Pin Highlight: 2017 Williamsport Sun-Gazette LLWS Gorilla Pin

Baseball season might be over.  The weather is getting colder.  Christmas music has begun to play.  But in my mind though its still the summer.  And that means the Little League World Series.  With that comes pins.  Lots and lots of pins!!!

The Williamsport Sun-Gazette was founded in 1801, and issued their first pin in 2004.  Since then, they have regularly sold pins while the Little League World Series takes place.  Every year its exciting to see what new designs they come up with.

Ten new pins were released this past August.  Each one is limited to only (125) pins.  In terms of pins, that isn’t many.  That’s probably why I haven’t seen any 2017 Sun-Gazette pins show up on the secondary market yet.  The Sun-Gazette never sells them online.  You have to purchase them in person.  Low quantity combined with in person only availability holds them back from surfacing.

Most of their pins are baseball themed.  Some aren’t.  The craziest pin they made for 2017 has nothing on it pertaining to baseball.  It measures 3″ and has a gorilla on top of the Sun-Gazette building.  They sold t-shirts with this image on them.  It reminds me a lot of King Kong or that arcade game Rampage.

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Card of the Day: Dave Bresnahan 1987 ProCards Williamsport Bills #14

Card of the Day: Chris Howard 1990 Williamsport Bills Best #11

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“Pin-Up” of the Week: 2015 Williamsport Sun-Gazette Pin Collector Badge

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In honor of Captain America: Civil War coming out, I think this pin is appropriate.  The Williamsport Sun-Gazette made this pin for the 2015 Little League World Series.  Each year they come out with a whole slew of pins you can buy.  The Sun-Gazette booth that was setup at Little League last year wasn’t selling this particular pin though.  I think you could only get this one at their downtown location.  As you can easily tell, the pin is designed to look a lot like Captain America’s shield.  I own a bunch of Sun-Gazette pins, but not this one.  The only time I’ve seen one on eBay was in a lot.  By the time I saw it the auction had ended.  Despite not being seen much, I doubt its very rare.  The lot that had this pin in it sold for a couple dollars.

I find it cool when superheroes and sports stuff are combined.  Its becoming more popular.  This weekend the San Francisco Giants are giving away Captain America bobbleheads.  Instead of being the classic red, white, and blue, the color scheme is white, orange, and black.  I really hope this trend continues.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: 1994 Williamsport Sun Gazette Little League World Series Champions Pin

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Starting in 2004, the Williamsport Sun-Gazette began to issue Little League pins.  Between 2004 and 2015 they have made about (54) or (55) different pins in all.  A few years ago they began to issue handy guides to their pins.  They usually issue a new guide around the time of the Little League World Series.  Inside each guide you’ll find highly detailed descriptions about every pin they’ve made.  At around (50) pages long, its an excellent resource.

We live in an age where nothing isn’t faked or made up.  Little League pins aren’t immune to any of that.  Take a look at this pin for instance.  It looks like a simple little Williamsport Sun-Gazette pin celebrating Venezuela winning the 1994 Little League World Series.  The problem is that the Williamsport Sun-Gazette never made this pin.  Its a knockoff made to look like they did.  I’m not 100% sure when it was made.  A good guess would be 1994, which would make it ten years older than any authentic Sun-Gazette pin.

Crosscutters vs. Muckdogs – 7/17/15 – Doubleheader – Bobbleheads

On Friday evening the Williamsport Crosscutters played a doubleheader against the Batavia Muckdogs.  Williamsport went on to win both games 4-3 and 8-0.  The first 1,000 fans through the gate for Game 1 received a Pat Borders bobblehead.  Pat Borders is the new Manager of the Crosscutters, and was the 1992 World Series MVP with the Blue Jays.

Before finding a seat, I took a stroll through the Saw Mill Gift Shop.  I was able to pickup three new pins I didn’t have.  The pins I found look to be leftover stadium giveaways they gave out last year.

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Jose Pujols at bat.

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Jesus Posso at bat.

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Gabriel Castellanos pitching for the Muckdogs.

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Missing the “N”.

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Pat Borders bobblehead given to the first 1,000 fans.

Williamsport Crosscutters 9th Annual Hot Stove Banquet

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Its been almost a decade since the Williamsport Crosscutters held their first Hot Stove Banquet.  On the night of January 19th, baseball fans were invited to sit back, relax, eat some good food, and here stories from the celebrity guests.  This year the guest list included Phillies Manager Ryne Sandberg, Denny McLain, Crosscutters Manager and 1992 World Series MVP Pat Borders, and Pat Gillick.  Other members of the Phillies organization were also there in attendance.  Phillies pitcher Ken Giles was suppose to be there, but due to a scheduling conflict he couldn’t make it.

For a ticket price of $49.00, I believe you get one heck of a deal.  That includes a full chicken dinner, salad, and cake.  Plus at the conclusion of the event you can get autographs from the guests, given you get in line fast enough.  Some guests stick around longer than others.  Its best to prioritize which autographs you want first, second, and third so you can get in that particular line early.  You never quite know when they’ll cut the line off.  I was able to snag Ryne Sandberg on my bat.

The Chinese auction had a lot of signed baseballs, bobbleheads, and pins.  I threw some tickets into three different bags for bobbleheads, but didn’t win any this time.  They were also giving away a Dellin Betances game-worn Yankees jersey that came with a COA from Steiner.

Right before the autograph session began, they made an announcement that the Phillies had a special gift for everyone as they left.  All attendees were to receive a FREE Chase Utley bobblehead on the way out.  This was an added bonus that I didn’t see coming.  I collect bobbleheads and never had one of Chase Utley before.  This specific Utley bobblehead was a stadium giveaway the Phillies gave out last season.  They must have made some extra.

Overall, it was one of the best Hot Stove Banquets they ever had.  Denny McLain’s story about how he and Tug McGraw went over to Vietnam was very funny.  The bobblehead at the end really put it over the top for me.  Try getting a full meal, autographs, and a bobblehead for $49.00 some place else.  You won’t find it.  I forgot to mention that each seat had a Taney Baseball t-shirt too.

Next year is their 10th anniversary.  I would like to see some 10th anniversary commemorative pins made up to giveaway.  One at each place setting.  Great job everyone!!!

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(Left) Pat Gillick – former Phillies General Manager & 2011 Baseball HOF inductee (Right) Gabe Sinicropi – Crosscutters VP, Marketing & Public Relations

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Pat Borders – current Crosscutters Manager & 1992 World Series MVP

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Ryne Sandberg signature on my bat

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Utley bobblehead

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Taney Baseball t-shirt

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Phillie Phanatic!

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Boomer!