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Designing the best team trading pin for your Cooperstown trip is no small task. It requires planning, organization and finding the right fit to represent your team. Below you will find:
Best Trading Pin Stores
Most pin design companies state the average pin size is 1.75”, however many teams opt for a larger size. When choosing your pin size, plan to choose a pin between 2” to 2.5”. Also, material for pins can vary from plastic, soft enamel, photoscreen or offset printing to metal. The choice of material will affect the overall cost of the pins. I would avoid plastics, if at all possible, as they look a little cheap and pale in comparison to some of the other designs on metal. Our team opted for the soft enamel and turned out beautiful!
Our team reached out to several companies for different pin designs. All companies provide FREE logo design and quotes! Most companies will even provide multiple edits or revisions of your pin based on feedback from the design you receive.
Our team used over ten different companies which were quite a few, however I would recommend using no less than three to five companies to see multiple designs, layouts and pricing.
Whoever is heading up the pin design mission for your team should organize a word document or spreadsheet to keep track of each company’s name, logo design, quantity, pricing per unit and overall total pricing. This will help in presenting options to the families.
The following list of online pin trading sites was extremely helpful, prompt and responsive to our teams’ requests:
You can see the variety of unique designs we received!
If you are attending All-Star Village, there are roughly 50-55 teams each week. Plan for each player to have approximately 55-60 pins for trading. If you are attending Dreamspark, there are 104 teams each week. Plan for each player to have approximately 105-110 pins for trading. Including a few extra pins per player is good for any Super Pin trading or trading in Cooperstown with some of the stores.
Also, some umpires have pins as well.
Pricing can vary greatly depending on what your team is looking for. Pins can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $2000, and needs to be considered into overall player cost when planning for this event.
When reviewing final pricing, many companies will offer additional incentives, such as free banners or pin bags. It also doesn’t hurt to ask for discounts or price matching from other companies. They want your business and want you as their customer!
When reaching out to pin design companies, you will need to complete an online request form. Items that are required are typically a contact or point person, team name, colors, home state and team logo. You can also add specific details to include on the pins such as player names, player numbers, upgrade information (see below), Cooperstown, trip year, etc. The more information you provide, the better the company can suit the needs of what your team in hoping to see in the design. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for edits! If you like most aspects of the pin, but would like to see an upgrade added, color change, names vs. numbers, etc., ask to see an edited version of the pin.
Glitter, Gems, Blinkers, Danglers, Spinners & Sliders…Super Pin or Not?
Pin upgrades make an awesome addition to team pins. If you’re working within a tight budget, a cheaper but cool upgrade includes glitter or colored gems. If the budget is open or sponsor provided, more expensive upgrades include blinkers, danglers and sliders. You can see some of these in the team designs above and in the collection our team gathered in our week at Cooperstown.
Upgrades can make your pin hot for trading, but it comes with a cost! In addition, some teams opt to do a Super Pin, one that is larger, includes a high-end upgrade or all gold. This isn’t a must and our team found that very few teams did this during their week at All-Star Village. When trading a Super Pin, players will usually request for more than one pin from the player.
Once you have received your pin designs and quotes, your team will have to narrow down a select number of pins that best meet the needs of the teams’ budget and design wishes. Our team had the players and coaches do a secret ballot vote on their top pin choice. Overall, our team was extremely pleased with the pin design process and the pin trading remains one of the most memorable and lasting highlights of the Cooperstown experience for the players.