The other day, I was looking at the website for the Commonwealth Games currently going on in Glasgow, Scotland. I’ve never been to a multi-national sporting event such as the Commonwealth Games or the Olympics, but I do have some experience with tournaments.
For many years, my daughters played competitive softball. This meant almost weekly travel to all parts of the United States and once, to Mexico. Some of our favorite memories were the National tournaments where the best of the best gathered to compete. Imagine the Little League World Series, but all girls.
A big part of those events was, and still is, pin trading. Every team came armed with bags full of their own brightly colored pin. The object was to trade yours, one at a time for someone else’s. Between games, girls would congregate in the common areas to examine each other’s collections, making deals, much like the MLB trade frenzy, for unique pins to add to their collections. Not only did the activity provide a fun interlude, but it brought competitors together as friends off the field.
According to a 2012 article in the New York Times, Olympic pin trading is a sport in it’s own right. Based on my own observations, I can imagine the excitement of pin trading on that level. Oh, what fun!
Recently, I was shopping for a new piece of SWAG (Stuff We All Get) to take to conferences, and those trading pins my daughter collected came to mind. Since I write baseball romances these days, the idea clicked. Next week, my new Mustangs Baseball collectors pin will be making its debut at Authors After Dark in Charlotte, NC. If you happen to be there, I’ll be handing them out, all you have to do is ask for one.
Who knows? Maybe one day the idea will take hold at romance reader conventions and those huddles in the bar will take on a new dimension – pin trading!