As Walter Payton took the handoff and crossed the line of scrimmage, the dangers to defenders were plentiful. The obvious prospect that Payton might reach the end zone loomed large. But even more daunting was Payton’s style: he was not going to run out of bounds; he was not going to take a customary “slide” to avoid contact; and he was going to plow through any would-be defenders like a locomotive at dangerous speeds. While his “Sweetness” moniker and calm demeanor belied his competitive fire, Payton will always have one of the most coveted autographs because of both his Hall of Fame career exploits and his untimely passing (1999). This “Wilson” Official NFL Pete Rozelle signature model pigskin showcases one of the boldest Payton scriptings you’ll ever see. Executed in silver marker, Payton’s endorsement resonates “perfect-10” strength and clarity and is accented by his inscription of “34.” The fully inflated ball shows apparent gridiron use. Full photo LOA from JSA.
This ball was obtained at a 1997 high school sports banquet (at which Payton was a guest speaker) in Modesto, California. An LOA from the school accompanies.