Walter Payton had an incredible 13-year career with the Chicago Bears. The Chicago Tribune named him the greatest Chicago Bear of all time. He was a legendary running back who refused to run out-of-bounds and chose to deliver his punishment on defenders. Payton is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of fame. He helped the Bears win Super Bowl XX, he was a 9x Pro Bowler and was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1977. Statistically, he finished his career with 16,726 rushing yards, 110 rushing touchdowns, 4,538 receiving yards and 15 receiving touchdowns. Additionally, he still holds the record for touchdown passes by a running back with 8.
Walter Payton was one of the greatest running backs ever to play and was endeared by the fanbase of a major city. When you couple the legacy work of the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation, it’s not hard to see why his football cards are immensely popular today.
In this post, I’m going to run down 10 of his toughest cards.
1977 Topps Mexican #360 Walter Payton
Only 74 graded 1977 Topps Mexican Walter Payton cards exist. PSA wrote: “The Mexican release is tough for a variety of reasons. But it seems to be a combination of relatively limited production (especially low availability in the U.S.), a scarcity of unopened material, the lower quality used to produce them, and the way in which they were packaged.”
1976 Topps #148 Walter Payton
Walter Payton’s Rookie Card is tough because of the prices the card demands. Even with 8398 graded cards, the high demand has driven the price of PSA 8’s over $800 and PSA 10s over $20,000 (even with 52 PSA 10 graded examples in the population report).
1978 Topps Holsum #2 Walter Payton
The Holsum variant of the 1978 Topps Walter Payton card was distributed with loaves of Holsum bread. It was tough to find well centered and had a small production run. Only 78 PSA graded variants exist.
1987 Ace Fact Pack Walter Payton Chicago Bears
This card was distributed in the UK, and you had to purchase the entire Bears Team set to get it. As a result, only 29 have been graded by PSA.
1988 Wagon Wheel Offensive Lineman Van Horne Leading Payton
This card has a total graded population of 10.
1977 Topps #360 Walter Payton All-Pro
While 1559 graded 1977 Topps Payton All-Pro cards have been graded, only 11 PSA 10s have been found.
1979 Stop N Go #6 Walter Payton
With a total population of 155, the 1979 Stop N Go Walter Payton isn’t particularly rare. However, only 6 of those have achieved achieving a grade of Gem Mt 10.
1986 Dairy Pak #22 Walter Payton
Hand-cut cards are always tough to find in high grade, especially when only 77 exist.
1987 Wheaties #5 Walter Payton
There aren’t any PSA 10 1987 Wheaties Walter Payton cards. Of the 29 graded, 14 are PSA 6s.
1985 Topps Stickers #156 Walter Payton
There are only 61 graded Topps Stickers, the Coming Soon variety is more plentiful, however.
Demand for Walter Payton cards continues to grow, and his legacy continues to live on. Do you collect cards of “#34 sweetness”? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.