priced at the 1000 pin price break, which can amount to a couple hundred dollars in savings!

So how do you achieve this? Let me show you multiple ways:

Cyclone baseball trading Pin

 

trading pin

 

To find out more about these pins, click the red ‘Get Pricing Now’ button below, or give us a call at 888-998-1746 to get started on your teams design today!

Baseball Trading Pins Pricing

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