“Pin-Up” of the Week: 1998 Honda Little League Baseball Pin

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The 2014 Little League World Series has been over for weeks.  Everyone has gone home.  No more vendors or sponsors are handing out tasty food and free pins.  If you went there right now, you’d see nothing much going on.

Honda and Little League have been working together since 1996.  One of the earliest sponsorship pins was released by Honda in 1998.  Nowadays sponsorship pins are nothing new to Little League pin collectors.  In fact, that’s the main reason why I go to Little League each year.  Tons of companies hand out pins.  During the mid-90’s, sponsorship pins started to surface.  Collectors now had something else to add to their collection besides the pins that could be purchased at the gift shop.

The 1998 Honda Little League Baseball pin is not only one of the earliest sponsorship pins, it’s also one of the rarest.  This pin all by itself can sell for $150.00 to $250.00.  Why is it worth so much?  That’s a good question.  In my research, here is what I found.

Apparently during the 1998 Little League World Series, it rained a lot.  This pin wasn’t handed out until the very last day.  Due to all the rain, attendance was low.  Combine the rain, low attendance, and Honda not distributing this pin until the last day caused the rarity.  Sponsorship pins were also not popularized at the time like they are now.  So many collectors may not have been on the lookout for them.  After that one day, Honda never handed them out again.

What happened to all the leftover pins?  They’re probably laying next to those cases of 1952 Topps that were dumped into the Atlantic Ocean.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: 2013 Honda Little League World Series Pin

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Corporate sponsors are all over the place during the Little League World Series.  One of the major sponsors is Honda.  Honda has a huge booth and even shuttles people back and forth to the hotels.  They’ve been a sponsor for years, and have always had some type of pin giveaway.  Over the last few years though, Honda has been making it trickier to get one of their pins.  This year is no different.  For the 2013 Little League World Series, Honda has made three different pins to obtain.  They all basically look the same, until you open up the door by sliding the pin apart.  One pin has red interior with peanuts, another with green interior and popcorn, and another with blue interior and gummi bears.

Like I said before, it is getting trickier to get one of these pins every year.  In order to get a Honda pin this year, you have to be one of the first 100 people lined up at their booth at a specific time.  That’s the easiest way your going to get one.  The other way is by registering with Honda, obtaining a rubber bracelet that has a microchip implanted within it, gaining points on your microchip bracelet while playing certain games inside their booth, and redeeming those points for a pin.  You could say Honda put some serious thought into this promotion.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they consulted with NASA on this thing.

With the 2013 Little League World Series in full swing, each of these pins are selling for $20.00.

More Photos From The ’09 Little League World Series

This morning I headed up to the Little League World Series in Williamsport.  This year I had a lot more fun because I took part in many of the promotional campaigns some of the major sponsors were doing.  Aside from baseball and football cards, I also collect pins.  Pin trading is HUGE at the Little League World Series.  Obtaining some of the pins from the sponsors reminded me of being at The National, because you need to do certain things to get a pin.  I had a really good time and if you’re a baseball fan you should go.  I even found a few baseball cards 🙂  When I was there, Mexico and Canada were playing.  Click on each photo to enlarge.

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Kellogg’s

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Coca-Cola

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David Sunflower Seeds

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New Era’s booth is in the shape of a baseball.

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This was one of the pin trading tents.  There were thousands of pins in here.

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2009 Little League World Series logo pin

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2009 Little League World Series ring pin

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This ACE Hardware pin was a giveaway around lunchtime.

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All I had to do was answer a few questions at the Honda booth and they handed me this pin.

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Quality Inn was just giving these away at their booth.

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Coca-Cola gave me this pin because I recycled one of their soda bottles at their booth.

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While I was getting lunch, a man came up to me and said he was an umpire for Little League and gave me this pin.  Its an umpire pin from Johnson City, TN.

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These cards were a giveaway from Sunkist.  Upper Deck made them back in 2005 for the Little League World Series.  Each came wrapped in a clear pack.  There are 5 cards to the set.