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    News & Updates

April 30, 2018


Congratulations to all the state winners at Destination Imagination and Odyssey of the Mind competitions! Now is the time to order your custom trading pins for Global Finals or World Finals! is your best source for custom DI or OM trading pins. Our artists can turn your creativity into terrific looking pins that others can’t wait to trade for. Custom shapes, sizes, colors, you name it. If you can imagine your design, we can craft a pin to match!

You know you want great trading pins if you’re going to Knoxville or Ames. As a licensed vendor for DI pins, and a longtime supporter of OM, we have a decade’s experience creating great pins for both organizations.

Why Buy from

Our artists are the best in the industry. They’ll work with you every step of the way to make sure your OM or DI pins look exactly the way you want. We offer a full range of pin styles and affordable options to make your pins look fantastic.

We know the importance of value, too. Our goal at is to give you the most value for your trading pin dollar. Our artists can recommend economical ways to get the most trading power from your pins, no matter what your budget. As for price, we refuse to be undersold on custom pins! Let us know if you find a lower price on identical trading pins, and we’ll price match.

Both Global Finals and World Finals will be here before you know it! NOW is the time to order trading pins to be sure you get them in time for the big event! Call us toll free or fill out our no-obligation Free Quote form to find out more. We’re proud to support both Odyssey of the Mind and Destination Imagination. We’re here to serve all your DI and OM trading pin needs

April 2, 2018

Boost The Trading Value Of Your Team’s Pins

It’s that time of year again! Yes, youth league baseball season is just about here. You know what that means – it’s time to order your team’s custom trading pins for 2018!

If you want your team’s pins to be the ones everybody else at the big game wants to trade for, there are tricks and tips that will help. A few simple design factors can change your team’s pins from “good” to “gotta have it!” Boosting the trading value of your team’s pins has never been easier or more affordable!

At Trading Pins Direct, our talented artists will be glad to help you craft the perfect design for your team’s trading pins. We’ll work with you to make sure your pins offer maximum trading power, no matter what your budget. Your team will get fantastic-looking, desirable trading pins at a price you can afford!

Trading Value Basics – Size DOES Matter

While it’s possible to get terrific trading pins in just about any size, a general rule is that bigger pins trade better than small ones. Most trading pin providers offer pins in sizes ranging from 1.5” to 3”, typically in quarter-inch increments. The most common sizes are 1.75” and 2”.

If you really want to make an impression, go bigger than 2”. The added real estate gives you more room for detail in your design, as well as added space for great options. Of course, the larger the pin, the more it costs. Your pin provider can help you find the perfect balance between pin size and cost for your budget.

Speaking of Options…

Glitter enamel is the perfect add-on to start with. This economical option adds richness and sparkle to your pins at a low cost. It really boosts the visibility of your pins and helps your design stand out. Start here, and add other options as your budget allows.

Danglers are an outstanding way to add motion to your team’s trading pins. This secondary pin hangs from the main pin body, and swings with the wearer’s movement. These are an ideal way to showcase players’ names, the year of the tournament, the name of the tourney and more.

Sliders add motion and fun to your pins by attaching a secondary pin in a slot on the main pin. The slider moves along the slot. Picture a base runner moving from first to second, for example.

Spinners are a secondary pin that adds a rotary motion. The secondary pin spins at a finger’s touch. Baseballs, bats, wheels and other designs add to the fun.

Bobble Heads are a sure-fire way to catch spectators’ eyes! These spring mounted secondary pins wobble with the slightest motion, making them just about impossible to miss. They’re one of the most popular way to add trading power to your team’s pins.

Blinkers can give your pins a real “out of this world” look that other teams will clamor for! Want to give your mascot blinking eyes? Make a spaceship look like the aliens are coming in for a landing? No problem! Add blinking LEDs to your pins for a truly one of a kind style that’s sure to trade well.

Go for Two!

If you want super trading power, go for two trading pins instead of one! No, really, it’s easier than it sounds. Create a standard trading pin that you’ll have plenty of. Then add a limited-edition second pin to your order. Order them sequentially numbered to showcase their rarity. Knowing that a pin is 1 of only 200 for example, greatly increases its trading value. Avid collectors will want to have both the standard pin and the limited one, and your team will be known throughout the tournament for it.

