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    News & Updates

July 14, 2017

Sport Pins: A Brief History

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 sales@tradingpinsdirect.com. We look forward to serving all your custom trading pin needs!

July 7, 2017

Hockey Trading Pins — Not Just for Youth Leagues!

Hockey 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.

July 5, 2017

The Little League World Series Schedule is Here

Batter up –the tournaments are underway, and the big game is almost here! Here’s how the Little League World Series schedule shapes up for 2017.

Regional tournaments in the LLWS International Divisions are already getting started, and the pace really picks up this weekend. United State Divisions crank up regional tourneys in early August, and the big one, the LLWS starts August 17 in South Williamsport, PA. You can find the schedule for the regional tournaments here.

The World Series always brings plenty of fun to South Williamsport. With hundreds of thousands of spectators on hand, and millions more watching on television around the world, it’s no wonder the baseball excitement builds to a peak in August. With teams from both the U.S.A. and other nations around the world, it truly is a major international event.

One of the highlights of the Little League World Series schedule is ample time for trading pins. Players, coaches, parents, fans, even umpires get into the trading game. For some, it’s even more fun than the games themselves!

Television coverage is a key part of the series, giving fans in distant states and countries the opportunity to cheer on their favorite hometown squads. This year, ESPN and its affiliated networks will broadcast a total of 137 games, including of course the championship finale on Sunday, August 27.

Lots of special events take place around the Little League World Series. The 2017 festivities begin the Wednesday before the tournament officially begins, with the Grand Slam Parade and Festival in downtown Williamsport. The annual parade includes all 16 teams competing, as well as more than 100 parade units, including marching bands, fire trucks, antique cars and much more.

This year brings an extra-special event to the tournament – a full Major League Baseball game. The Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals will play in the MLB Little League Classic. The game will take place on Sunday, August 20, a day on which the Little League World Series schedule indicates no other games will be played.

That will give players, coaches, parents and umpires the opportunity to see big league baseball in action. Bowman Field, home to a Pirates minor league team will be the venue for the big game.

With eight International and eight American divisions, the round-robin tournament is sure to have some real nail-biter moments on the way to the big game. You can find the full schedule for the tournament here.

For the 10- to 12-year-olds, the Little League World Series schedule is the opportunity of a lifetime, a chance to compete at the highest level of their chosen sport with a huge audience. It’s a chance to travel, to make new friends from around the world, and of course to share trading pins. The benefits for both kids and family members are substantial.

When it comes to family-friendly fun, the Little League World Series is an event not to be missed. Between the fun of friendly competition, meeting new people, sharing new adventures and trading pins, South Williamsport should be on your list of summer destinations!

June 29, 2017

Ever Wonder What Makes a Little League Baseball Field Different? Read This!

When it comes to Little League baseball field specifications, league officials are very particular about certain things that are required on and off the field.

According to the “field specifications” page on the Little League website, there are multiple rules a field must adhere to for League play. Let’s take a look at some of those rules here!

First things first, one of the biggest considerations for Little League play is the distance between bases. Standard Major League Baseball fields have a distance of 90 feet between each base.

For Little League, the official rules state that “Generally, the distance between base paths on fields for 12-year-olds and below in baseball and in all divisions of softball is 60 feet.” Other divisions for older players have provisions for fields at 70, 75, and even the full 90 feet.

The smaller-sized fields accommodate younger ages and help them become familiar with the rules of the game before subjecting them to a full-size baseball field.

For the pitcher’s mound, a distance of 46’ is recommended for Little League baseball. Again, this is shorter than a Major League Baseball field, which has 60 feet between the pitcher’s mound and home plate. The shorter distance works better for younger pitchers when the full 60 feet would be too large a gap.

The last distance regulation is the distance between behind home plate and the outfield. Little League baseball field rules state that exact size is up to local officials, but they recommend a distance of around 200 feet for all divisions except Junior and Senior.

In comparison, MLB baseball stadiums usually have a distance of 400+ feet between home plate and center field. Howard J. Lamade Stadium, which hosts the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, PA every year, features a distance of 225 feet between home plate and outfield fences.

