What Are Trading Pins and How Are They Used?

Rick Cundiff - Jan 12, 2018
What Are Trading Pins and How Are They Used?

Trading pins are extremely popular in many youth sports today. The opportunity to make new friends through trading small metal tokens is a cherished part of youth league baseball and many other sports. But how did the custom of trading pins begin? How are they traded today? The answers might surprise you!

An Olympic Beginning

The tradition of pin trading and collecting as we know it today originated with Olympic athletes. When the modern Olympic Games began in Athens in 1896, competitors wore badges to identify themselves and the nations they represented. In 1906, Swedish athletes wore pins in the Swedish colors of blue and yellow. By the 1924 Games, athletes from around the world began trading pins among each other as a way to show camaraderie and as tokens of international friendship.

It took a while for trading pins to become popular beyond the relatively small community of athletes, but once the idea took off, it went big. Many trace the rise in trading pins’ popularity to the 1980 Winter Olympics, held in Lake Placid, N.Y. Spectators joined in the pin trading fun and a tradition was born.

Trading Pins in Youth Sports

Trading pins in youth sports really exploded after Little League Baseball introduced its first official baseball trading pins in 1983. Players, coaches, officials, parents and siblings joined the pin trading party. Today, pin trading at the Little League World Series games held every year in South Williamsport, PA very nearly rivals the popularity of the baseball games being played.

The fundamental idea behind all custom trading pins is having fun. The goal is for both parties in a trade to walk away from the deal happy. Most youth sports have very specific rules for trading and designated where trading may take place.

Trading pins can be made in several different ways, including soft enamel, photo etched and offset digital printed. The pins typically feature a specific team’s mascot, logo or another symbol. The pins can include glitter, cutouts, motion toys such as spinners, sliders, and danglers, and even miniature LED lights to add visual appeal. It’s all about maximum eye appeal.

Baseball isn’t the only sport that loves pin trading. The hobby is also popular among youth hockey, soccer, football, cheerleading and even academic competitions such as Destination Imagination and Odyssey of the Mind.

Custom Center is Your Source for Great Custom Trading Pins

Custom Center is your one-stop source for top quality trading pins for any sport or event. We have a staff of talented artists who will work with you to make sure your design looks great and trades well at the big game. We use state of the art manufacturing techniques. We hand-inspect each pin before we ship it to you, and we back every pin with our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. We offer a choice of pin styles, sizes, and options to suit virtually any budget.

If your team needs trading pins for the upcoming season, give us a call, toll-free at 800.254.0146, or fill out our no-obligation Free Quote form. Don’t miss out on the pin trading fun at the big game!