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Opening Day 1986 for the Chicago Cubs saw a bit of an unconventional opening pitch, as gridiron great Walter Payton threw a football to home plate rather than a baseball. Payton, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, was fresh off a season with the Chicago Bears that is widely considered to be one of the best teams of all time. The Bears nearly went unbeaten in '85, cruising to a 15-1 record in the regular season, and throttled the Patriots in the Super Bowl by a score of 46-10. This is the football that Payton threw out that day at Wrigley Field. Payton signed in black, which rates 7/10, and the ball has been personalized and inscribed with his number "34." The Official Wilson Pete Rozelle game ball was obtained directly on the field after he threw it. Walter Payton died in 1999 of a rare liver disease, but his legacy is preserved in the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, as well as his incredible on-field exploits.
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