Baseball, as it is the most popular sport in America, was among the first team sports to issue trading pins for players. Such baseball trading pins were used as conversation starters during pre-game activities in Major and Minor League, as well as in the World Series.
The average baseball trading pins range from 1.50 to 2.0 inches. 90% of baseball teams choose from this size range, although there is still some 9% of baseball teams who chose even larger pins and 1% chose pins smaller than 1.50 inches. A pin that’s smaller than 1.50 inches is untradeable and is meant for collecting only.
Each member of the baseball team is given several baseball trading pins, keeping in mind that each player should have enough to exchange with players from each of the other teams in the event. The pins usually contain special indicators like the team’s logo and mascot, the name of the event, the date, as well as the name of the player and his or her position in the team.
Initially meant for members only, baseball trading pins are now popular even amongst the spectators of these team events, and now come in all shapes and sizes. Most trading pins are either photo-screened or heavy photo-screened, although there are some that are made through soft enamel method. Photo screen pins are used when one intends to reprint the exact design from paper to pin. Details, down to the tiniest lines, are reprinted in the pin.
Photo screen pins are the least expensive and are chosen by most teams, especially those who need more than a hundred per player. Heavy photo screen pins are used for logos that require gradients or color fading. They are also almost 50% heavier than photo screen pins and are almost similar in weight to the soft enamel ones.
A third of the population of trading pin consumers prefers the soft enamel ones due to their embossed feel and heavy weight. This method is used for less complex designs. Soft enamel pins take longer to process since the color is hand painted and thus, it are amongst the most expensive.
Speaking of expensive pins, owners can actually add extras to the pin design they have in mind to make their pins command a higher value when traded. You can actually add secondary pins to your original design to make it more attractive and of course, expensive. You can choose to add a dangler, which hangs down from the original pin and is attached by either a jump ring or a short chain. You also have the option of adding a bobble head, which is attached to the pin using a spring for that bobbing effect. When it comes to durability however, bobble heads are not so much of a sturdy add-on since the spring can over stretch and ruin the design (and the pin) totally.
Then there are sliders – attachments added to the pin through a sliding slot, which allows the design to slide for a short distance from the main pin. Spinners are attached through a hole in the main pin and can move in either a clockwise or a counterclockwise manner. This is a rare add-on; therefore, having one on your pin makes it highly tradable.
And if you want an even rarer add-on for your pin, you can resort to choosing a Z-axis spinner which spins in a different direction than the regular spinner. The second pin is attached to a metal rod pin and as the pin rotates you can actually see the front and the back design of the pin.