Players take advantage of the shorter field sizes with home runs like this one from South Carolina player Terrence Gist: http://sports.cbslocal.com/2015/08/21/kid-hits-nearly-400-foot-home-run/

Gist launched a home run while ESPN was interviewing his parents in the stands, and what a home run it was! TV broadcasters said the distance of the home run was estimated to be around 380 feet from home base, a distance that likely would have even been a home run in some MLB ballparks!

The last Little League baseball field regulations state that all dugouts must be protected by a fence or screen and that lights, if used, must meet League standards.

The field specifications page also states that local League directors are responsible for the upkeep of the field, but that many leagues have agreements with city or company officials as most fields are owned by the city or a private company.

Now you know everything you need to start your own local league. Maintaining a league is hard, yet very rewarding work, and is well worth the effort. Good luck!

For more information on Little League baseball field specifications, visit the field specifications page on the Little League website here: http://www.littleleague.org/leagueofficers/fieldspecs.htm

June 26, 2017

Little League Regionals Are The Place for Trading Pins!

The sights and sounds of baseball are in the air. Little League Regionals for this year are already underway. The Australian region champions have already been determined, and the other international division tourneys are gearing up. United States divisions are getting ready for regionals fast approaching in early August.

With the U.S. regionals looming, NOW is the time to order custom trading pins if you want to get them in time for the big game. This is peak trading pin season, and every trading pin factory is swamped with orders. That means longer waits for pin production. The best way to avoid pin panic and make sure your team has trading pins for Little League Regionals and the big games is to order as soon as possible.

It’s a simple fact. Pin orders that would take two weeks or so in May will require three to four weeks in June and July. Production capacity worldwide is stretched to its limits this time of year when every team playing wants pins.

Keep in mind it’s not just Little League. Teams going to other tournaments such as Cooperstown Dream Park, Cooperstown Baseball World, Cal Ripken tournaments and others also are ordering trading pins. You don’t want your team to be caught short when the trading starts.

If you’re wondering how many trading pins to order, a good rule of thumb is 50 per player for Little League Regionals, and at least 100 per player for the Little League World Series. The same ratios apply to other leagues as well. Don’t risk seeing your players disappointed by running out of pins when the trading gets hot and heavy.

If you’re not quite certain about your pin design, don’t worry. Reputable pin providers such as Trading Pins Direct can guide you through the process of creating a design that will look terrific and be exceptionally valued at the trading tables. It’s fast and easy to design your pins, and we can add options at low cost that boost the attractiveness and trade value of your teams pins.

Those options can be quite economical. Glitter enamel, for example, adds a depth and richness to your pins at very little cost. Other great options include spinners, sliders, danglers, bobbles and blinkers. Each adds a different element of interest to your pins, and can dramatically boost traders’ interest in your team.

What if you find out late that your team made the big game and time is short to order pins? Don’t despair. Your team doesn’t have to be shut out of the trading. Rush pins, featuring stock shapes and your team name  are available. If you’re really in a time crunch, stock pins with a generic baseball theme are available as well. With rush shipping, you can make sure your team gets to take part in the trading fun.

But why risk it? Better to order pins now and be prepared. At Trading Pins Direct, we make it unbelievably easy and fast to order custom trading pins. Give us a call toll free at 866.860.8842 or email us at sales@tradingpinsdirect.com and we’ll show you how easy and affordable it can be to have custom trading pins ready for Little League Regionals and beyond!

June 23, 2017

The 16 Little League World Series Teams Competing This August!

Every year in August, after a full season of competing in leagues around the world, Little League World Series teams converge on Williamsport, Pennsylvania to determine a champion.

The Series consists of 16 teams from around the world (eight United States teams and eight international teams), each the winner of their region. Let’s take a look at the 16 regions and some stats and other information about each location!


United States Division

Great Lakes

Sunset at the Big Sable Point Lighthouse on the coast of Lake Michigan.

