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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Sunday's social fodder features Twitter reaction to Cole Hamels' no-hitter and ...CLTV, July 26th
CHICAGO — On Sunday's social fodder segment of Sports Feed, the guys kept it local with three Chicago-focused stories. Cole Hamels no-hit the Cubs Saturday, snapping the team's streak of 7,920 games without getting no-hit. Social media was buzzing ...Read more
Happy Birthday, Walter PaytonThe Post Game (blog), July 25th
Walter Payton was born July 25, 1954. In his legendary 13-year NFL career, Payton set a plethora of rushing records, a few of which still stand today, on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Payton only started playing football his junior year of...Read more
Walter Payton Prep Officials Vote to Cut Teachers in Face of Tighter BudgetDNAinfo, July 24th
NEAR NORTH SIDE — Walter Payton College Prep is set to cut the equivalent of nearly five full-time teachers next school year in the face of more budget cuts delivered by Chicago Public Schools. The local school council governing the prestigious ...Read more
Nominees announced for 2015 Walter Payton Achievement AwardSouthwestern Athletic Conference Official Athletic Site, July 21st
The six nominees for the eighth annual Walter Payton Achievement Award, which is given to one player from each team participating in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney, were announced today. The 11th annual game, which showcases and ...Read more
Walter Payton Leads 1985 Chicago Bears Past Packers, 16-10BearGoggles, July 16th
Greetings, Bears fans. With this being the 30th anniversary of the Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears of 1985, here at Bear Goggles On we'll be revisiting the regular season and playoff games — including re-watching them when possible — and posting ...Read more
MEAC/SWAC Challenge announces 2015 Walter Payton Achievement Award nomineesESPN (blog), July 14th
First presented in 2008, the Walter Payton Achievement Award is an honor given annually to two players -- one from each of the two schools participating in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney. The game, which features and celebrates teams ...Read more
48 Days to Kickoff: Walter Payton PrepComcast SportsNet Chicago, July 11th
School: Walter Payton Prep. Head coach: George Klupchak. Assistant Coaches: Nelson Rodriguez, Chris Griggs, Nick Halkias. How they fared in 2014: 4-5 (4-1 CPL Illini Heartland Conference); The Grizzles won the CPL Heartland Illini conference and an ...Read more
Top running backs of Super Bowl era: Walter Payton is kingNFL.com, June 29th
Earlier this month, the San Diego Chargers announced that they're retiring LaDainian Tomlinson's number (21) with an official ceremony in November. It's a well-deserved honor for one of the best NFL players of the new millennium. That got us thinking: ...Read more