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Sports Team Pin Trading Basics

April 12, 2017

Team pin trading has been a time honored tradition for several sports for hundreds of years.  The first pin exchange occurred in 1896 at the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Since then, several individual sports such as baseball, softball, curling, hockey, and many non-sport related events have adopted the hobby.  Sports pin trading effectively fosters new friendships, team unity, and brand promotion.

Athens Games of the I Olympiad 1896

Softball has become an extremely popular sport in the US as well as around the world. Among the top leagues are Major League Softball, National Pro Fastpitch, European Softball Federation, and Intercollegiate Softball Championships in the US. There are also local youth leagues, travel teams and many other opportunities to trade some really awesome pins.  With all of the tournaments and events, just imagine the opportunity to trade some amazing sports team pins that were created specifically for each team to show off themselves, their logo, their mascot and their hometown.

Pin trading Contest at Youth Softball Nationals Tournament. Image by Softball Nationals

Trading team pins typically happens at the start or at the end of an event.  Family members, friends, and fans even bring their own softball trading pins during the games. Custom pins are ordered three or four weeks prior to their event. Trading pin manufacturers become extremely busy during this time of the year, so be sure to plan accordingly and make sure you get your pins in plenty of time for your tournament.

Softball Trading Pin designs can vary from simple to extreme.  The technology that is used in creating some amazing pin designs is something that you need to experience.  Many companies offer FREE design services for their trading pins, and will be happy to accommodate any design requests you might have.

The amazing thing about trading pins is there are no rules on what trading pins to trade. As long as both parties agreed to take each other’s pin in exchange for what each currently has, then it is considered a deal done. If you are able to get softball trading pins with upgrades like glitter, crystals, glow in the dark, blinkers or moving pieces, those are the more highly tradable sports pins.  Also, pins over 1.5” in size, are also more easily traded.  More recently we are even seeing some new, unique designs in different materials, different metal colors and even full color, digital printing.

One thing that is important to being a successful team pin trader, is that it requires dedication and consistency, and it might take some time for your collection to grow. Pin trading is always a two-way process. Always make sure you have a wide variety of sports pins in your collection.  High end sports pins are great to have, but make sure you have all sizes, shapes, locations, etc. available in your collection, to trade with as many people as you can.  Keep in mind, that expanding your collection is based on your reputation, so make sure all of the sports pins that you are trading are in good condition, with sturdy backs, no missing pieces or major blemishes… it will make you a better collector and trader.

Good Luck!

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