Those are just a few ways to boost the trading value of your team’s custom baseball pins. Our talented artists at Trading Pins Direct will be happy to work with you to create pins your players will trade with pride. Feel free to email us at, or call us at 866.860.8842 for more details. We look forward to helping YOUR team have the hottest trading pins at the big game!





March 6, 2018

Baseball Trading Pins: Order Early!

Baseball Trading Pins

Memo to parents and coaches of youth league baseball players: The time to order this year’s team is now!

We know it’s early. MLB spring training is still underway, and youth league players are still working hard in school. But trust us, the earlier you order your team’s trading pins this year, the less stressful the process will be.

What’s the Hurry?

Right now, is the time to be finalizing your design for this year’s trading pins. If you do, and order by April 1, you can be sure you’ll receive your pins in plenty of time for the big game. Wait until June 1, and you could be in trouble.


It’s simple. The demands of baseball season overwhelm every trading pin manufacturing facility in the world. By June 1, backlogs exist at every factory. They’re busy producing literally millions of trading pins. What might take two weeks in April could take four (or more) in June. You don’t want to run the risk of disappointing your players by waiting too long to order.

At Trading Pins Direct, we’ve been creating great trading pins for terrific teams for 15 years now. And every single year, we’ve had to deal with calls late in the season from frantic parents who waited too long to order pins. Sometimes we can accommodate them with stock pins. Sometimes, it’s just too late. You don’t want your team to be the only one at the tournament without pins to trade, do you?

No, Really, We Mean It

We’re not kidding. If you want to ensure your team has pins to trade at the big game, order early. Order now. We know, you’ve heard this before. And maybe you’ve cut it close a time or two, and still received your pin order on time.

Keep in mind that there are more teams, and more players, every year. That means more pins ordered. The more pins ordered, the bigger the factory backlogs get, and the longer it will take to produce your pins. While we make every effort to get your pins to you on time, production time is a factor we simply can’t control. Don’t forget, you’re ordering a custom product, and your order can’t be canceled. You don’t want to risk getting your pins a week after the tournament.

You’re Ready to Order Trading Pins. Now What?

Once you’re ready to order, Trading Pins Direct makes it fast and easy to do so. What’s the secret to ordering great pins without stressing out?

Consider these few tips that are sure to make it easier:

  • Limit Decision Makers – It’s best to appoint ONE parent and the coach to be the point people on pins. It’s too time-consuming and impractical to have every parent and player reviewing every design revision.
  • Order Plenty – Remember, players are likely to trade with others outside their own age bracket, not just the teams they play. For the best trading pin experience, we recommend at least 35 to 50 pins per player. (Don’t forget extras for siblings too!)
  • Multiply Your Trading Power – You want trading pins that will dazzle the other teams. It’s easy to give your pins super trading power with our exciting array of options. We can add glitter colors, sliders, spinners, bobbleheads and other great add-ons to make your team’s pins a home run when the trading starts. Best of all, you don’t have to strike out your budget to do it. You’ll be amazed how economical great options are!
  • Think Big – All other things being equal, bigger pins will trade better than small ones. Most teams order pins ranging between 1.75” and 2.5”. That’s not to say you can’t have great smaller pins, though. A terrific design will always be popular at any size.

Questions? We Have Answers

At Trading Pins Direct, we’re always happy to answer any questions you might have about your team’s trading pins. Remember, we don’t charge for artwork or revisions, so you can be sure your pins will be exactly what you want. Our experienced, award-winning graphic artists have created some fantastic pins over the years. Check out our Gallery page for some examples.

We’ve been providing teams with great-looking trading pins for 15 years. We know what it takes to make your design look its best, and we’re here to help. We want your players to say “Wow!” when they see their pins. We want other teams to say “Wow!” when they see them too. We’re your dependable source for the best baseball trading pins, the best prices and the best customer service in the industry.

We’ll say it one more time – ORDER EARLY! When you’re ready to discuss your design, or to order your team’s pins for the upcoming season, give us a call, toll-free at 866.860.8842. Or fill out our no-obligation Free Quote form. When you buy pins from Trading Pins Direct, you can be sure they’ll be a grand slam when the trading starts!

February 19, 2018

The Olympic Heritage of Trading Pins

Trading Pins

Trading pins are a huge part of youth sports of all kinds today. With good reason – they’re fun to trade, they help break the ice among strangers, and can lead to new friendships with people from around the world.

It’s fitting that trading pins are a part of youth sports. They trace their beginnings to the modern Olympics.

