Walter Payton Football Cards, Rookie Card and Autograph Memorabilia Guide

Walter Payton

Date of Birth: 7/25/1954
Rookie Card Year: 1976
Investment Rating: 9.0


Overview

Walter Payton's autobiography is titled "Never Die Easy." The title serves as a metaphor for the way he played the game, punishing defenders before being tackled. While his life was cut tragically short due to a severe liver disease but his memory lives on through Walter Payton cards, memorabilia, videos and charitable organizations.

As a result of his early death, relatively soon after his retirement, Payton missed the post-career autograph circuit. As such, his autographed items command a premium. A willing signer while alive, his autographed memorabilia is somewhat readily available on the secondary market. Unfortunately, forged items are also plentiful.

A product of Jackson State University in Mississippi, Payton received All-American honors and was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 4th overall pick in the 1975 NFL Draft. A nine-time Pro-Bowl selection and two-time NFL MVP, he retired as the league's career rushing leader. He was part of the remarkable Chicago Bears team of 1985-86 that won Super Bowl XX and introduced the world to the "Super Bowl Shuffle."

Walter Payton's rookie card comes from 1976 Topps Football. He did have some food issue releases from the same year, most notably the Crane Potato Chip Disc, which was a short print. Payton does have several autograph and memorabilia cards and will always be a popular draw in new football card sets.

Walter Payton Rookie Card

Population Reports current as of 11/13.

1976 Topps Football Walter Payton RC #148

1976 Topps Walter Payton

This iconic mid-1970s football card features a head and shoulders posed photograph of Walter Payton. It's fitting that he is not wearing a helmet, allowing his rookie card to display that signature smile. The white-bordered card has a yellow and green rounded frame that houses the picture. A football, in the bottom left-hand corner displays the team name with his position and name to the right. The card back uses a blue and orange color scheme.

1975 Topp Walter Payton RC BGS Population Report:
# Submitted: 2,909
Pristine 10: 2
Gem Mint 9.5: 19
Mint 9: 84

1976 Topp Walter Payton RC PSA Population Report:
# Submitted: 5,190
Gem Mint 10: 39
Mint 9: 412

Top eBay Listings

1986 McDonald's All Stars Gold Orange Walter Payton #34 PSA 8 Bears
$34.95

1970s football cards Walter Payton Bears
$49.99

Walter Payton 2001 Topps Masterpiece Collectables Silver Diamond Edition 1 1
$40.00

1983 TOPPS STICKERS INSERT #24 WALTER PAYTON PSA 8
$19.99

2008 Upper Deck Icons Immortal Lettermen Walter Payton name jersey PATCH set
$499.00

#18 25 WALTER PAYTON 2013 National Treasures "Century" Materials PATCH BEARS HOF
$199.99

Vintage Chicago Bears Sandknit Walter Payton Sweetnes Sz Small
$40.00

Chicago Bears WALTER PAYTON Sears Roebuck 1982 Marketcom card TOUGH Near Mint
$19.99

Walter Payton 1979 Topps NFL Football Trading Card # 480
$13.25

Walter Payton 1977 Topps Football Card #360 FREE SHIP Chicago Bears HOF
$20.00

2006 DunRuss Walter Payton #FOTG-49 GU SP Card 34 HOF Chicago Bear Legend
$79.95

1984 Topps insert card of Walter Payton # 11 of the 30 card set
$5.00

1982 Fleer WALTER PAYTON #7 BGS 9.5 POP 1 1 1 Rare None Higher Chicago Bears
$80.00

1984 Topps WALTER PAYTON #229 BVG BGS 9.5 9.5x3 Chicago Bears HOF 0390
$45.34

Lot of 6 1981 Topps Walter Payton SA Clean Edges and Nice Corners
$9.99

1981 Topps Football Stickers Wax Case Flyer Promo Walter Payton Hendricks Sipe
$19.99
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Key Cards

1976 Crane Walter Payton

1976 Crane Walter Payton

This regional food issue by the Crane Potato Chip Company is widely regarded as a classic Walter Payton card. Issued in his rookie year of 1976, it's distribution and limited availability make it ineligible for rookie card status. The circular discs measure about four inches in diameter. The card stock used resembles that of a beverage coaster, combined with their shape, they were often used as such. This card, #23 in the 30-card set, is a short print.

