Pin Me

When I was a kid playing baseball the local chamber of commerce would give us a hand full of lapel pins that we would take to tournaments with us. When we met fellow baseball players from other cities or states we would trade these lapel pins with others. By the end of the tournament season we would have a few pins from the various teams we had played against. It was a really cool idea and one that kind of stuck with me. As I have gotten older I have continued to pick up a few pins here and there to commemorate places I have been or things I have done. When Trina and I got married she took me to Disneyland. While we were there I found a pin to commemorate that trip and added it to my collection. I soon had a small binder filled with pins that chronicled my adventures. In the year 2000 I was asked to speak at a Microsoft conference in Orlando Florida. I agreed and after spending 45 minutes discussing the future of directory services and messaging standards I had the rest of the week to hang around and attend the conference for free. There is just so much geek time that I can deal with so instead I headed over to Walt Disney World for the week. From a pin collecting standpoint that was a major mistake.

As part of the millennium celebration Disney instituted pin trading where guests could trade Disney copyrighted pins with other guests and cast members. I didn’t really understand the concept but I was fascinated with all of the pins available at Disney World. Toy Story was one of my favorite movies so I decided to purchase pins of the characters from that movie. I bought the Slinky Dog pin and paid for it. While I was checking out I noticed the cast member was wearing a lanyard filled with really cool looking pins. I commented to her about how cool some of her pins were. She asked if I wanted to trade. I had no idea what she was talking about but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. I told her I didn’t really have any trading pins. She stated that she would trade for the Slinky Dog pin I had just bought. I agreed and gave her my Slinky Dog in exchange for a pin that showed the Epcot ball. I left the store and began wandering around the parks. I came to another pin cart and decided to buy the Slinky Dog pin since I no longer had one. After I paid for it the cast member asked if I would like to trade pins. I again explained that I didn’t have any trading pins and the cast member stated that I could trade the Slinky Dog pin. I agreed and gave away my Slinky Dog again in exchange for a Magic Kingdom pin. I left bewildered at the loss of my second Slinky Dog. I decided maybe I should go over to the Disney MGM Studios. In that park I stopped at a shop and decided to once again get the Slinky Dog pin that had eluded me. After paying for it the cast member asked if I would like to trade pins. I went through the same explanation of my lack of trading pins and again the cast member suggested I trade my Slinky Dog. This was getting to be too coincidental and I was beginning to be suspicious. There must be something about that Slinky Dog pin that Disney is trying to hide. Obviously there was a conspiracy against Slinky Dogs or something. I went to the Magic Kingdom with the quest to find another Slinky Dog pin. Along Main Street I found a pin cart and purchased the Slinky Dog pin to test my theory. Sure enough, when I checked out the cast member asked to trade pins and offered to take my Slinky Dog pin. I traded but then asked if there was something special about this pin since I didn’t seem to be able to keep a hold of it. The cast member said it was not real special but that she did think it was interesting that the Slinky Dog had no butt. The Slinky connected directly to the legs instead of to the brown plastic butt that is on the real toy. Ah ha! That must be it, Disney was trying to buy back all of these defective butt-less Slinky Dogs! I spent the rest of the trip trying to get a Slinky Dog pin and keep it. I succeeded but I think I must have bought 10 Slinky Dog pins. I later realized it was just a coincidence since I only ever bought the Slinky Dog pin that was the only one I had to trade. Still, the Slinky Dog conspiracy lives on in my mind.

When the Arizona Diamondbacks became a franchise I made a point of picking up a pin to commemorate the occasion. As new pins came into the team shop I would pick up each new one to add to my collection. I would always wear a couple of pins on my hat mostly so I didn’t lose them after buying them. Sometimes I would find other fans that had pins too and we would start to talk about pins. This many times would lead to a pin trade and ultimately a new friendship. I always thought it would be cool if Major League Baseball would do like Disney and have pin trading. Last season there were times when a pin board would be set up and fans could trade a pin. The kids and I always had a blast with that. This season the board has returned during weekend games and I have had a chance to trade for a couple of pins. During the last series I noticed a poster board set up next to the pin trading board. On the poster it featured a pin of the month that the Diamondbacks will be producing in limited quantities to commemorate different events during the season. For April the pin features Randy Johnson welcoming him back to the Diamondbacks. The pins will be available during the first home stand of each month and will remain while supplies last. I looked over the pins and they are very well done and of good quality. I would highly recommend stopping by the team shop and picking up a few pins. When you see the pin trading board in the rotunda stop by and exchange a pin for another. Just be careful and don’t trade away a Slinky Dog, they are highly sought after due to the fact that they don’t have a butt. Trust me on this one.

1 Comment

  1. Stu-pin-dous

    As I have discussed in previous blog entries, I am a big pin collector. I’ve especially been impressed with the types of pins that the Arizona Diamondbacks have produced this season. Each week-end the pin trading board is set up…

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