The Beginning of Trading Pins

The ancient Olympic Games began as a festival which included a series of athletic events among Greek city-states, starting sometime around the 7th century B.C. Athletes honored Zeus by competing for glory and olive leaf wreaths or crowns. Roman emperor Theodosius I banned the Games in 394 A.D.

The Olympic Games returned in modern form in 1896, when the new games were held in Athens. From these games came the roots of what evolved into today’s trading pins.

The First Trading Pins

The precursors of today’s trading pins were neither pins nor traded. The first modern Olympic athletes, judges and officials wore small, colorful cardboard discs to identify themselves. Within a few years, countries switched from cardboard discs to simple metal one.

In 1906, Swedish athletes introduced the first of what could be considered the modern trading pin. Its blue and yellow colors represented the nation’s flag. Before long, other countries began creating their own pins as well.

As the Games grew in popularity, so did the camaraderie among athletes and officials. The 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris initiated the tradition of the Olympic Village, where athletes live during the Games. Soon athletes, officials, and even spectators discovered the fun of trading pins among each other as a way to show the Olympic spirit of international friendship.

Trading pins became so popular that 1948 Olympic organizers asked the participating countries to limit pin production to maintain the pins’ limited-edition exclusivity and appeal.

Have a Coke and a Trading Pin

As the decades passed, trading pins continued to grow in popularity worldwide. The business world took notice. In 1988, Coca-Cola opened its first official Olympic pin trading center at the Calgary Winter Games. The company later reported that the center drew more than 17,000 visitors a day.

Interest in pin trading continued to grow. Four years later, at the Summer Games in Barcelona, Coke’s trading pin center drew a half million people in all, from 70 nations.

At the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Coke introduced a new twist, the Pin of the Day. The company releases one pin a day which will combine with other Pins of the Day to create the iconic shape of the classic Coca-Cola bottle. It quickly became a tradition that continued in 2018 in Pyeongchang.

There appears to be no limit to the world’s love for trading pins. By the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, athletes, officials, and visitors exchanged some 3 million trading pins, according to Time magazine. That number has doubtless increased substantially in the past two decades.

Even reporters covering the Olympics get in on the pin trading action. NBC journalist Katie Couric revealed at Pyeongchang that she has collected pins at every Olympics she’s covered, and now has approximately 700 pins. Couric has another distinction, too. She actually has been the subject of several Olympic trading pins, including some with bobbleheads.

What Makes Trading Pins So Popular

The real secret to pin trading is that it’s fun. That’s the whole basis for whimsical pin designs and colorful logos. It’s all about the Olympic spirit.

It’s easy to understand the appeal of trading pins. They’re small and easily transported – they easily can be worn on a lanyard, jacket, vest, hat or shirt. They typically feature a highly detailed, attractive design, and when properly made, can have the gloss and beauty of fine jewelry.

But the biggest attraction is the fact that they’re a unique keepsake memento. They’re specific to a particular year, location and event. That combination of factors makes trading pins a cherished part of the adventure of attending the Olympics.

While pins commonly trade one-for-one, especially rare pins will command a premium. One pin trader recently told a reporter he traded 30 pins for one especially rare one he wanted.

The Legacy of Olympic Trading Pins

As Olympic pins have skyrocketed in popularity, trading pins have grown into a huge part of youth sports as well. Little League Baseball introduced its first official trading pins in 1983, and the pins quickly became a fixture of the sport. In recent years, trading pins have expanded into other sports such as soccer, hockey, cheerleading, figure skating, and many others. Even academic competitions such as Destination Imagination and Odyssey of the Mind feature pin trading at events.

It’s not hard to imagine children participating in youth sports today, dreaming of a future at the Olympics in years to come. Collecting trading pins now can be a bridge to doing the same at a future event in a city halfway around the world. It’s safe to say trading pins have come a long way from those simple cardboard discs of 1896!

February 8, 2018

Learn More About Our Destination Imagination Trading Pins

Destination Imagination Trading Pins

Destination Imagination offers some of the most exciting creative problem-solving challenges of any youth organization. One of the most exciting parts of participating in DI events is pin trading. Custom trading pins are a huge part of regional and state competitions, and especially Global Finals. Everyone knows if you’re going to Knoxville, you gotta have trading pins!

The secret to great Destination Imagination trading pins is no secret. It’s what powers everything DI – creativity. Use your imagination to design fantastic looking pins that celebrate your team!