Consists of leagues in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Kentucky. Interestingly enough, of the 8 states that actually border the Great Lakes, only these five are included in the Great Lakes Region – and Kentucky doesn’t border the Great Lakes at all.

Within the region, Kentucky leads with 7 championship titles, followed by Indiana with 4. Wisconsin remains the only state without a region title. Since the Great Lakes Region was incorporated in 2001, they have only won the Little League World Series title once, in 2002, when the Valley Sports American LL from Louisville, Kentucky swept the Series.


Mid-Atlantic

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Mid-Atlantic Region covers leagues from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

The Mid-Atlantic Region has fielded strong teams the past two years, with a second place team from Lewisberry, Pennsylvania in 2015, and the LLWS champions from Endwell, New York in 2016.


Midwest

Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of Keystone, South Dakota

Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and North/South Dakota make up the Midwest Region. The Dakotas are combined to make a single district in the region.

The Midwest Region is one of the only Little League World Series teams without a Series title, with 2016 being the only year the team didn’t have a losing record at 2-2. Iowa holds the record for most Midwest championship titles at 7, with Missouri and South Dakota tied for second place at 3 titles each. Kansas and North Dakota have yet to win a Region title.


New England

Stowe Community Church in Stowe, Vermont.

The New England Region consists of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

While the New England Region has never won a LLWS title, the region has finished in 4th place numerous times, most recently in 2013. Rhode Island leads the region with 6 championship titles, and Massachusetts and Connecticut follow behind with 4 each. Vermont remains the only New England state without a regional title.


Northwest

A scenic view from Mt. Rainier in Washington State.

Covers leagues from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. Colorado was a member of the Northwest Region in 2001, but has since moved to the Southwest Region. Hawaii was also a member from 2002 – 2006, but moved to the West Region with Wyoming moving back to the Northwest Region.

The Northwest Region has tied for third place in the LLWS twice: in 2006 and again in 2001. The region has won the Series title once, in 2005, when a team from Hawaii went undefeated before the state left the Northwest Region in 2006.


Southeast

Sunrise over the North Carolina coast.

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia are the eight states that make up the Southeast Region.

Georgia leads the region for the most LLWS appearances with 5, while Florida and Tennessee are close behind, each with 4 appearances. The Southeast Region has won the LLWS twice, in 2006 and 2007, each with a team from Georgia.


Southwest

The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.

Comprised of leagues hailing from the states of Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas (which is split into “East” and “West” districts.)

Texas has dominated the region, winning the region title eight out of the last ten years, with 11 wins since the region was first incorporated in 2001. Despite being one of the most dominant Little League World Series teams, Texas has only ever managed third place at the LLWS, which they’ve done three times, most recently in 2015.


West

Bixby Bridge along the Pacific Coast Highway in California.

The West Region is home to Arizona, California (split into “Northern” and “Southern” districts), Hawaii, Nevada and Utah.

Southern California has dominated the West Region, with 8 region titles, including the last two championships in 2015 and 2016. The West Region has also placed the most at the LLWS, with two third-place finishes, four second-place finishes, and three Series titles.


International Division

Asia-Pacific

The Great Wall of China

Includes China, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Northern Mariana Islands, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Australia was formerly a member of this region, but became its own region in 2013. As a result, the Asia-Pacific Region was expanded to include Middle-Eastern countries.

Asia-Pacific has always been a strong region, with a second place finish last year and a Series title in 2014.


Australia

Sydney Opera House at dusk.

Australia became its own region after splitting from the Asia-Pacific Region in 2013. Since becoming their own region, Australia hasn’t made it past round three of the LLWS. The team has done progressively better throughout the Series since 2013, however, making Australia one of the Little League World Series teams to keep an eye on!


Canada

Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada.

Canada has long been its own region in the LLWS, dating all the way back to 1952. In that time, however, they’ve only placed three times: a second-place finish in 1965, and two third-place finishes, once in 1990 and again in 1998. Canada hasn’t progressed past round three since 2011.

This just means that Canada is a great underdog team to root for at the LLWS! Canada was the first foreign country to enter the LLWS, and currently has more than 500 leagues in operation throughout the country. Chances are, one of those teams will someday be the team that wins it all!