1977 Topps Rushing Leaders Payton-Simpson #3

1977 Topps Rushing Leaders Payton-Simpson

If fans and collectors didn't know who Walter Payton was upon seeing his rookie card the previous year, they soon would. Walter Payton led the NFC in rushing as a rookie in 1976 and was paired with O.J. Simpson on the 1977 Topps Rushing Leaders card.

1991 ProLine Portraits Walter Payton #215 Autograph

1991 ProLine Portraits Walter Payton Front  1991 ProLine Portraits Walter Payton Autograph

The 1991 Proline Portraits Walter Payton autograph is first signed card. It is also one of the most commonly used cards for forgery. The cards from this set were signed on the back and have an embossed seal of certification in the lower right corner. Counterfeiters take advantage of unsuspecting customers by signing on the front and often times, brazenly submitting them for authentication. Even if certified, your safest bet is to purchase a legitimate one signed and sealed on the card's back.

1992 Upper Deck Walter Payton Heroes Autograph

1992 Upper Deck Walter Payton

Another early Payton autograph card, this one is hand-numbered to 2,800. While that may seem like a lot today, it was a pretty revolutionary concept at the time. Because of the higher print run, this is one of the more affordable Walter Payton autographs. The artistic card design and on-card autograph make it a perfect addition to any Payton or Chicago bears collection.

1997 Upper Deck Legends Autographs Walter Payton #AL4

1997 UD Legends Walter Payton AU

This classic card features a beautiful full-bleed photograph of Walter Payton in action. The 1997 Upper Deck Legends Football set features some of the greatest players to ever play the game. That, and the use of on-card signatures, has made it one of the most popular in the hobby today.

 1999 SP Authentic Autographed Jersey Walter Payton #WPSP #/34

1999 SPA Walter Payton

The 1999 SP Authentic Walter Payton card was made by Upper Deck and is one of his first game-used memorabilia cards. It features a one-inch square swatch of jersey material and an on-card autograph. It  is hand-numbered to just 34 copies.

2000 Donruss Elite Throwback Threads Walter Payton #TT3 Jersey #/100

2000 Donruss Elite Walter Payton

Many of these cards incorporated multi-color jersey swatches and patch pieces, adding a new dynamic for Payton collectors to chase. Serial numbered to 100 copies, the Throwback Threads insert set would become a staple of Donruss products for years to come.

Top eBay Listings

2008 Upper Deck Icons Immortal Lettermen Walter Payton name jersey PATCH set
$499.00

#18 25 WALTER PAYTON 2013 National Treasures "Century" Materials PATCH BEARS HOF
$199.99

2004 Walter Payton Gale Sayers UD Dual Jersey #6 of 15
$90.00

2003 ULTIMATE WALTER PAYTON MARSHALL FAULK DUAL GAME WORN JERSEY GOLD 99 HOF
$79.99

# 50 Walter Payton 2011 National Treasures Notable Numbers Patch #17
$55.34

2004 Donruss Classics Walter Payton Classic Singles Jersey 144 150 NM Condition
$34.95

2010 Classics Football #73 Walter Payton Classic Cuts Auto Card 19 25!
$75.50

2003 WALTER PAYTON LEAF LIMITED LEGENDS JERSEY PRIME 3 COLOR JERSEY PATCH 1 1
$467.00

2009 PANINI LIMITED CUTS AUTO WALTER PAYTON 10
$599.99

2009 Exquisite Walter Payton 3 Clr Game Worn Prime Patch #6 40 HOF
$79.99

2013 National Treasures Walter Payton Game Worn Prime Patch #16 25 HOF
$49.99

WALTER PAYTON 1995 SUPER BOWL 10TH ANNIVERSARY PHONE CARD AUTOGRAPH SWEETNESS
$115.00

2006 Playoff Absolute NFL Icons Walter Payton game used jersey card #24 50
$24.99

2014 Topps Valor DAVID FALES Auto Rookie #12 99 1 1 1983 WALTER PAYTON BEARS LOT
$6.99

Walter Payton 1998 Topps Stars Rookie Reprints Auto - BGS 9.5 w 10 Auto - RARE!!
$450.34

2002 FLEER THROWBACKS WALTER PAYTON GAME USED JERSEY CHICAGO BEARS
$35.19
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Autographed Memorabilia

Walter Payton Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide

Below you will find examples of what an authentic Walter Payton autograph looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Some of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Steiner, Tristar and Mounted Memories. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.

