A Panini America New Year’s Day Tribute to the Ultimate Eric Decker Collector
Long before California native Patrick Clary was wooed by the receiving wizardry of Denver Broncos receiver Eric Decker on the field, the disabled American combat veteran was wowed by Decker’s Wonderlic results. Indeed, it was Decker’s head — not his hands — that first convinced Clary to begin collecting Decker’s football cards.
Three years later, Decker has blossomed into one of the most reliable receivers in the game, finishing the 2012 regular season with an AFC-best 13 touchdown receptions. As for Clary, well, he’s managed to amass quite possibly the greatest Decker collection on the planet. This is his story . . . in his words.
Panini America Personal Collection Spotlight
Who: Patrick Clary, Atascadero, Calif.
Who He Collects: Denver Broncos WR Eric Decker
“Hello, Panini world! First, my name is Patrick Clary (father, American combat disabled veteran and top-rated eBay seller blazedad2010). I have been collecting cards seriously since 2010 when I was introduced to a hobby shop and a special Super Collector issue of Beckett. Right then, I knew I wanted to be a Super Collector myself. I started with a box of 2008 Score Select Football and pulled about the best card possible in that set: A Matt Ryan Rookie autograph #’d 13/25. Pulling one of the best cards in any set feels like you’ve won the lottery and that got me hooked.
“Why Eric Decker? I pulled an autograph card of him and started doing research. I found out that he was the ‘Wonderlic Wonder’ for 2010 wide receivers. I believe in education, just ask my kids. Zero tardies and zero absences in this house. Also, Decker was the 87th pick in the draft, he was born in 1987 and he wears No. 87. His autographs were attainable at the beginning (although they’re getting harder to obtain now that my collection is almost complete). I’ll probably never be able to finish, though — there’s always another 1/1 out there. As of now, I have more than 260 rookie-year Decker autographs.
“My most favorite Panini America product would have to be 2010 Plates & Patches Football. The presentation of the cards is unsurpassed — the less touching, the better. Don’t get me wrong: National Treasures is always top, too notch. As you can see in the following photos, I like them all!
“Thanks to all my friends on Facebook and eBay for making my goal one step closer. Especially thanks to my unit for putting up with me and my card collection, I love them very much. HOOAH!”