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    Description

    1977 Walter Payton Game Worn & Signed Chicago Bears Turf Shoes from His NFL MVP Season! Walter Payton's feet propelled him to countless Olympian performances on the gridiron, some of which rivaled the Labors of Hercules, and included summitting the all-time rushing list. Sweetness' impressive arsenal of football weaponry included cat-like quickness, ankle-breaking jukes, devastating stiff arms, goal line catapults, legs that never stopped churning forward to grind out yards, high-stepping leg kicks and scissor kicks, general brute force, and a sheer iron will.

    The Puma turf shoes offered here were worn by Payton during the greatest statistical season of his Hall of Fame career, when he topped the NFL in rushing attempts (339), rushing yards (1,852), average yards per carry (5.5), rushing touchdowns (fourteen), rushing yards per game (132.3), and total yards from scrimmage (2,121). At season's end, Walter was named First Team All-Pro, NFC Offensive Player of the Year, NFL MVP, NFL Man of the Year, and Football Digest NFL Running Back of the Year.

    Comprised of white leather and mesh uppers with Velcro straps, and thick black rubber outer-soles and mid-soles, the kicks also feature Payton's vintage autograph in red marker on each shoe. Puma tags appear on the tongues, and the insides are stamped "8 1/2 1440 57 77" in green. The remarkable wear on these specimens is indicative of Walter's legendary work ethic, and includes nicely worn uppers and insoles. Also, there is dirt caked to the outer sole treads, a likely indicator that they also saw double-duty on "The Hill," a legendary long and steep incline of dirt that Payton trained on religiously to build up his unbelievable endurance. Also, the laces appear to be original.

    In addition to his legendary training regimen, technical precision in executing plays, and "never die easy" creed, Payton was also known to be meticulous in the "football armor" he chose and the way he prepared himself for gridiron combat. Perhaps the best example of this was his pre-game ritual of "spatting," the process by which a player tapes his shoe to his foot and ankle with adhesive tape. And while most spatting is performed by trainers, Payton always insisted on doing the job himself (what a surprise). Yet despite his fine spatting work, Walter was kind enough to leave just enough of his shoes visible in the photographic evidence that we were able to style-match his kicks to multiple games from the 1977 season. See Getty Images 76520013, 76520025, and 517784128.

    Provenance: Our consignor was personal friend of Walter Payton. During the 1980's, Walter presented his friend with these 1977 game worn shoes and a 1983 game worn jersey (which Heritage Auctions will offer later this year).

    As rare as Walter Payton's game worn jerseys are, his game worn shoes are even rarer. The combination of their rarity, early career and finest season vintage, and comforting provenance make these exemplars the best known specimens in the hobby and the perfect accoutrement for any collector who is looking to put a resounding finale on their Sweetness display. Letter of provenance from the consignor. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Two full LOA's from PSA/DNA.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2019
    16th-17th Thursday-Friday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 25
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,269

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