Caribbean

Saona Island in the Dominican Republic.

Includes teams from the Caribbean island countries, including Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Bermuda, among others. Each country may not have a team that qualifies for the LLWS each year, however.

Curaçao has been a dominant country in the region, winning 11 titles since the region was incorporated in 2001. The Caribbean team was consistent in the early 2000s, with three third-place finishes, one second-place finish, and a LLWS title after going undefeated in 2004.


Europe-Africa

Brno, Czech Republic.

The Europe-Africa Region has only been around since 2013. Prior to that, Europe was in its own region and Africa was combined with the Middle East region. In 2013, Europe was combined with the African region to from the Europe-Africa Region as it looks today.

Since 2013, the region hasn’t progressed beyond the second round. However, in previous years, European teams have tied for third place. Saudi Arabia was a dominant team in the early 2000s, but has since moved to the Asia-Pacific Region.


Japan

Autumn in Kyoto, Japan.

Japan is one of the most dominant Little League World Series teams of all time! Japan has been its own region since 2007, where before it was included in either Asia or the Far East Regions.

Since 1997, there have only been four years where Japan did NOT place in the top three at the LLWS. Most recently, Japan won the LLWS title in 2015 and maintains a stellar 89-27 record overall.


Latin America

Angel Falls in Venezuela

The Latin America Region is open to any countries in the region, however, Panama and Venezuela tend to dominate. Other than those two, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil are the only other countries to send teams to the regional tournament. Until 2001, the Latin America Region also included Mexico and the Caribbean, but both now have their own regions.

Since 2001, the Latin America Region has only placed once at the LLWS: a third-place finish in 2016. However, the team usually manages to make it to the later rounds, making them a consistently strong team in the international bracket!


Mexico

The Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City, Mexico.

Since moving out of the Latin America Region and becoming their own region, Mexico has been one of the stronger Little League World Series teams. Since 2001, Mexico has finished in third place four times, as well as a second-place finish in 2008.

Mexico consistently makes it to the final rounds of the international bracket and is almost always a contender for the international title in recent years. Definitely a team to watch at the LLWS!


That covers all of the 16 teams at the Little League World Series! Trading Pins Direct is excited to see the Little League World Series teams later this year in August, and we’ll be watching for more stories from the Series and the trading pin tent.

Thanks for reading!

June 20, 2017

Cooperstown Trading Pins Are Hot!

baseball custom trading pin

If your team is headed for the home of baseball, you need trading pins! Cooperstown trading pins are a vital part of the tournament experience.

No matter which of the several Cooperstown tournaments your team is playing in, your players will definitely want to be well-stocked with trading pins. Just like at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, pin trading is a huge part of the youth baseball experience at Cooperstown.

In Cooperstown, you’re immersed in baseball lore from the moment you set foot in the town. As the “birthplace of baseball,’ it’s a must-see destination for baseball fans from all over the world. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum showcases the history of the Great American Pastime from the beginning. Nearly 300,000 visitors travel to the Hall each year.

In all the excitement of Cooperstown tournaments and events, it’s easy to lose sight of the fun of pin trading. Rest assured, the players won’t forget. Trading pins is a cherished part of the total experience.

Trading pins have been an iconic part of youth baseball for decades. Even the Hall of Fame offers its own trading pins. It’s a fun way to meet new friends, collect keepsakes that will last a lifetime. That’s why it’s important to have plenty of your own team’s pins to trade with others.

For the big tournaments, a good minimum is at least 100 pins per player. That’s plenty to get started, and your players aren’t likely to be caught short once the trading starts. You don’t want your players to be disappointed by running out of pins to trade.

Remember, your pins don’t have to be the biggest or most elaborate to trade well. The key is to have a great-looking design. If you’re not sure what you want your trading pins to look like, any reputable pin provider can help. Talented graphic artists can take your concept and turn it into terrific-looking pins that will be a grand slam success when the trading starts.

