Profile: Lapel Pins – 1989 US Figure Skating Championships, Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland, is among a long list of U.S. cities with a “one and done” record for hosting the United States Figure Skating Championships. And since the city consistently ranks high on the list for violent crime in the U.S., maybe it’s a good thing the nation’s premier figure skating event has not returned to Baltimore. But the 1989 US Figure Skating Championships were held in Baltimore, commemorated with two lapel pins that were a crime of their own of sorts (although not violent)—an ordinary main logo pin and a predictable mascot pin. Hardly surprisingly, the mascot for the 1989 US Championships was a crab, and that event may be the only one where a crustacean was used on a pin for a major figure skating event.
To start with, the main logo pin is small, measuring approximately 3/4″ x 5/8″ (1.9 cm x 1.6 cm). Its shiny gold surface helps to somewhat redeem the pin, which features the event logo, a blue abstract skater in a layback position, at the center. True to a design trend of the time, the year “1989” is widely letter-spaced across the expanse of the pin, with thin rules in blue above and below. If this pin were undated, anyone familiar with design of the era could immediately peg it to the late 1980s, so telling is the design. Below the skater, on a contrasting red background, are the event name and location: “U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Baltimore.”
Hardly surprisingly, the mascot for the 1989 U.S. Figure Skating Championships was a crab, and that event may be the only one where a crustacean was used on a pin for a major figure skating event.
When a crab was chosen as the event mascot, it was inevitable that the temptation to put skates on it would be too much to resist. And those in charge didn’t resist doing just that—and thereby creating something laughably predictable and bad in the process. The mascot pin features a crab with boots and blades strapped to six legs, and with legs all akimbo as if performing some sort of contorted can-can. The crab sits at the center of the oval-shaped pin on a blue background that presumably represents the waters of Chesapeake Bay around Baltimore where crabs dwell. Along the top is the event name: “1989 Nationals.” At the bottom to the left is the location: “Baltimore.” This pin is memorable for all the wrong reasons. On a gold-color base metal, it measures approximately 1″ x 11/16″ (2.5 cm x 1.7 cm).
Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1989 US Figure Skating Championships Pin: One and Done. And be sure to read the museum story for more information about figure skating pins.
Pins Gallery: 1989 US Figure Skating Championships
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