Thirteen seasons with the Chicago Bears brought good luck to running back Walter “Sweetness” Payton. Drafted fourth overall in 1975, the stutter-stepping All-American from Jackson State University broke Jim Brown’s career rushing record in 1984, and ended his career as the NFL’s leader in rushing yards—Emmitt Smith subsequently broke Payton’s record in 2002.

After retiring at the end of the 1987 season, Payton was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993. Well respected both in and out of football circles, Payton should have had a long and rich post-football career, but his time was cut short when he died in 1999 from cancer caused by a rare liver disease.

In his honor, the city of Chicago added organ-donor information to its vehicle registration mailings, a cause that Payton had championed in the last months of his brief but brilliant life.

Payton’s 1976 Topps rookie card is one of the most collectible football cards of the postwar era. Also highly prized is the Payton card from a 33-card set that Topps produced for Holsum Bread. In 1977, Payton and Buffalo Bills running back O.J. Simpson appeared on a card together, and in 1979 Payton was paired with Houston Oilers running back Earl Campbell.

Because Payton missed the rapid rise in autographed merchandise in the 21st century, signed Payton collectibles are relatively rare, causing the prices for his signed number-34 jerseys and both his Riddell team and commemorative Hall of Fame helmets to be somewhat higher than those of his peers.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Vintage Football Card Gallery

Vintage Football Card Gallery

This great database of pro and collegiate football cards from the 1950s and 1960s offers scanned images of cards fo… [read review or visit site]

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1999 Upper Deck Super Signatures Walter Payton Auto /150 Rare Bears1976 Topps Football Wax Pack - Psa Mint 9 - Walter Payton Rc?1976 Topps #148 Walter Payton Chicago Bears Rc Rookie Hof Psa 8.5 Nm-mt+1976 Topps Football #148 Walter Payton Chicago Bears Rc Rookie Hof Psa 8 Nm-mt Walter Payton - Mike Ditka - Gale Sayers - Dick Butkus Signed Football Psa & JsaWalter Payton 1995 Signed Phone Card Chicago Bears Authentic Auto Autograph6 Jersey Patch /75 Walter Payton Barry Sanders Matt Forte Brian Piccolo UltimateWalter Payton Autographed Signed 12-8-1986 Sports Illustrated Magazine Auto Jsa Walter Payton Signed Calling Card Psa/dna Auto Chicago Bears Hof Deceased 1999Chicago Bears Walter Payton Nfl Legends Series 2 Mcfarlane Figure1977 Topps Football All Pro #360 Walter Payton Bears Hof Psa 9 Mint Centered Walter Payton 1976 Topps Football Rookie Card (#148) - BearsWalter Payton Chicago Bears Throwback Jersey Blue Size 50 Large NewChicago Bears Jersey 34 Walter Payton Blue Home Jersey Mitchell & Ness1976 Topps Walter Payton Rc #148 Bears Bvg 7 Near MintLot Of (3) Walter Payton Signed Silver Autograph Auto Card Walter Payton Co CoaWalter Payton Signed Calling Card Psa/dna Auto Chicago Bears Hof Deceased 19992010 Plates And Patches Walter Payton Gridiron Cut Autograph #36/75! $250 Bv!Walter Payton Signed Index Card Bears Auto - Psa/dna Certified Autograph1991 Pro Set #1 Walter Payton Bears Hof Signed Psa/dna Auto Deceased 1999Mcfarlane Nfl 2006 Legends Series #2 Walter Payton Bears Figurine (rare)Walter Payton Signed 16x20 Photo Auto Psa/dna Loa Bears Hof Deceased 1999Walter Payton Chicago Bears Throwback Jersey Blue Size 52 Xl New1987 Topps Box Bottom Set (16) Joe Montana John Elway Walter Payton Dan MarinoWalter Payton Chicago Bears Jersey*signed*walter Payton *sweetnessWalter Payton 1976 Topps Rc Rookie Card # 148 Sweet Look At Corners Tried To Get1986 Topps #7 Walter Payton Rb Psa 10 Bears Hof [495]Mens Walter Payton Jersey, Brand New.1976 Topps Football Complete Set 528 Cards Ex/mt Walter Payton Rookie1976 Walter Payton Rookie Card Graded Psa Nm-71988 Topps Football Setbreak #5 Walter Payton Hof Bears Psa 10 Gem Mint Walter Payton Autographed Football1991 Pro Set #1 Walter Payton Bears Hof Signed Psa/dna Auto Deceased 1999Walter Payton Rookie 1976 Crane Disc Psa Mint 9 Chicago Bears2014 Elite Walter Payton Throwback Threads 2 Color Game Worn Patch # 7/101987 Topps American/uk Set (88) Joe Montana Walter Payton John Elway Dan MarinoWalter Payton Chicago Bears Mitchell & Ness Nfl Jersey Mike Ditka Hall Of Fame(45) Card Lot Of O.j. Simpson, Walter Payton, Joe Namath And Johnny Unitas $$$$2012 Hallmark Keepsake Football Ornament Walter Payton Chicago Bears1976 Topps Walter Payton Reprint Rookie Card Great Price!1982 Topps #302 Walter Payton Nrmt-mintNew!! 2011 Timelesstreasures Walter Payton/chic. Bears Patch Ser. No. 117 Of 250Walter Payton 2012 Certified Immortals Game Used Jersey /199 BearsWalter Payton Autograph Full Size Helmet Sweetness 16,726 Yards1976 Topps Football Ex-mt-nmint Complete Set - Walter Payton Rookie1976 Topps Walter Payton Psa 5Vintage Chicago Bears Walter Payton Soldier Field 1987 Poster Kfc 22x29Walter Payton Jersey ~chicago Bears~ Authentic Nfl Game Jersey ~ Reebok Size 52Rare 1980 Topps Walter Payton #160 Graded Psa 8!!Walter Payton - Psa 8 - 1983 Topps #36 - No ReserveWalter Payton - Psa 8 - 1984 Topps #228 - No ReserveChicago Bears Walter Payton Authographedjersey By1985 Players And CoachesWalter Payton Signed Auto 1991 Pro Set Card Psa/dnaVtg & Rare Chicago Bears Walter Payton Sweatershirt Large Champion Football Nfl(1) 1976 Topps Football Unopened Wax Pack - Possible Walter Payton Rc ? 11975 Walter Payton Chicago Bears Football Sewn Jersey Adult 601975 Mitchell & Ness Rookie Walter Payton Chicago Bears Throwback Jersey Size 601998 Chicago Bears Fan Convention Walter Payton Hof Psa 10 Gem MintHuge Sports Card Collection! Rookies! Stars! Baseball! Football! Walter Payton!1976 Sports Illustrated - Walter Payton 1st Cover - 11/22/1976 - Good Condition

