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.


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Recent News: Walter Payton Memorabilia

Source: Google News

Column: Kansas junior RB De'Andre Mann plays for family
KUsports, August 21st

I try to do the Walter Payton high step, and when I break a guy down, I try to break him down like Barry. Walter didn't break them down like Barry, but he had the high step to slow them down so he could make cutbacks when he needed to. Barry, he could...Read more

Quick camp notes from Day 17
Jackson Clarion Ledger, August 21st

And after spending a few practices inside the Walter Payton Center, coach Harold Jackson didn't give a second thought of moving practices indoors. "You don't do anything in the Walter Payton Center. It's like a day in the country club," Jackson had...Read more

Emanuel alters eligibility rules for firefighters entrance exam
Chicago Sun-Times, August 21st

That includes a $14 million addition to Walter Payton College Prep and a new, $60 million selective enrollment high school nearby named after President Barack Obama, whose 2011 endorsement of his former White House chief-of-staff sealed the deal with ...Read more

Walter Payton Days Until Chicago Bears Season Opener
BearGoggles, August 4th

It's an honor and a privilege to introduce a player who is not only one of the all-time greatest Chicago Bears, but also one of the greatest players in NFL history — Walter Payton. It's equally an honor and an privilege to introduce a player who...Read more

Vote: MEAC/SWAC Challenge Walter Payton Achievement Award
Southwestern Athletic Conference Official Athletic Site, July 30th

ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, announced six nominees for the 2014 Walter Payton Achievement Award, granted annually to a player from each team participating in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney. This year's match up features the ...Read more

NFL, family salute Walter Payton on his birthday
Chicago Tribune, July 25th

On Friday, what would have been Walter Payton's 60th birthday, friends, family and the National Football League are remembering the Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back. “Obviously this would have been a big birthday for him, turning 60 this year...Read more

WATCH: Walter Payton, Joe Montana spar with Church Lady in 1987
CBSSports.com, July 25th

And though he died in 1999, we'd like to celebrate his birthday remembering the time he appeared on Saturday Night Live and sparred with the Church Lady. Despite Dana Carvey's character calling it the Satan Bowl and decrying the fans who watch it as ...Read more

Walter Payton Achievement nominees
ESPN (blog), July 23rd

The award is named in honor of the late Walter Payton, the Professional Football Hall of Fame running back who spent his entire NFL career (1975-1987) with the Chicago Bears. Payton attended Jackson State University, a SWAC school, in the 1970s...Read more