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