Baseball Pins Worn By Stadium Employees

One of the uses for pinback buttons is they serve as a form of identification.  When used in such a manner they are more technically referred to as “badges” rather than “pinbacks.”    This column is about pinbacks worn by stadium employees, typically ushers or concessionaires. I do not know when stadium employees started wearing these pinbacks.  Perhaps some old photographs showing stadium ushers wearing them might give us some insights as to when they were first used.  Only three of mine are dated.  The first is from Wrigley Field, dated 1939.

cubs usher

The second dated pinback is from Dodger Stadium in 1966.  It is not technically a pinback as a cord was used instead of a pinning mechanism.  I do not know if it was worn by an usher or concessionaire.

1966 dodgers

I would estimate the date of most of these pinbacks as being from the 1950s or early 1960s.  Most of them are numbered.  The number is an employee identification number, not the section of the stadium where the employee worked.  The first is a “window” badge where the employee’s name would be inserted into the clear plastic opening.

tiger usher

Some of these pinbacks are not particularly scarce.  These two, from the Indians and Yankees, respectively, seem to turn up fairly often.

indians usher

yankees usher

Other employee pinbacks are rarely seen, as these for the Boston Braves, Milwaukee Braves, and Chicago Cubs, respectively.

boston usher

braves usher

wrigley usher

I got this Dodger pinback along with some other items from the early years of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  I don’t know if it was used in the Los Angeles Coliseum or Dodger Stadium.

dodger usher

I believe this window pinback is from the early years at Metropolitan Stadium.

twins food

A large (3.00″) concessionaire pin worn at Shea Stadium in the 1960s.

mets usher

In the early 1970s baseball stadiums began to present themselves as safe and enjoyable places for families, as evidenced by these pinbacks.  They were worn by ushers in support of facilitating a courteous atmosphere at Shea Stadium, Municipal Stadium, and Comiskey Park (dated 1984), respectively.

contagious

indians crowd

comisky usher

Some pinbacks were made for very special occasions.  The ushers at Dodger Stadium didn’t just promote Opening Day, but Opening Week.

Certified large WS343

The Philadelphia Phillies hosted an All-Star game at Veterans Stadium.  This unusual pin (in the shape of a star) and ribbon were worn by ushers encouraging fans to vote for Phillies players on the All-Star game ballot.

phillies usher

This pinback is very unusual in that it was not worn by an employee of Three Rivers Stadium, but by the guest singer of the National Anthem.  I don’t know how many times per year the Pirates did not use a recording, but it must have been often enough to warrant the making of this pinback.

pirates usher

Finally, relatively few baseball teams today issue pinback badges to their ushers and concessionaires, at least with a reference to the stadium or team.  One notable exception is the Baltimore Orioles.  Their employees often wear large badges with the distinctive orange color.  This pinback thanked the fans for supporting the Orioles for 50 years.

orioles usher

Next up:  A One-Day Event Pinback to Replace a Pinback of a Rained Out One-Day Event

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4 thoughts on “Baseball Pins Worn By Stadium Employees

  1. Interesting stuff as always Paul. I have a different Employee pin from Wrigley Field which I wish I could post to show you. Believe it is from the 1960’s based on the logo, but not sure.

  2. Hi Paul,

    Interesting stuff. Just wondering if you’ve ever encountered any badges relating to the Reds? In particular, Crosley Field or earlier. Please provide photos if you can… Thanks.

  3. Chris,
    I have seen small (i.e., 7/8″) pins that make ambiguous references to “Reds.” I am not sure if they refer to the baseball team. However, all employee pins are large. They were made as a form of identification to be readily seen by others. I have no memory of ever seeing a large Reds pin worn by an employee.

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