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

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, 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

Payton College Prep's 'Stunning' Annex Approved by City Plan Commission
DNAinfo, July 17th

The school is named after Chicago Bears great Walter Payton, and his distinctive number 34 that ornaments the school will be shifted to the west facade of the new annex. The project was originally announced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel last year. It will use...Read more

Newly Released Walter Payton College Prep Annex Plans Include Gym, Theater
DNAinfo, July 16th

NEAR NORTH SIDE — The new addition to Walter Payton College Prep will include 11 classrooms, a new gym and fitness room and a "black box" theater. The $17 million, three-story annex for the school at 1034 N Wells St. is expected to open sometime ...Read more

Bears' top play winner: Walter Payton's run
ESPN (blog), July 11th

But as time ticked away on voting for the Chicago's most memorable play, there certainly was trepidation about how things would pan out as Walter Payton's rather beastly run against the Chiefs in 1977 was basically neck-and-neck with William...Read more

Bears' top plays: Payton's run vs. Chiefs
ESPN (blog), July 9th

The Walter Payton run is hands down #1!! I mean I love The Frige and the 85 Bears as much as the next Bear fan, and don't get me wrong, I jumped a mile out of my seat when Hester took the opening kickoff the distance in the big game. I just think...Read more

Sports briefs: Zenner on Walter Payton Award watch list
Sioux Falls Argus Leader, July 7th

South Dakota State University running back Zach Zenner is one of 20 players named to the initial watch list for the Walter Payton Award, which is presented annually to the top player in the Football Championship Subdivision by The Sports Network...Read more