Walter Payton Rookie Card Guide

There is technically only one traditional Walter Payton rookie card. The 1976 Topps #148 card.

However, 3 different speciality rookie cards, known as disc cards, were also produced in 1976. All featuring the same basic design.

Walter Payton Rookie Cards Collage

Instead of sporting the traditional rectangular shape of regular sports cards of the day. These cards contained a circular shape, each measuring roughly 3 and 3/8 inches in diameter. 

Because of his all-time great career and the fact that he began his playing days in the mid-70s, a time before cards were produced in high numbers, Walter Payton football cards are very collectible. Below is a Walter Payton rookie card guide and some extra memorabilia items. 

4. 1976 Walter Payton Crane Disc

Estimated PSA 10 Price – $275

Estimated PSA 9 Price – $75

Walter Payton Crane Disc

Crane was originally a potato chip manufacturer company headquartered in Southern Illinois that was eventually bought out by the well-known Jays Foods corporation.

In 1976, the company opted to produce its own set of football cards which showcased an atypical circular design. It is the most common disc card set contained on this list and features 30 separate cards of various NFL players. This set includes well-known stars of the day such as Roger Staubach and Terry Bradshaw.

The Crane disc Walter Payton rookie card has a creamy white background and displays a close-up picture of Payton’s head without a helmet. With the Crane company name listed at the top. Payton’s name, team name, and position are listed to the right, left, and bottom of the picture respectively.

Walter Payton Crane Disc, rear of disc

The NFL Players Association football logo is also presented on the front of the card on the bottom right between Payton’s name and position. The edges of the card contain a green border with various player and NFL information listed on it. While the rear displays the Crane company name and logo. 

3. 1976 Walter Payton Coke Disc

Estimated PSA 10 Price – $1,000

Estimated PSA 9 Price – $250

Walter Payton 1976 Coke Disc

Coke released its own set of disc cards. Each coming attached to Coca-Cola products by a paper tab.

Incidentally, the above prices refer exclusively to Coke disc cards that still have the paper tab attached. These are more valuable, desirable, and collectible than those without the paper tab.

Other than the paper tab, this disc card contains the same frontal design as the Crane disc card. Except that the card lists the Coca-Cola logo at its top. It contains a red border, and lists a Chicago Bears helmet on the bottom left between the Chicago Bears team name and Payton’s position.

1976 Walter Payton Coke Disc back of disc

The rear lists the company slogan “Coke adds life to…halftime fun” along with the company logo/trademark.

2. 1976 Walter Payton Saga Disc

Estimated PSA 10 Price – $1,500

Estimated PSA 9 Price – $400

1976 Walter Payton Saga Disc Rookie Card

By far the rarest disc card series on this list. The 1976 Saga disc card set was released among schools in the Philadelphia School District during lunchtime.

Because these cards had such a limited distribution and many of them were either thrown away or damaged. They possess plenty of value in PSA 9 and 10 conditions.

The design on the front of this card is almost identical to the Crane disc card. Except that it displays 4 black stars at the top of the card.

1976 Walter Payton Saga Rookie Disc back of disc

The rear of the card lists different information/phrases. Iincluding “Saga Philadelphia School District,” “A Collectors and Traders Item,” and “Nutrition is Body Ecology.” 

1. 1976 Topps Walter Payton Rookie Card #148

Estimated PSA 10 Price – $75,000

Estimated PSA 9 Price – $5,500

1976 Topps Walter Payton Rookie Card #148

One of the best football cards of the 1970s. The #148 Walter Payton rookie card can easily be the crowning piece of any person’s memorabilia collection.

The card itself employs a white border. With a second, yellow border outlining a close-up picture of Payton from the chest upward without a helmet. Payton himself displays a calm, cool smile. Indicative of the class and composure he would so often showcase throughout his legendary career with the Bears.

The bottom left of the card contains a green football logo with yellow lettering listing the word “Bears”. While the bottom right lists Payton’s name and position.

The rear incorporates a horizontal layout and displays the classic 1970s Topps burnt orange background. Interspersed with dark blue and white. It also lists Payton’s 1975 season stats, player information, and a summary of his 1975 rookie season.

1976 Topps Walter Payton Rookie Card #148 back of card

One interesting feature of this card is that the right side contains a clue about a mystery Bears player. With other Bears cards in the 1976 Topps set containing other clues to help the card owner figure out the identity of the player. 

Extra Memorabilia 

Because Walter Payton tragically passed away in 1999 at the age of 46 due to complications from bile duct cancer, his memorabilia is limited and very valuable.

Some of his best memorabilia items are currently available on With a wide variety of options suitable for all kinds of collectors.

An autographed Wilson NFL game football, displayed in a glass case, is available for $7,257.99.

Walter Payton Vintage signed NFL Football

An option only in the price range of high-end collectors is an autographed and heavily inscribed vintage Chicago Bears helmet, selling for a hefty $20,839.99.

Walter Payton Inscribed Helmet

A 16-inch by 20-inch framed photo commemorating the ’85 Bears, with 31 signatures from the team including Payton, Jim McMahon, and head coach Mike Ditka, retails for $3,278.99.

Another great autographed photograph option is a 16-inch by 20-inch picture commemorating Payton, with a collage of several different photos within the main picture display. This photograph also contains a brief career summary and lists some of Payton’s accomplishments and is available for $415,99.

Walter Payton super bowl champs 1985

Finally, a Chicago Bears FS suspension football helmet autographed by both Payton and Gale Sayers can be purchased for $10,717.99. 

Bruno Breen

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