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Jackpot’s June 2022 Pack of the Month

Jackpot’s June 2022 Pack of the Month

As part of an ongoing feature from Jackpot Sports Cards, I want to share some of the excitement and nostalgia I enjoy from collecting some of the greatest packs of trading cards to ever exist.

That being said, whenever I have something particularly spectacular to showcase, I’m going to post it here, and provide some background on the cards in question, and/or the athletes featured on them.

So, to kick things off, I figured I’d better pull out the big guns and start this series off with a bang by highlighting what is currently my favorite pack of all time.

The only problem is, I’m not sure how I’m going to top this one!


This Month’s Pack: 1976 Topps Football Cello Pack (PSA 10) with Walter Payton Rookie Card on Top

I can’t imagine a better way to begin Jackpot Sports Cards’ Pack of the Month feature than by showcasing this recently acquired (and personal favorite) vintage unopened cello pack masterpiece.

This perfect pack features Walter Payton’s first card on top of the pack along with Jerry Smith’s final card (facing outwards) on the back of the pack.

Of the 31 PSA-graded cello pack examples from Topps 1976 Football Series featuring a Walter Payton rookie card on the top of the pack, this is the only perfect 10 grade in existence!


Walter Payton was once described by his head coach, Mike Ditka, as “The greatest football player that I have ever seen, but even greater as a human being.”

The man, who many referred to as “Sweetness,” was a natural running back superstar. In fact, in the first high school football game Payton played in, he scored a 65-yard touchdown on his very first carry.

Over a two-year high school football career, the future NFL icon scored at least one touchdown in every single game.

After being passed over by SEC schools and decommitting from Kansas State, Payton eventually landed at Jackson State University.

He won the HBCU College Player of the Year Award twice, while amassing 3600 rushing yards and 65 touchdowns during his college career.

The Chicago Bears drafted him with the fourth pick in the 1975 NFL Draft.

In the NFL, Payton went on to become the greatest running back the league had ever seen.

After starting 170 consecutive games as a running back over a 12-year span, at the time of his retirement, the Chicago Bears legend held the league records for most rushing yards, most all-purpose yards, most rushing touchdowns, most rushing yards in a game, most games with 100+ yards from the line of scrimmage, and most consecutive seasons leading the league in rushing attempts.

While some of his records were eventually broken, many football historians agree that Walter Payton should be ranked #1 on the NFL’s greatest player list.

In early 1999 Payton announced that he had a very rare liver disease, which eventually led to bile duct cancer.

The nimble superstar died on November 1, 1999, at the very young age of 45.

The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is now given annually to a player who demonstrates consistent community service achievements during the season, and many consider winning his award to be a greater achievement than winning league MVP.

On the flip side of this incredible pack is Jerry Smith’s final football card.

Smith was an exceptional tight end for the Washington Redskins for 13 seasons.


In fact, when he retired, Smith held the NFL record for most touchdowns by a tight end.

Sadly, in August of 1986, he became the first former professional athlete to announce that he had contracted AIDS. He died only a few months later at the age of 43.

Decades later, in 2014, the NFL Network premiered a much-deserved one-hour special documentary on Smith’s life.

At any rate, this flawless piece of vintage unopened history grades out perfectly with razor-sharp corner folds, perfect pack centering, and bright coloring.

Even the centering of the top and back cards, featuring Payton and Smith, respectively, is near perfect!

Currently, this pack is not available for sale, but we will be showcasing it for viewing at The National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City this summer from July 27th through July 31st at booth #161.


Are you looking to start collecting or investing in impressive packs like the one showcased above?  You should start by searching through my online store. And if you want to learn more, and connect with fellow card collectors, you should check out Jackpot Sports Cards on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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