How to Start?

That’s easy. Get your team together. Have a brainstorming session. Throw out ideas for your design. It could be anything – a unique aspect of your team, a pun, something unique to your school or city, just about anything. Set your imagination free to consider the possibilities.

Once you’ve got plenty of ideas to work from – and you will have very quickly – narrow them down to the top 3 or 4. Consider the possibilities of each, and debate. Make sure everyone has a chance to be heard. Eventually, with everyone’s input, you’ll get to a design that captures the essence of your team.

Once you have the basic idea of your design, consider these factors:

  • Colors – You want bold and bright. The more colors, the merrier.
  • Size – Do you want your pins to be small and elegant or big and brash? It’s possible to have terrific looking pins that trade well either way. The choice is yours!
  • Shape – A good trading pin provider will be able to create your DI pins in just about any shape you can imagine.

How About Options?

Options add fun and trade value to your pins. Glitter enamel is an economical way to add bright richness and sparkle to your pins. Want to really rock Global Finals? Add miniature LED lights to give your pin mascot glowing or blinking eyes! There are several fun motion add-ons too, that give your trading pins extra play value. Your trading pin supplier can help you choose which options will look best with your design.

Which Style Is Best?

That depends on your design. If your pin design has lots of fine lines and intricate art, you probably want to go with photo-etched pins that can reproduce those well. If you want a traditional design that has the look of fine jewelry, soft enamel is a great, cost-effective way to go. It really depends on your artwork. Your pin provider is the best source to help you decide.

Don’t Forget Copyright!

When creating your pin design, it’s important to remember a few rules about copyright. It’s not hard to do. You just have to be sure your design doesn’t infringe on someone else’s work. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Do not use other people’s material. You can’t use anything someone else has copyrighted or trademarked. This includes even parodies of that trademark or copyright.
  • Neither individuals nor teams may use any DI trademarks. Only DI Affiliates can use DI logos and trademarks.
  • No one can use Global Finals trademarks or logos on pins or any other commercial item.

That may sound daunting, but it’s really pretty easy: Just use your imagination and creativity to create a unique design of your own!

Trading Pins Direct is your Number One source for great Destination Imagination trading pins of all kinds. We’ve created lots of terrific looking DI pins over the years. We know how to make your pins look their best.

Our graphic artists are the best trading pin artists you can find anywhere. They’ll be glad to work with you to craft the best-looking pins you can get. And with our refusal to be undersold, we won’t break your team’s budget either.

We don’t charge you for design, art or revisions, so you can be sure your pins will look exactly the way you want before ordering. We offer a full range of pin styles, sizes, shapes, colors, and options.

We manufacture your trading pins to the highest quality standards. We hand-inspect every pin before we ship it to you, and we back up every pin with our famous 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. In the unlikely event, you find a DI trading pin you purchase from us to be defective in materials or workmanship, all you have to do is let us know. We’ll gladly replace it at no extra cost to you.

At Trading Pins Direct, we make ordering easy and fast. All you have to do is fill out our no-obligation Free Quote form, or give us a call (toll-free, of course) at 866-860-8842. Or email us at

No matter how you contact us, we’ll respond promptly. Global Finals is getting closer every day. Make sure you’re ready with outstanding custom DI trading pins from Trading Pins Direct!

January 30, 2018

Learn More About Odyssey of the Mind Trading Pins

Odyssey of the Mind trading pinsIt’s no secret that Odyssey of the Mind competitions fosters great creativity and problem-solving skills among students. It’s also no surprise to participants that OM is lots of fun! One of the favorite aspects of OM for many, especially for those who attend World Finals, is Odyssey of the Mind trading pins.

Pin trading is a long-established tradition at OM competitions, especially World Finals. The pins showcase each team’s creativity, and trading them is a great way to make new friends from around the world.

If you’re new to OM, or to pin trading, don’t be intimidated. It’s easy to get started. Before long, your team members will be trading like old hands, and enjoying the OM experience to the fullest!

Pin Design Basics

Start with your team’s pin design. Get creative! Have a brainstorming session and throw out ideas for what you want your team’s pins to look like. Now is the time to come up with every possible variation on your team name and logo that you possibly can. No idea, no matter how “out there” it might be, is off the table at first.

Keep in mind that good trading pin providers can make pins in just about any size and shape imaginable. You don’t have to be limited to standard round, square, rectangular or triangular shapes.

