Custom Trading Pins

Trading Pins at Cooperstown are just as serious about baseball as their players.

Most trading pins are used at baseball events, such as the World Series and Cooperstown. However, their popularity has extended to other sports, such as softball, basketball, soccer, and even soap box derby racing.

Wolfie, a 13-year-old customer at The Monterey Company, hopes trading pins in his sport, soap box derby, will catch on. His 2008 pin depicts a cartoon wolf sitting low in a sleek, soap box derby racer. Silver glitter lines its sides and Wolfie 2008is written in all caps at the tip. It’s a 1.5-inch Classic Embossed trading pin with silver plating.

Like many seasoned racers, Wolfie will attend the World Championship finals held this month at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio. There, they will compete for scholarships and prizes.

The first All-American soap box derby race was held in Dayton, Ohio, on August 19, 1934. It was an idea garnered by Myron Scott, a photographer for the Dayton Daily News. The next year, the race was moved to Akron, Ohio, because of its central location and suitable hilly terrain.

In 1936, Akron civic leaders recognized the need for a permanent race track for the Soap Box Derby event, and through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), Derby Downs became a reality.

Soapbox derby cars use standardized Z-Glas racing wheels with precision ball bearings. They start at a ramp at the top of a hill and can reach speeds up to 35 miles per hour. The style and color of the racer depend upon each creator. Wolfie and his grandfather work on his racer each year and take copious notes on how to improve it for the next year.

During its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, the Soap Box Derby at Derby Downs was one of the top 5 sporting events in terms of attendance. It was sponsored by Chevrolet and attracted 70,000 attendees. Famous movie stars also attended the event and some were great fans. In 1947, Jimmy Stewart left the Broadway stage of Harvey for the weekend so that he could attend the races at Derby Downs. Performances were canceled and refunds were issued to ticket holders.

For additional information, rules, and more visit the Soap Box Derby web site at http://www.aasbd.com/