The key to getting great Cooperstown trading pins is to find a great supplier. At Trading Pins Direct, we are committed to offering you the best quality pins, at the best prices, and with the finest customer service you can get. That’s a tall order, but it’s one we’ve been living up to for almost 15 years.

How do we do it? Well, for starters, we don’t charge for art or revisions, so you can be sure your pins will look exactly the way you want. We don’t charge a setup or mold fee. We’ll even ship your pins free via FedEx Air to any address in the continental U.S.A.

That’s not all. We refuse to be undersold. If you find a lower price on identical pins than we quote you, just let us know. We will match or beat it.

Of course, great prices mean nothing without great quality pins. We back every one we sell with our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Find one that’s defective in either materials or workmanship, and we’ll replace it at no extra charge to you. It’s all part of our dedication to total customer satisfaction.

We make it easy, fast and fun to order trading pins. Let us show you today how your team can have great Cooperstown trading pins!

June 16, 2017

Keys to Successful Youth Baseball Practice Plans

 

Youth baseball practice plans can be the key to success in youth league games. The right plan can mean the difference between a tournament win and going home.

Team practices are where players learn the basics of the game. From base running to catching and throwing the ball to batting, practice is a must. To run a practice in the way that benefits the players most, coaches must have a plan.

If coaches have a written plan for each lesson, it becomes easier to communicate the plan to the players (and parents!), especially if it’s possible to email the plan to the players the day before practice.

Depending on the age of the players, practices will typically run from one to two hours. It pays to plan ahead in segments for each skill the coach wants the team to work on. Don’t spend too much time on any one area, or players are likely to become bored and disinterested.

Most coaches recommend starting with some easy warmup exercises and stretches before moving into more specific skills. That gives the players a chance to get ready for the practice and gets them geared up for it.

Beyond that, it’s really a matter of what the coach wants to accomplish at that particular practice. Do you want players to focus on particular skills or plays? Make sure it’s a part of the plan. Organized practices lead to better teams, and better teams lead to tournament victories. Imagine your team at the big game, trading pins, making friends and even winning it all!

When it comes to the fundamentals, don’t forget to encourage communication between players and proper movement, not just throwing and catching the ball. The ability to read the field is a key part of team success.

For rookie coaches, it’s a good idea to solicit information from veteran coaches when putting together a practice plan. Those with more experience can guide you in setting up an organized practice that’s most beneficial to players and coach alike.

Keep in mind when you’re making youth baseball practice plans that the most important part of youth baseball is having fun! If the practice is too rigorous or repetitive, or too long, it stops being fun. That’s a recipe for bored, unhappy players. Yes, planning is important, but remember to keep it light, and keep it fun. Happy players are far more productive than unhappy ones. And players telling their parents how much fun they’re having is always a great idea.

For that reason, scrimmage games are a great way to end practice for the day. Let the kids actually play ball in a supportive setting and work off some excess energy before heading home.

The bottom line is that it takes a certain amount of organization to make youth baseball practices both helpful and fun for new players and more experienced players alike. Getting to the world of trading pins, television coverage and the crowds of South Williamsport, Cooperstown or any other tournament takes practice. With a little effort, proper youth baseball practice plans and a lot of heart, just about any team can make it there!

June 13, 2017

NOW is The Time to Order Custom Trading Pins!

 

If your youth league baseball team needs custom trading pins for the big game, NOW is the time to order. Don’t wait until the tournament is almost here!

Why now, you might ask? The reason is simply one of production capacity. For most of the year, trading pin providers can supply pins fairly quickly, within two weeks or less. But come June 1, once we get into the heart of baseball season, EVERY trading pin manufacturing facility in the world (no, we’re not exaggerating) is swamped with orders. In some cases, it can take 3 to 4 weeks to clear the backlog.

So if your team needs trading pins by mid-July or early August, we need to get your order a.s.a.p. to ensure your pins arrive on time for the big game. Don’t wait! If you want great looking, great trading, affordable custom trading pins, the time to order is NOW.

Every year, we field request from teams who want custom trading pins but ran out of time. You don’t want your players to be disappointed when the trading starts. Order as soon as you can to be sure your pins arrive on time.