Once you have a good range of ideas, start to edit. Narrow you design choices down, and you’ll eventually get to one idea that works best. Don’t hesitate to contact your trading pin provider at this point. A reputable trading pin supplier will never charge you for artwork or revisions, so you can feel free to tinker with your design until it’s just right.

Good pin companies will have graphic artists on staff who will work with you every step of the way to finalize your design. They can help you refine your design to the perfect representative icon of your OM team.

Next, consider pin materials and options. Trading pins are available in a range of styles and options. Soft enamel pins offer a beautiful finish, very similar to cloisonné jewelry, at an affordable price. Photo-etched pins allow reproduction of intricate artwork and fine lines. Other styles are available too. Just ask your trading pin supplier for more details.

Don’t forget to consider the size of your pins too. The size you need will really depend on your design. Many designs look great on a small pin. Others benefit from a little bit of extra “real estate” to give them full room to be appreciated for the works of art that they are. Once again, your pin supplier can be a big help in this area.

Be sure to order plenty of pins, especially for World Finals! Consider ordering 100 to 300 pins to ensure you have plenty to trade.

Options Add Eye-Catching Appeal

You want your team’s pins to really stand out when the trading starts at World Finals. With some well-chosen options, your Odyssey of the Mind Trading Pins will “grab” people visually and make them want to trade with you.

You don’t have to break the bank to have great looking trading pins. Glitter enamel is an economical add-on that gives your team’s pins added richness and depth. Other great choices include spinners, sliders, and danglers. These give your pins motion and a fun “play” element. Blinking LED lights are a terrific way to give your pins that little extra flash that catches the eye.

Choosing a Trading Pin Supplier

When considering a supplier for your team’s Odyssey of the Mind Trading Pins, look for one that’s been in business for several years, and has a track record of producing great OM pins. That’s where we come in. Our graphic artists have been creating OM pins for 15 years, so we know how to make them look terrific. Your team pins give you the opportunity to show how creative you can be. We’ll take your awesome ideas and turn them into the best looking trading pins you can imagine!

We offer free art and revisions, and free shipping to any address in the continental U.S.A. We use only the highest quality materials and the best production methods in the industry to create your OM pins. We carefully inspect every pin before we ship it to you. We support every pin we sell with our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If your team finds any pin from us to be defective in materials or workmanship, just tell us. We’ll gladly replace it free.

We make it fast and easy to order your custom Odyssey of the Mind trading pins too. Just call us toll at 866.860.8842 (toll-free), or complete our no-obligation Free Quote Form. We’ll respond promptly with a quote. Once you approve your pin design, we’ll get them made and shipped to you fast. You’ll be all set for regional or state competition, or even World Finals.

At Trading Pins Direct, we wish the best of luck to all teams competing this year at every level. We’re here to support all your OM goals!

January 23, 2018

Get Your Trading Pins for the Upcoming Season

Custom Trading Pins

At Trading Pins Direct, we can’t stress one aspect of baseball/softball trading pins enough: Order Early! It’s never too soon to get your trading pins for the upcoming season!

Yes, we know it’s still winter. But spring training will be here before you know it. Shortly after that, the youth league baseball/softball season will in full swing. You don’t want to be the one to have to tell your players they won’t have pins to trade at the big game, do you?

It might seem silly to be even thinking about trading pins right now, but trust us on this: Designing – and even ordering – your pins early pays big dividends.

The reason is simple. The longer you wait to order your team’s custom trading pins, the longer the wait to receive them will be. Trading pin factories will start to get busy by March, not just with baseball/softball pins, but also with pins for other competitions such as Destination Imagination and Odyssey of the Mind.

By May, baseball and softball pins are really picking up, and by June, every trading pin manufacturing facility in the world is swamped with orders. Pins that might take two weeks to arrive in April could take four weeks – or more – in June or July. How much do you want to risk your team not getting pins on time?

That’s not the only reason to order early. If you order before the big rush begins, our super-talented graphic artists will have more time to work with you to create fantastic looking pins that will have a high trading value. Remember, at Trading Pins Direct, we never charge for artwork or revisions, so you can be sure your pins will be exactly what you want.

It’s all part of our dedication to giving you the best pins, the best pricing and the best customer service in the industry. That’s why we offer free artwork and free shipping to any continental U.S. address. It’s why we offer our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee on every single pin we sell. Should you find any trading pin (or other product) you buy from us to be defective in either workmanship or materials, we will replace it at no extra charge to you. That’s how we do business.

