The Collection

Sports memorabilia and related musings...

Walter Payton, Sweetness

Walter Payton was the first pro athlete that I actively paid attention to while I was growing up in suburban Chicago.  From about 1980 or so onwards.  There was never anything that you could knock this guy for...he was always the epitome of the role model athlete, and the way he played was fun and awe inspiring to watch.  The fact that he would often be the first to get back on his feet after a play, and help up the guy who just tackled him, was not lost on anyone.  I don't think that any running back has had as effective a stiff-arm as did, -his strength was tremendous.  I still can see in my mind's eye a rushing play against the Tampa Bay Bucs, where Walter was approaching the endzone, with a defender running at him from a sharp angle to try and cut him off.  Walter threw his hand out in front of the guy, hit him in the chest, and then glided by as the would-be tackler landed on his back at Walter's feet...

He had fun playing the game, he worked hard to excel at the game, and he understood the importance of his personality and celebrity to the community.  I openly cried when I learned that he had passed.  There are few public figures who have ever been worth respecting.  He earned it.

The cards below contain a completed Basic Set of his regular issue Topps cards, from 1976 through 1987.

The Walter Payton Card Collection