Softball is a sport similar to baseball, but is different in certain aspects. For example, softball uses a larger ball compared to baseball. And although it is called softball, the ball used for this sport is not anywhere near soft. This game was initially intended as an indoor team sport, unlike baseball that is meant for an open field. Lastly, softball is played in a smaller field compared to that of baseball.
The differences don’t end there. Aside from sharing the same team compositions, softball trading pins are also given to members of the team, who in turn share and trade them with members of other teams. This has been a tradition that aims to promote camaraderie among members of this team sport. Such pins also give a sense of pride and recognition to those who own them. Softball trading pins normally contain the logos or the official mascots of teams. On top of this, softball pins may also contain the name of the team, the age group, as well as the event for which they were made for. If there is enough space, the city and state from which the team originates is also stamped on the pin.
To make it more personalized, some resort to adding the name and the jersey number of the player the pin is intended for. There are several other add-ons that one can choose from to make a pin unique to a certain team. Such add-ons include blinkers, dangles, glitters, studs, or rocks. Some even resort to choosing a bobbing (just like a bubble head) effect for their pins. The more customized a pin is, the more pride and satisfaction one can get from it. The add-ons can also add to the value of the pin, making it more sought-after compared to those with simpler, less complicated designs.
Softball trading pins normally range from 1.75 inches to at most 2 inches in diameter or width. Anything bigger or smaller doesn’t have much appeal. Pins that measure less than 1.5 inches are still manufactured, but they are more of a collector’s item than a trader’s favorite.
Speaking of manufacturing softball trading pins, the three most common ways of processing softball pins are as follows: soft enamel, photo screen, and hard photo screen method. First on the list is the soft enamel method. It is used when one intends to have embossed pins for his team. Such pins have an embossed feel; the color of the design is a bit below the metal outline, highlighting the design of the logo. Soft enamel pins are also heavier compared to pins made through other methods. This method is chosen if the design intended for the pin is simple. Since soft enamel trading pins are manually colored using a fine paint brush, it takes longer than usual to process such pins; therefore, they command a higher perceived value compared to others.
The next most common method is the photo screen method. This method is used when the design intended for the pin contains complex, intricate, and highly-detailed logos. Photo screened pins are also called silk screen, screen prints, or photo-etched pins. If you are in a rush to have pins for your team, you may resort to choosing this method. Photo screened pins are also the least expensive amongst the choices; quality-wise though, they are a notch lower than average. The third method is somewhat a combination of the first two methods in making softball trading pins. Called hard photo screen, this method follows the idea of the photo screen method, but the finished product is 50% heavier – almost near the weight of soft enamel ones.
Having learned all those things, you’re now no longer clueless when it comes to such popular collectibles.