Still, need another great reason to order sooner rather than later? Well, we’ve been known to offer Early Bird Specials to customers who order their trading pins early in the season. Ask one of our friendly sales representatives for details.

Of course, no matter when you order, you’ll still get the great customer service and creativity you’ve come to expect from Trading Pins Direct. We will work with you to create the coolest/hottest/sickest (choose your own adjective) trading pins your team has ever seen. We want your players to be excited about their pins, and to know they’ll trade well at the tournament.

So what are you waiting for? Call us today toll-free at 866.860.8842, or fill out our no-obligation free quote form. The season will be here soon! Be ready for it with custom baseball or softball trading pins from Trading Pins Direct!

January 19, 2018

It’s Time to Think About Baseball Trading Pins!

Baseball Trading Pins

Ah, January – the perfect time to think about custom baseball trading pins.

Spring training will be here before you know it! So, will the Little League games. If you want great trading pins for your team, now is the time to think about the design.

No, we haven’t lost our minds. Sure, there’s snow on the ground, and the wind chill prompts thoughts of igloos and ice, not baseballs and bats. But it’s never too early to consider your youth league team’s baseball trading pins for the upcoming season.

Where to Begin

Start with last year’s pins. How did they trade at the big game? Were the popular? What worked about the design? Do you want to continue with that design updated for this season, or do you want a totally new design?

Consider other teams’ pins that you saw at games and tournaments. Ask your players what they liked about the pins they traded for. They’ll let you know!

Think about fun extras. Sliders, spinners, and blinking LED lights to add to the visual appeal and play factor of your team’s pins. That boosts the trading value at the big tournament.

Economical Options

On a tight budget? You can still get great looking pins! Glitter enamel is a terrific way to add sparkle and richness to your trading pins. This is our most popular option and with good reason. They look terrific!

If you have pins remaining from last year’s order, consider adding new danglers with the current year. It’s an economical way to update your pins for the new season.

No matter what you have in mind, the graphic artists at Trading Pins Direct will help you make it happen. We’ve been creating fantastic looking trading pins for teams all over the world for 15 years. Our artists are the best in the business. Regardless of whether you have a simple doodle or a fully finished design, we’ll work with you to make your pins a reality.

One of the great things about Trading Pins Direct is that we don’t charge for artwork or revisions, so you can tinker with your design until it’s exactly what you want. Once you approve, we’ll craft your team’s trading pins with the utmost precision and care, hand-inspecting each one before it’s shipped to you. By the way, did we mention that shipping is free to any address in the continental United States?

Once you receive your pins, we stand behind them with our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Should you find any pin you buy from us to be defective in either workmanship or materials, we’ll gladly replace it at no extra charge to you. We’re dedicated to your total satisfaction with your custom trading pins!

Order Early!

If you want to have plenty of time to refine your pin design and be assured of getting your trading pins in time for the big game, order early. Don’t wait until the tournaments at hand. The trading pin manufacturing facilities all over the world start getting busy in May, and by June, the backlog of orders is immense.

It’s a matter of production capacity. The sooner you order, the better off your team will be. You don’t want to be stuck without pins because you didn’t order in time.

As an added incentive, Trading Pins Direct offers incentives for early orders. Our friendly sales representatives can give you more information.

At Trading Pins Direct, we’re dedicated to giving you the best quality baseball pins at the best prices, and with the best customer service, you’ll find anywhere.

July 14, 2017

Sport Pins: A Brief History

Sport Pins

Seems like sport pins are just about everywhere these days. Hockey games, baseball games, cheerleading competitions, and more. Did you ever wonder where sport pins came from in the first place?

The roots of modern pin trading date back to the end of the 19th century. At the first Games of the modern Olympics, held in Athens, athletes, judges and officials wore small cardboard discs in multiple colors to identify themselves. Eventually that custom evolved into the trading pins we see today.

The 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris saw the opening of the initial Olympic Village for athletes to reside in. It meant more frequent contact among athletes and officials. Soon, they began trading sport pins among each other, with each country featuring its own particular pin. It was a great way to build friendships and camaraderie among different countries.

Before long, spectators adopted pin trading as well. Because the pins are portable and easily carried, they proved immensely popular. So much so in fact, that by 1948, Olympic organizers urged participating nations to limit the number of pins they produced in order to maintain their exclusivity.

