Fun For All, Pin Trading Bonds Local Little Leagues® Across the Globe

pin trade

Little League Baseball® The World Series (LLBWS) is known for being the most iconic youth sporting event in the world, with hundreds of thousands of fans flocking to Williamsport, Pennsylvania each year to watch the Little Leaguers® from all over the world make lifelong memories of the diamond. But when they’re not filling the stands at Lamade or Volunteer Stadium, fans, players and volunteers can be found throughout the complex exchanging Little League’s most valuable currency: pins.

It all started in the mid-1970s when it was widely believed that a team from Chinese Taipei brought the first pins to Williamsport to swap with their newfound friends. Known as a melting pot of different cultures, backgrounds and people, the LLBWS has a long tradition of teams from all corners of the world making gifts that represent their community.

Earning another pin was nothing new for players at the time, as it had been common since the 1950s for young athletes to receive pins as they progressed through district, state, and regional tournaments on their path to the LLBWS. After the Chinese Taipei team presented their own custom pins at the LLBWS, the Little League organization soon got wind of it and began producing pins themselves. This started the pin trading phenomenon.

Little League International first created their own pin in 1983. The small, simple pin was modeled after the hot air balloon that highlighted LLBWS graduation ceremonies in the late 1970’s and is now one of the rarest pins in circulation.

First LLWS pin

While the action on the pitch is exciting, the pin trading celebrations taking place throughout the complex can be just as competitive. Hundreds of fans, players and volunteers scour the Little League landscape in search of their favorite pin, hoping to make new friends along the way.

“Pin swapping is another way to meet and socialize,” said Adam Thompson, director of the world of little league® museum. “It reflects what the Little League Baseball World Series is doing, because when these kids come to Williamsport, they learn about each other’s customs and cultures, but then the pin swap helps do that for the players and then for the.” to make it even easier for fans.”

Pin trading, like the LLBWS, brings together a number of different communities under the umbrella of baseball. This tradition allows cultures to network on and off the diamond as everyone joins in the excitement of making their own pins and exchanging small cultural tokens with friends from around the world.

The beauty of pin trading is the simplicity that allows any person, be it a referee, usher or local leagues, to produce hundreds of unique pins to put on the trading block throughout August. While not every team makes it to Williamsport, that doesn’t stop every league from creating their own pin to join in the fun.

“It’s fun to walk around and see people who represent their area and their league,” Mr. Thompson said. “Each pin represents what makes this community special or unique.”

Pin trading is also a year-round activity, with collectors chasing after their favorite pins far outside the city limits of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. As fans rush between stadiums hoping to catch all the action on the Diamond, be sure to check out the hundreds of pin collectors scattered throughout Williamsport, bringing Little League in 365 days a year alive in every corner of the world.

All year round, fans can also stop by the World of Little League Museum and check out the pin trading exhibit, located in the third inning of the museum’s six-inning self-guided tour.


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