Recent News: Walter Payton Memorabilia

Source: Google News

Unconventional Preview: Anyone Else Kind of Like Jay Cutler? No? OK, then, October 24th

Chad Finn is the sports media columnist for the Globe and writes the irreverent Touching All the Bases blog for A frequent panelist on Globe 10.0 and the Red Sox Podcast, he previously worked at the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire...Read more

Marshaun Coprich named to Walter Payton Award Watch List
Vidette Online, October 14th

Illinois State University junior running back, Marshaun Coprich, has earned a spot on the Walter Payton Award Watch List, presented by The Sports Network. Coprich has rushed over 100 yards in each of the Redbirds' five games this season along with ...Read more

Prukop added to Walter Payton Award watch list
NBC Montana, October 14th

Prukop added to Walter Payton Award watch list. After back to back outstanding offensive performances, Montana State quarterback Dakota Prukop has been added to the Walter Payton Award watch list...Read more

Happy Anniversary: Walter Payton breaks Jim Brown's rushing record, October 7th

Jim Brown might still be considered the greatest running back of all time. Or you could think about Barry Sanders or O.J. Simpson or Emmitt Smith. But on this day 30 years ago, another one of the best and maybe the greatest ever, the Chicago Bears' own ...Read more

NU's Fitzgerald has high praise for Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon
Chicago Tribune, October 3rd

To a generation of Chicago football fans Walter Payton was unmatched. From the late 1970s to the early '80s, he was about the only reason to watch the Bears. "He was the best," said Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, born in 1974 and raised in Orland...Read more

Pat Fitzgerald Compares Wisconsin Running Back Melvin Gordon To Walter ...
College Spun, September 30th

There aren't many higher compliments that someone from Illinois can give a football player than comparing them to Walter Payton, and that is exactly what Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald did when discussing Wisconsin star Melvin Gordon. Northwestern ...Read more

ASU's Cyrus Added to Payton Award Watch List
Southwestern Athletic Conference Official Athletic Site, September 30th

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Alabama State running back Malcolm Cyrus (Autaugaville, Ala./Autaugaville) has been added to the Walter Payton Award Watch List, announced Tuesday. The Payton Award honors the most outstanding player in the ...Read more

Johnson Named To Walter Payton Watch List
Gilmer Mirror, September 30th

NACOGDOCHES – Stephen F. Austin senior running back Gus Johnson has been added to the 2014 Walter Payton Award Watch List, announced today by The Sports Network. Johnson is looking to follow in the footsteps of his current position coach, Jeremy ...Read more