Pin trading and collecting soon became a popular hobby. Fans organized their own trading events. This popularity was not lost on corporate America. In 1988, Coca-Cola set up its first official pin trading center at the Calgary Winter Olympic Games. The event drew notice and others soon followed.

Little League Baseball picked up on pin trading even earlier, issuing its first official trading pins in 1983. The result was an explosion in the popularity of sport pins for trading among teams, players, parents, coaches and officials. At the Little League World Series every year in South Williamsport, PA, pin trading even rivals the games themselves as an attraction.

Today, it’s hard to find a youth sport that doesn’t feature sport pins for trading, including soccer, football, hockey, dance, figure skating, cheerleading and more. At Trading Pins Direct, we’ve done pins for just about every sport imaginable.

The key to the popularity of trading pins lies in their originality. With each team having their own design, it’s easy to break the ice among strangers and turn them into friends. Each new trade offers the opportunity to meet new people from different towns, states or countries. The pins help promote good sportsmanship and honorable competition.

The appeal of pin trading has even moved beyond the arena to other competitions. Academic competitive events such as Destination Imagination and Odyssey of the Mind now feature regular trading of custom sport pins at their regional, state and international competitions.

No matter what sport you’re interested in, Trading Pins Direct can create great looking trading pins for it. We’ll take your design and turn it into the ones everyone at the arena, field, rink or gym will want to trade for.

We offer fantastic quality, unbelievably low prices, and the best customer service on sport pins you’ll find anywhere. For more information, just fill out our no-obligation Free Quote form, call us toll free at 866-860-8842 or email us at We look forward to serving all your custom trading pin needs!

July 7, 2017

Hockey Trading Pins — Not Just for Youth Leagues!


Hockey Trading PinsHockey trading pins are an integral part of youth hockey today. But did you also know they’re part of a Senior hockey tournament started by Snoopy?

Well, not the lovable beagle himself exactly, but by his creator, the late “Peanuts” cartoonist Charles M. Schulz. For more than 40 years, the Redwood Empire Ice Arena, created by Schulz and his first wife, has hosted a tournament for players and teams ranging in age from their 40s to their 80s.

The annual event held in July in the Santa Rosa, CA rink better known as “Snoopy’s Home Ice” features friendly competition, camaraderie, and yes, even hockey trading pins. Schulz himself played every year until his death in 2000.

The 2017 Snoopy’s Senior World Hockey Tournament begins July 14.The goal of the 10-day tournament is to allow older players – including youth league coaches and referees, former college players, even ex-NHL stars, a place to gather once a year, play hockey, make new friends and have fun. Teams come from the United States, Canada and around the world to join the fun.

“Peanuts” motifs abound, of course. The arena’s snack bar is the “Warm Puppy Café.” Team names include the Woodstock Flyers (honoring Snoopy’s little yellow bird friend), and the Great Pumpkins.

Schulz, known as “Sparky” to his friends, was a Minnesota native, and long-time hockey player and fan. After moving to California in 1958, he found only a single ice rink in Sonoma County. When it closed, he and his first wife built the Redwood Empire Ice Arena. For his contributions to the sport, he was named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

In addition to hockey, Schulz was also a figure skating fan. The arena has hosted major exhibitions with professional skaters. He was posthumously named to the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

The arena features a full range of youth hockey programs and adult team and pickup play as well. Both private and group figure skating lessons are offered as well.

Schulz’s interest in ice sports was lifelong, starting in his Minnesota childhood. He once persuaded his father (like Charlie Brown’s dad, a barber) to create an ice rink in the back yard. Two daughters became professional figure skaters, and even Woodstock got to drive a Zamboni on his frozen-over birdbath.

Schulz’s widow, Jean Schulz, joins the celebration of her late husband’s life each year, and collects hockey trading pins which she wears proudly on a jacket at the tournament.

If you’re ordering custom hockey pins, it’s best to choose a reputable supplier. Keep in mind that Schulz’s characters are copyrighted. Therefore, any use of them in any form – including trading pins – requires permission of the copyright holder. No legitimate pin provider will produce character pins without that permission.

Although Schulz has been gone for 17 years, his legacy lives on, both on Snoopy’s Home Ice and in the hearts of hockey players, figure skaters and “Peanuts” fans worldwide. As this year’s tournament gets underway, raise a glass of Snoopy’s preferred libation – root beer – to Sparky and his love of ice sports.

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