Softball started as an indoor team sport in Chicago back in 1887. Just like other team sports, organizers and team owners started handing out softball trading pins to all members of softball teams. A pin features the logo of a team, as well as the mascot (if there is any) representing the team. These trading pins also show the year they were manufactured, as well as the name of the event for which they are created for. Such events include those of the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Nationals, the American Fast pitch Association (AFA) Nationals, and the USSSA Fast pitch World series, all of which happen during the summer months. When the space allows it to, the name of the player for which the pin were made for, as well as the jersey number and position, are included with the pin.
You might be wondering why such details are included in the pin. They are added for obvious reasons. Softball trading pins are pins created and distributed to players so that in turn, they can distribute and trade the pins with fellow players from other teams. This activity became a routine in any team sport that eventually the trading became the highlight of the weekend. What initially started as an exclusive event to promote camaraderie, friendship, and bonding among players of opposing teams, extended to spectators who wanted to have a piece of the game with them when they go back to their respective homes and places.
In order to command a higher trade-in value, softball trading pins are given enhancements in the form of a secondary pin to make them more attractive. You can choose from any of the following add-ons:
- Dangler – an attachment that looks like a second pin attached to the main pin by either a jump ring or a simple chain. Danglers are considered as the most durable among secondary pin attachments one could choose from.
- Bobble heads – another form of secondary pin attached to the main pin. Instead of jump ring or chain, a spring is used to attach the second pin to the main pin, giving the bobbling action or effect for your softball trading pins.
- Sliders – another form of secondary pin attached to the main pin through the cut-out sliding slot. It is called a slider since it slightly slides away from the main pin.
- Spinners – yet another form of secondary pin attached to the main pin through a hole located in the main pin. Spinners can move clockwise or counter clockwise and are best used for pins that incorporate car wheels or tornadoes as part of the design.
- Z-axis spinners – this secondary pin is attached to a metal spin rod connected to the main pin. The rod is attached in parallel to the main pin and is the central axis of the spin of the secondary pin. Z axis spinners are double sided and can spin to show the front and back design of the spinner. This add-on can take weeks to finish, thus making it more valuable and commanding a higher exchange rate than others.
Aside from the secondary pins mentioned above, softball trading pins can also contain enhancements such as LEDs, 3D pin molds, and 3D bubbles. Some pins also contain glitters to give them that shiny and sparkly effect. You can also resort to adding artificial gems to your pin for that added appeal and class. You may use the gem to replace the eye or the headlight of your logo or mascot. And for that limited-edition feel, you may have sequential numbers lasered onto the main pin.