While we do not — and cannot — offer any guaranteed delivery time during this busy season, Trading Pins Direct will do everything within our power to get your pins to you in time for the big game. We can even have your pins shipped directly to your tournament hotel.

When you order from us, you’re not just getting ordinary trading pins. You’re getting the best pins you can buy, at the lowest prices you’ll find anywhere. Best of all, no matter when you order, you’ll get our legendary Trading Pins Direct signature customer service. That includes free art and revisions, no setup fees, and even free FedEx Air shipping to any address within the continental United States.

Our artists work fast, and we’ll work with you to make sure your team’s pins look exactly the way you want, with the styles, shapes and options that are sure to make your team’s custom trading pins the grand slam winner when trading starts. We’ll even back our pins with our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Should you find any trading pin you buy from us to be defective in either materials or workmanship, let us know. We’ll replace it at no extra charge. It’s all part of offering you the highest quality pins and the best value in the industry.

We hate to repeat ourselves, but it really is up to you. If your team needs custom pins, contact us as soon as possible. You can fill out our no-obligation Free Quote form, call us toll free at 866.860.8842, or email us at sales@tradingpinsdirect.com. We’ll respond fast, and help you create your perfect pin design. We will get your pins delivered to you as fast as possible.

If you do make the tournament late, or otherwise run out of time, don’t despair. We do have both limited custom options and stock pins available for rush shipment. But we’d rather send you the custom trading pins of your dreams. Just let us know – a.s.a.p. – and we’ll make that happen!

June 12, 2017

A Brief History of the Little League World Series

Every Little League World Series game has a long, distinguished history behind it. Dating to 1947, the Series is the pinnacle of youth league baseball. In addition to being known for great baseball, the Series has also become renowned as a hotbed of baseball pin trading.

This year’s LLWS will take place in South Williamsport, PA for the 59th time. Howard J. Lamade Stadium is Mecca for Little League players and fans from around the world. For 10 days, beginning August 17, thousands of players, coaches, fans and media will descend on the small borough, as they have done for decades.

The economic impact of the Little League World Series on the area is indisputably huge. A study estimated the 2011 LLWS brought more than $30 million into the region over a two-week period.

With the Series comes a whirlwind of activities. Unlike Major League Baseball’s “World” Series (which encompasses only North American teams), the LLWS truly is a worldwide affair. Teams from Asia, Australia and Europe compete with their U.S., Canadian and Mexican counterparts. A total of 16 teams from around the world come together to compete in a round-robin tournament that culminates in a game between one U.S. Division team and one International Division team.

From its humble beginnings, Little League has seen explosive growth and many “firsts.” Williamsport resident Carl Stotz created the first basic rules and field dimensions in 1938. The next year, he and other community members recruited players and formed Little League with three teams.

By the 1940s, Stotz and other leaders formalized the rules, created a logo and expanded Little League beyond its Pennsylvania origins. By 1947, the first Little League World Series game – then called the National Little League Tournament – took place, won by the Maynard Midgets.

The 1950s saw expansion outside the United States, with a Canadian team becoming the first non-U.S. team to play in the LLWS. A number of future major league players started their baseball careers in Little League.

In 1960, the first team from Europe played in  a Little League World Series game, a team from Berlin. Two years later, the first Asian team, from Tokyo, played in the LLWS. By 1967, a Tokyo team was the first Asian team to win the Series.

The next decade brought huge change as girls joined Little League for the first time, thanks to the federal Title IX ruling. It wasn’t a change that came easily. In fact, it took two years and a court order before the League agreed to abide by Title IX.

Baseball trading pins became an official part of the game in 1983, when the League introduced its first official pins. Today, pin trading draws nearly as much interest during the Little League World Series as the games themselves!

The 1990s and early 2000s brought still more changes to the Little League World Series, and to Little League itself. Today the LLWS is as popular as ever, drawing thousands to South Williamsport every August. Carl Stotz’s vision for a youngsters’ version of The Great American Pastime remains as vital today as it was in 1938.

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