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
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Walter Payton Man of the Year: Anquan BoldinYahoo Sports, February 8th
Relive the excitement of Super Bowl 50 through the lens of NFL Films in this edition of "Top NFL Films Shots". President Obama congratulates Broncos Now watching Paused Up next. 2:02.. President Obama congratulates Broncos. President ...Read more
Walter Payton Man of the Year WinnersSFGate, February 6th
1979 — Joe Greene, Defensive Lineman, Pittsburgh Steelers. 1978 — Roger Staubach, Quarterback, Dallas Cowboys. 1977 — Walter Payton, Running Back, Chicago Bears. 1976 — Franco Harris, Running Back, Pittsburgh Steelers. 1975 — Ken Anderson ...Read more
Anquan Boldin, not Giants' Eli Manning, wins Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year ...NJ.com, February 6th
SAN FRANCISCO ? Giants quarterback Eli Manning may not have taken home the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, but he was a winner nonetheless. Manning was one of the three finalists for this year's honor, which went to San Francisco 49ers ...Read more
Super Bowl 50: NFL Hunks Who Are Rich, Ripped & RighteousEssence.com, February 6th
One of them will be named the Walter Payton Man of the Year and will receive a $55,000 donation in his name to a charity of his choice. In celebration of the Super Bowl's golden anniversary, we look at some of the 2016 finalists and notable winners...Read more
Walter Payton Award nominee Eli Manning makes impact in communityGiants.com (blog), February 5th
Now they are together again as the three finalists for the 2015 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The winner will be announced during the Fifth Annual NFL Honors awards show, a two-hour primetime special airing nationally tomorrow night from ...Read more
Singletary: I read the Bible with Walter Payton every day while sickFOXSports.com, February 5th
Singletary: I read the Bible with Walter Payton every day while sick. Former Bears linebacker Mike Singletary was by Walter Payton's side during his last months, weeks and days. Getty Images. By Kevin Boilard Feb 5, 2016 at 9:39a ET. 0. Shares...Read more
Legacy Of Walter Payton Lives On With NFL Man Of The Year AwardCBS Local, February 1st
(CBS) — Six days until Super Bowl 50, one of the guests heading to the big game is Connie Payton, the wife of Bears legend Walter Payton. Payton was one of the most popular players in NFL history, and Connie will help choose the recipient of the Man...Read more
Finalists announced for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year AwardChicago Tribune, January 25th
The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges comprised of Commissioner Roger Goodell, former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, sports writer Peter King, Connie Payton — widow of Walter Payton — and former players Anthony Munoz and LaDainian ...Read more