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The Ultimate Guide to Softball Trading Pins

Custom softball trading pins are popular among players and their fans. Read more about softball trading pins in this ultimate guide.

If you're involved in the world of softball, you've likely heard about pin trading. If you haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet, now's the time to start!

Softball trading pins carry a rich history behind them. Pin trading started decades ago and continues to be a loved aspect of sports events. While pin trading isn't unique to softball, it adds a great element of fun to the sport.

Anyone who loves softball can participate, whether they play the game or prefer to watch it from the sidelines. And getting started is easy.

Are you looking to start trading but aren't sure how to do it? Well, you've come to the right place. Our complete guide will help you learn the ropes and get your foot in the door.

Why Pins

Why do sports enthusiasts love to trade pins? The reasons are about as endless as the number of existing pin designs.

Trading pins are great for a number of reasons. They encourage interaction between sports teams who otherwise would only play each other than go home. This helps bring unity to the sport and helps players make new friends.

Unity is felt within a team, too, when everyone has a matching pin to represent their team. Players may also have pins specifically created to commemorate a specific tournament or championship. As players from various teams meet and trade together, they're given a chance to learn good sportsmanship.

Trading isn't limited to players only, though. Spectators can also participate, showing support for their favorite teams while working to build their own trading pin collections. Pins can also be used for brand promotion. This helps the team and spreads the word about the fun they're having.

Simple, small, and inexpensive, pins provide a non-cumbersome physical momento of games, friends, and beloved experiences on the field.

Rules of the Trade

Pin trading rules are simple. Because there really aren't any. While the decision to trade or not can be difficult, trading in an of itself if a simple, non-controlled method of interaction between players and fans.

A successful trade simply requires consent from both parties. If someone doesn't want to trade, they don't have to. If they do, they just do it, no formalities required.

Types of Pins

Trading pins come in a few varieties. As you trade, try to get a mix to add variety to your collection. Unless, of course, you prefer on kind. Then stick to those, if you want to!

Soft Enamel Pins

Soft enamel trading pins are the highest quality pins you'll find. Beautiful and brightly colored, these pins follow the traditional style. Several options are available for soft enamel pins. Feel free to add some fun elements, like blinkers or spinners, or glow-in-the-dark colors.

For this type of pin, each individual design element is stamped into the metal, leaving an indentation that is filled with paint. The pin is then fired and hardened to finish it up and give it a nice luster.

Offset Printed Pins

This type of pin provides a lot of variety too, but is made using a different method. Offset printed pins are created by printing the design onto vinyl, Mylar or paper. The design is then applied to the metal pin and secured and protected by a clear epoxy.

Just like soft enamel pins, these pins offer a lot of room for fun additions, including danglers, crystals, and spinners. Offset printed pins offer a different look though, without the thin metal lines that separate the design elements on soft enamel pins.

Offset printed pins are great if you're looking to include fine details, such as players' numbers.

Quick Pins

Sometimes you'll find yourself in a pinch as a tournament is coming up. Quick pins are great for these situations.

While they may not offer as much customization, they provide a great pin in a short amount of time. The pins come in basic shapes, such as squares or diamonds, and have simpler designs.

Stock Trading Pins

If you're really in a pickle, consider using some stock trading pins. These are generic softball pins with no customization, but they'll provide your team with something to share in situations where you find yourself in a lurch.

Pin Styling

Custom designing allows you to really create pins that are unique to you, your team, and your event. You'll likely start with your team name and logo or mascot. You may even include your team players' names and their numbers.

Once you've got the basics of your design in, consider some fun additional features. Glitter, sliders, danglers, blinkies, and bobbleheads are popular choices. Make a pin that's totally yours by customizing the shape, size, and colors used for your pin.

Team members will love giving input. As you create your pin design for each year, team, or event, let your players give input. You could even operate a contest that ends in creating the winning design.

The fun associated with pin trading doesn't only occur when trading itself happens. Have fun with your design too.

Softball Trading Pins: Something for Everyone

Whether you're a player, a coach, a family member, or a spectator, there's an aspect of softball pin trading for you to enjoy.

Softball trading pins offer something for everyone. You may enjoy the trading itself, while someone else may love the design process. If you're a player, you likely treasure the pins you've received and you're eager to see what you can get from other players.

Whatever aspect of pin trading you enjoy, get out and get involved. Pin trading provides wholesome, uncomplicated fun for all ages. All you need to get started is a pin and the love of the game.

Do you already have a pin design in mind for your team or event? We'd love to help you create it. Contact us today for a free quote!

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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