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

EWU's Adams has offer from Oregon
The Idaho Statesman, January 28th

Adams, from Pasadena, California, has been named the Big Sky Conference's offensive player of the year and Walter Payton Award runner-up as FCS player of the year in each of the past two seasons. During that time, he has accounted for a combined 9,367 ...Read more

Former Chiefs teammates say Will Shields deserves spot in Hall of Fame
Kansas City Star, January 28th

Shields, who was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2012 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011, also was selected as the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2003, one of the league's most prestigious honors because it combines on-field ...Read more

Thomas Davis: Man of the Year every day
Panthers.com, January 28th

Davis' commitment to his community will be shared with the world Saturday night when he is highlighted as one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, presented by Nationwide, during the fourth annual "NFL Honors" awards show (9 ...Read more

Five ways Thomas Davis exemplifies Walter Payton's legacy
Examiner.com, January 27th

Normally, athletes focus on winning awards strictly linked to their domination on the field of play. Carolina Panthers' Thomas Davis, though a beast on the field, may be honored for his charitable prowess off the field at NFL Honors on Saturday, Jan...Read more

McCourty twins honored to be Walter Payton Man of the Year nominees
Asbury Park Press, January 23rd

No sooner had Jason McCourty gained a momentary upper hand on his twin brother by being named a NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee than Devin McCourty learned that he was bestowed the same honor. Devin, a safety for the Super ...Read more

Chicago, You Scored a TD. Act Like Walter Payton
Built In Chicago (blog), January 23rd

Recently, I have read a couple of articles about the startup scene in Chicago. In one, Kelly Raymond makes some excellent arguments about why Chicago should be a startup hub. There have been other articles in the past about it. In a closed group on ...Read more

Aaron Rodgers named finalist for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award
Packers.com, January 20th

GREEN BAY -- Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has been named a finalist for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, the NFL has announced. Rodgers is one of three finalists for the only league award that recognizes a player's off-the-field community ...Read more

Thomas Davis a Finalist for Walter Payton Award
My FOX Carolinas, January 19th

Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis is a finalist for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, an award that recognizes community service as well as playing excellence. Other players nominated for the award include San Francisco 49ers receiver Anquan ...Read more