Walter Payton Cut Signature Exemplar

Walter Payton Cut Signature

Walter Payton Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Walter Payton signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of  the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:

  1. A very unique signature written at a steep upward angle of about 60 degrees
  2. Few, if any of the letters are clearly discernible
  3. The beginning of the signature is very flamboyant and over-sized
  4. The first letter has a combination of three very distinct and different closed loops
  5. The last name has a bizarre looking "P", the pen lifts and a straight line is drawn
  6. The last letter has a significant tail following the upward angle
  7. He often would include his jersey number "34" but not always
  8. Upon request he would sign his nickname "Sweetness"

Walter Payton Signed Football Pricing:

Active Listings for Walter Payton Signed Footballs

Walter Payton signed Ball  Walter Payton official Ball  WP SteinerWP CA Sticker

Walter Payton Signed Jersey Pricing:

Active Listings for Walter Payton Signed Jerseys

Walter Payton Signed Jersey  Walter Payton Signed Jersey Close  Walter Payton Signed Jersey COA  Walter Payton Signed Jersey LOA

Walter Payton Signed Helmet Pricing (Full-size and Mini):

Active Listings for Walter Payton Signed Helmets

Walter Payton Signed helmet  Walter Payton Signed helmet close  Walter Payton Signed helmet sticker  Walter Payton Signed helmet coa

Walter Payton Signed 8x10 Photo Pricing:

Active Listings for Walter Payton Signed Photographs

Walter Payton Signed Photo  Walter Payton Signed Photo2

Top eBay Listings

Walter Payton Bears Signed Page HOF died-1999 JSA
$149.99

WALTER PAYTON SIGNED AUTOGRAPHED 2x4 MOUNTED PSA DNA #81664081 AUTO
$199.99

WALTER PAYTON SIGNED AUTOGRAPHED PSA DNA #81882843 3x5 INDEX CARD Sweetness
$199.99

WALTER PAYTON SIGNED 1987 TOPPS PSA DNA AUTOGRAPH AUTHENTIC
$163.00

BEARS WALTER PAYTON SIGNED AUTHENTIC 16X20 PHOTO AUTOGRAPHED PSA DNA #U01317
$679.99

Walter Payton Signed Auto 3x5 Index Card BOLD JSA Authentic Bears
$149.99

BEARS WALTER PAYTON AUTHENTIC SIGNED CARD 1983 TOPPS #36 PSA DNA SLABBED
$199.99

Walter Payton Signed Autographed 8X10 Photo Sweetness Inscribed Bears Framed PSA
$249.99

Walter Payton Signed Autographed 8X10 Photo "Sweetness" Inscribed Bears PSA
$211.99

Walter Payton Autographed Signed Wilson Bears Jersey Sweetness PSA DNA #S06556
$2,950.00

WALTER PAYTON AUTOGRAPH SIGNED PSA DNA 8X10 PHOTO BEARS
$299.99

WALTER PAYTON AUTOGRAPH SIGNED PSA DNA 8X10 PHOTO BEARS
$299.99

WALTER PAYTON AUTOGRAPH SIGNED PSA DNA 8X10 PHOTO BEARS
$299.99

WALTER PAYTON AUTOGRAPH SIGNED PSA DNA 8X10 PHOTO BEARS
$299.99

WALTER PAYTON SIGNED #'d AUTO PSA DNA 18x24 LITHO BEARS
$499.99

Walter Payton Autographed Signed 1992 UD Jumbo Card Bears PSA DNA #S14877
$159.00
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Resources

For general information and player statistics on Walter Payton,visit:


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Rob Bertrand is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby. He is one of the site's most accomplished writers, as well as the co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio. You can follow him on Twitter @VOTC.

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