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Night to Remember: Scenes from the Panini America 2012 National VIP Party

August 5, 2012

BALTIMORE — The distinguished guests entering Panini America’s VIP party Saturday in conjunction with the 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention knew they were in for a special night before they even stepped foot inside. After all, it’s not every day that the legendary Gordie Howe, Mr. Hockey himself, greets you at the door.

To the right, DJ extraordinaire Biz Markie is providing the sounds. To the left, Basketball Hall of Famers Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld are holding court with Panini America collectors and business partners. Just behind them, Washington Redskins great John Riggins is doing the same on a night when he’s also celebrating his birthday.

The stunning sights go on and on. Just past the Panini America ice sculpture, Detroit Pistons rookie Brandon Knight is signing autographs and posing for pictures. Against the back wall, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, only one of the greatest catchers in baseball history, is engaging folks with great stories and a kilowatt smile. In the middle of the room, competitive-eating sensation Notorious B.O.B. is entertaining while others eat.

And everywhere, a room full of Panini America VIPs (collectors, dealers, distributors, business partners friends), seem to be loving every minute of it. Black Boxes, wrapper-redemption packs and good times ruled on a truly landmark night.

Check out some of the sweet scenes from the event — thanks to the sharpshooting lens of Brandon P. Cohen — in the massive gallery below . . .

29 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve McCartney permalink
    August 5, 2012 2:38 pm

    Looks like a great night! If you have any of the Black Boxes left over, I know a collector who would be interested…….Thanks for the images of the show. Those of us who could not attend enjoyed the reports.

  2. Matt Gilman permalink
    August 5, 2012 3:01 pm

    Looks like a great time!!

  3. August 5, 2012 3:48 pm

    Gordie Howes hands are enormous

  4. Lindas1st permalink
    August 5, 2012 4:05 pm

    Some people know all the right people. It’s all I can say.

  5. August 5, 2012 5:09 pm

    You guys are doing this again for Chicago next year, right? And how do I get in!?

  6. August 5, 2012 5:45 pm

    Now u guys know how to throw a bash! Tracy looks like u had a great time,i gotta say u got the life bro! Thanks for all the pictures and for letting us all see how it all went down! Live N Love Life 2 The Fullest!!!

  7. August 5, 2012 9:51 pm

    Wow! Looks like everyone involved had a great time!!

  8. Mike permalink
    August 6, 2012 8:12 am

    Does Chris Olds own more than than one white shirt?

  9. August 6, 2012 8:32 am

    Holy C*@p…. Look at all thoses Black Boxes. Now thats a Party!!!!!!!

  10. August 6, 2012 8:58 am

    Great pics, looks like a great time. I 2nd the question about Chicago…

  11. August 6, 2012 11:04 am

    Looks like just a perfect evening, a lot of talent and star power in that room. Thanks to Brandon for all the great photos and to the folks at Panini who made the whole thing possible. Big shoutout to Chad aka ThetTruth17 from the YouTube community!

  12. August 6, 2012 11:32 am

    Prusha looks tanked.

  13. ddearing permalink
    August 6, 2012 4:04 pm

    That party was a blast. I’m looking forward to framing all the photos and autos for my office. That’s me in the blue shirt with Gordie & Mark Howe and Pudge. I wish I didn’t have a beer in my hand in every picture taken. It was very funny to watch Chris Olds pull a card of his former boss, Tracy Hackler in his second silver pack. Memories for a lifetime!

  14. Jon permalink
    August 6, 2012 5:03 pm

    I was at the National and had a great time as well. I did take part in Panini’s wrapper redemption and walked away with a Towel card of Doug Martin.. that is just awesome. I opened my last pack and got a the LaMichael James 5×9 auto red. I was super happy!! Thanks Tracy for all the hard work for us, we really appreciate it buddy! Hope I can make it to Chi-town next yr. The new Panini shirts are sweet, love to get one if possible let me know. Thanks again.

    • August 6, 2012 5:05 pm

      Really appreciate you stopping by, Jon. Glad to hear you had a great time. We thank you.

  15. Ryan U permalink
    August 6, 2012 5:42 pm

    I was there and had a blast! Thanks to everyone at Panini for one of my most memorable nights in my whole life!. Hope you guys release the video soon, I know I screamed “Panini knows how to throw a party” into the video camera, lol can’t wait until next year and looking forward to my old school 1997 panini batman sticker book getting signed and the two basketballs I won in the auction! It’s amazing how much you guys have improved in the short 4? years in the sports card business….. Thanks again for everything guys! Especially the redemption replacement bags, Hope you do it every year!!!!


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