So there we were, about 13 of us, sitting around the table at the shop, after dark one night. The pack wars had been going on for a few hours already and the night was coming to a close. At this point the group had shrunk from 13 to about 6 or 7. There had been some nice cards pulled so far, but nothing huge. We knew the Lock Ness was lurking, somewhere, but behind which of the wrappers we were unsure. I was sitting back all night, hosting and keeping the ledger, up until the last few rounds. I started getting jealous of everyone ripping packs, so I decided joining in on the last few rounds, stating that I was just gonna Rip a few packs for fun and my cards will go to the winner, “unless I pull an Ohtani rookie auto” I claimed unknowingly, unbelievably and we all chuckled. A fresh box of Optic Baseball was cracked and it was passed around the table, everyone grabs a pack, I grab last. All packs were opened and nothing, so the box went around again, I grabbed last again. We all open our packs simultaneously and I immediately notice one of the cards in my packs was flipped around, usually indicating some type of hit or parallel. I flip the card over without looking and making sure to keep it concealed so we could slowly reveal the card to the group. At this point all the other packs had been ripped and though there had just been pulled a Victor Robles retro rookie blue auto, all eyes were on my pack. Slowly I revealed the card to show red chrome...then, a Rated Rookie logo...then, a red helmet and what appeared to be a left-handed batter. The room was heavy with anticipation. Revealing another millimeter of the image showed definite Asian features on the players eyes and face and we all knew. The full card, including the on-card signature of Angels rookie, Shohei Ohtani was then quickly revealed and the room exploded into a chorus of amazement and laughter and disbelief and high-fives! There it was, in the last pack of the night, numbered 13/17, the biggest card one could maybe have possibly pulled at an event like this during this particular season. It’s current value? Probably around $1200! Part of me felt bad that it didn’t go to one of the other collectors in the room, but as they themselves reasoned, everyone had first grabs and two chances to maybe get that card from that box. What a great group of collectors. So fortunate to be able to enjoy this hobby with some really cool and unique and selfless individuals. All around it was a great night, regardless of the outcome. It’s not about what you do, but who you do it with. Already looking forward to the next HOFBC After Dark! -E
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