Sports related pins have been around since the 1800s. Some of the earliest pins are mad of color coded cardboard from the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. These pins were badges used to distinguish who among the participants are Athletes, who are officials, and who are judges. In the 1912 Summer Olympics Games held in Stockholm, Sweden, organizers and promoters first introduced ornate metallic pins which were sold and worn by spectators, thus starting the collectability of sports pins. The pins from these two Olympic Games are most probably a couple of the most valuable pins for sports trading pins collectors out there due to their relative age and significance in history.
The pins introduced in the 1952 Summer Olympic Games held in Helsinki, Finland also hold great value for trading pin collectors since that was time when over 218 different designs were introduced. It sparked a craze during that time for collectors and Olympics fans alike since it was the first time that a number of variations were made available. For some collectors, they had to have all the designs so that Summer Olympic Games started activities wherein fans started buying and trading pins with each other.
The 1984 Summer Olympics Games held in Los Angeles, California also was a significant date for Trading pin collectors since a whopping 1300 designs were introduced. Fans and spectators clamored to get as many designs as they can. In fact, the demand for the pins started side events wherein pin trading occurred. However, this controversy also marred this event for pin traders since many counterfeiters and bootleggers took advantage of the demand for Olympics Sports Trading Pins. Authentic pins from this period hold high value for collectors out there.
The beverage company Coca Cola also got into the game of pin trading and collecting when they first introduced a pin trading center in the 1988 Summer Olympics Games held in Calgary, Canada. This is a significant event for collectors since the Coca Cola Company is known for producing some of the most desirable and collectible sports and non-sports related memorabilia due to their brands iconic brand presence and classic Americana designs.
The 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, Georgia was quite significant for Softball Trading Pin Collectors since it was the year that the event for Softball was first debuted in the global Olympic Games.
Amusement companies such as the Disney Theme Parks and Six Flags also produced their own collectible trading pins, and have opened their own pin trading centers in their respective theme parks. This was a significant development in trading pin collecting since these parks, Disney in particular have produced some of the most iconic, valuable and highly desirable trading pins on the planet.
Softball trading pins on the other hand became popular due to the popularity of the sport around the different states of the US, whether it is a local amateur league, a national collegiate league or even on a national pro league.
Due to the relative ease and low cost in the production of softball trading pins, most teams whether they are pro, collegiate or even a local amateur league team, opt to produce pins as team member badges, promotional items, sales merchandise or even tokens to be traded with other teams as in the case of amateur softball leagues.
Now we go back to the question posted on the beginning of the article, is your softball trading pin worth money? The answer is subjective, since the value of the pin depends on the demand and popularity of the brand it carries. However, one should keep in mind that some softball trading pins are produced in low quantities especially in the case of amateur league teams. Softball trading pin collectors who have to have everything may put a premium on pins from this smaller lesser known teams and leagues.
Probably the best answer to the question would be this, the value of your softball trading pin may not be much now, but who knows, it might become valuable in the future.