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 Dairy Pak Blue Walter Payton PSA 8 VERY RARE COLOR Tough Low Pop Bears*LB
$179.99

Walter Payton Gale Sayers Leaf Masterpiece Cut Signature 2X auto 1 1 BGS RARE
$600.00

1976 Topps Football Walter Payton Rookie RC Bears Card #148
$89.98

5) Walter Payton Football Card Lot 1978-1983 Topps Chicago Bears RB HOFer
$10.00

2010 ABSOLUTE MEMORABILIA NFL Canton Walter Payton Chicago Bears 3clr Jersey 1 1
$99.99

7875* 1980 Topps # 160 Walter Payton NM
$12.00

1978 Topps Walter Payton Chicago Bears #200 Football Card
$14.95

1982 Topps Walter Payton Chicago Bears #302 Football Card
$9.95

1976 Walter Payton (Rookie Year) Crane Disc NM M
$13.00

1986 Dairy Pak Green Walter Payton PSA 9 Low Pop Bears HOF *262*BK
$62.99

1986 Dairy Pak Green Walter Payton PSA 9 Low Pop Bears HOF *261*BK
$62.99

1982 TOPPS #302 WALTER PAYTON BEARS HOF PSA 8 F1971353-301
$12.99

(2) 1981 TOPPS WALTER PAYTON ALL PRO CARD #400 FOOTBALL LOT
$13.20

2002 Gridiron Kings Heritage Coll #HC21 WALTER PAYTON
$13.99

1978 WALTER PAYTON - Topps " ALL PRO " Football Card- # 200 - Chicago Bears
$23.95

1978 Topps #200 Walter Payton. Chicago Bears .. EX . *6235
$10.92
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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

Walter Payton Gale Sayers Leaf Masterpiece Cut Signature 2X auto 1 1 BGS RARE
$600.00

2010 ABSOLUTE MEMORABILIA NFL Canton Walter Payton Chicago Bears 3clr Jersey 1 1
$99.99

2008 Upper Deck Icons Immortal Lettermen Walter Payton name jersey PATCH set
$299.34

WALTER PAYTON CUT AUTO LEAF EXECUTIVE MASTERPIECE BGS SWEET!
$219.99

1991 Pro Line WALTER PAYTON certified auto signed on card
$50.99

Walter Payton Canton Absolute 2005 Authentic 3 Color Patch 25
$99.99

X 2 # 1 walter payton jersey card 15 25 AND # 1 .999 troy ounce Payon coin
$60.00

BEARS LOT 8 RC JERSEY AUTO #RD WALTER PAYTON BRIAN URLACHER MATT FORTE ++READ++
$16.00

2014 PANINI ABSOLUTE WALTER PAYTON TOTT GAME WORN JERSEY CARD #071 149
$8.25

2014 ABSOLUTE WALTER PAYTON GAME USED JERSEY 149 TOTT BEARS SB CHAMP
$7.50

WALTER PAYTON INDEX CARD AUTO PSA DNA CERTIFIED
$14.50

2010 Plates & Patches Walter Payton Gridiron Cuts Cut Autograph # 75 Bears HOF
$68.00

WALTER PAYTON AUTO PHONE CARD WITH THE COA AUTOGRAPHED SIGNED CLEAN SIG
$74.99

WALTER PAYTON SIGNED INDEX CARD BEARS AUTO - PSA DNA CERTIFIED AUTOGRAPH
$29.49

(LOT OF 3) WALTER PAYTON 1995 SIGNED PHONE CARD BEARS AUTHENTIC AUTO AUTOGRAPH
$123.49

(LOT OF 2) WALTER PAYTON 1995 SIGNED PHONE CARD BEARS AUTHENTIC AUTO AUTOGRAPH
$53.00
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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 #7 PSA DNA SIGNED 1987 TOPPS AUTHENTIC AUTOGRAPH
$159.00

WALTER PAYTON PSA DNA SIGNED 3X5 INDEX CARD CUT AUTHENTIC AUTOGRAPH
$139.00

WALTER PAYTON PSA DNA SIGNED 1983 TOPPS AUTHENTIC AUTOGRAPH
$159.00

1978 Walter Payton Signed Topps #334 Vintage Autograph Bears PSA DNA 83136867
$143.95

BEARS WALTER PAYTON "16,726" SIGNED AUTHENTIC 16X20 PHOTO STEINER HOLOGRAM
$749.99

PSA DNA WALTER PAYTON, DITKA, SAYERS, BUTKUS, HAMPTON SIGNED BEARS HELMET G57883
$2,995.00

WALTER PAYTON AUTOGRAPHED SIGNED BEARS JERSEY 5 INSCRIPTIONS STATS PSA DNA COA
$1,699.00

1984 TOPPS FOOTBALL WALTER PAYTON SIGNED CARD #229 PSA DNA AUTO #83361227 BEARS
$349.00

Walter Payton Signed Photo w Sweetness & 16,726 - Payton Holo & - PSA DNA
$1,000.01

WALTER PAYTON SIGNED AUTO 8X10 PHOTO INSCRIBED PSA DNA CERTIFIED AUTHENTIC
$85.25

Walter payton signed 8x10 framed photo with sweetness and 16,726. Steiner coa
$195.00

1978 Topps Football #334 Scoring Leaders Walter Payton Signed PSA DNA p00753
$119.00

1988 Topps Football #5 Walter Payton Record Breaker Signed PSA DNA p00755
$129.00

1988 Topps Football #5 Walter Payton Record Breaker Signed PSA DNA p00756
$128.00

1987 Topps 1000 Yard Club #7 Walter Payton Signed PSA DNA p00758
$119.01

1987 Topps 1000 Yard Club #7 Walter Payton Signed PSA DNA p00759
$119.02
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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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