WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (WTNH) — While baseball is the main attraction, another event takes place at the Little League World Series that has people coming back every year.
Frank Cataldi has been coming to Williamsport since 1979. Sure, the baseball is nice. But another reason to come to the Pennsylvania town is to collect and trade pins.
“It’s something that appeals to me,” says Cataldi. “I don’t go for everything. Pins are getting so big now.”
Cataldi says he enjoys meeting new people and making new friends. His pin collection has grown just a little bit over the years.
“I have 120,000 of my own,” Cataldi said. “I don’t know what I’m gonna do with them someday.Related Content: Fairfield Little League fans spend off day…sledding?
Lloyd Vollmuth is here for his 11th straight year. He lives in Florida and started trading and collecting pins when his son played baseball.
“I started trading pins 20-something years ago with my daughter when my son was playing ball and it became something that we could do when he was doing his thing,” said Vollmuth. “She grew up and moved to California and I’m still coming out here trading pins.”
Vollmuth’s collection has grown to about 10,000 pins. His annual journey to Williamsport is a tradition that is permanently marked on his calendar.
“For two weeks everyone knows don’t bug me because I’m not gonna be home then,” he joked.Related Content: Fairfield Little League parents are just a little bit nervous watching their kids in the World Series
Both men agree that collecting pins is fun, but it’s really about making connections with others.
“I’ve been trading since 1964 when I went to the Olympics and Robert Bob Hayes gave me my first pin,” stated Cataldi. “In 1992, I got to meet him again. I gave him a pin back and he took me out to lunch.”
“People that I’ve met over the years are just to me…it’s more like a family reunion,” explained Vollmuth. “You see friends from all over the country and all over the world and I could see them once a year. It’s just like a family reunion.”