To most people, Walter Payton was the NFL's greatest rusher. To the hundreds of mourners at his private memorial service yesterday, he was much more.

Teammate. Father. Friend. Prankster. Philanthropist.

"Many of you knew my father as a football player and as a business man," said his 18-year-old son, Jarrett, who offered one of five tributes during the emotional two-hour service in South Barrington, Ill.

"I knew him as my dad--and he was my hero.

"My mother, my sister and I will miss him . . . but we know he's in a place where there's no sickness, no pain."

Payton, the NFL leader in yards gained (16,726) and carries (3,838) who missed just one game in his 13-year career with the Bears, died Monday of bile duct cancer. He was 45.

The mourners included NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and many of Payton's teammates from the Bears' 1985 team that won the Super Bowl.

"He affected so many people in a positive way--not only through athletic prowess, but through his generosity and for the way he lived his life," said New Orleans Saints Coach Mike Ditka, the coach of the '85 Bears, who went 18-1.

Baseball

Umpires State Case

The Major League Baseball umpires' union began its grievance hearing to regain 22 jobs, and owners immediately asked arbitrator Alan Symonette to dismiss the case.

Most of the umpires who were fired Sept. 2 attended the three-hour hearing in New York. Each wore baseballs made out of paper with the number "22" on them.

Owners claim the league presidents have sole authority to determine the hiring and firing of umpires, and disputes are not subject to arbitration.

Symonette said the hearing will resume Dec. 13-16 and said he expected to rule on the owners' motion by then. . . .

The House of Representatives will take up a resolution Monday to honor "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.

Golf

Archer Leads by 3

George Archer holds a three-stroke lead halfway through the Senior Tour Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Archer shot a 67 and was 9 under par through two rounds on the Dunes Golf & Beach Club. Christy O'Connor was tied with first-round co-leader Bruce Summerhays and Jose Maria Canizares at 6 under. . . . Eleven-year LPGA veteran Cindy McCurdy shot a 7-under-par 65 to take the first-round lead at the Mizuno Classic in Otsu, Japan. McCurdy leads by two shots over Rachel Hetherington and South Korea's Ko Woo-soon. The tournament is the penultimate U.S. LPGA event of the season.

Auto Racing

Andretti Speeds to Pole

John Andretti beat out three-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon in qualifying for the pole in the Checker Auto Parts-Dura Lube 500K at Phoenix International Raceway, finishing with a record lap of 132.714 mph on the nearly flat one-mile oval.

Tennis

McEnroe, Leconte Volley

John McEnroe and Henri Leconte almost fought during their match in the Cathay Pacific Champions exhibition tennis tournament in Hong Kong. Leconte was serving at 3-3 in the second set when he smashed a shot the line judge ruled in. McEnroe protested, and the chair umpire overruled the decision and called the shot out. Leconte jumped over the net onto McEnroe's side of the court and got into a lengthy and profane argument.

McEnroe won, 6-4, 6-4, and advanced from group play to today's semifinals.

Locally

Hamm to Take a Walk

Women's World Cup U.S. team member Mia Hamm is expected to participate in the Fannie Mae Foundation's 12th annual Help the Homeless Walkathon, a 5K that takes place Nov. 20 in the District. To register early, visit www.helpthehomelessdc.org. Supporters also can register on the day of the walkathon at Freedom Plaza, beginning at 8 a.m. The walk will begin at 10 a.m. . . .

American University's season-opening men's basketball game against North Carolina A&T on Nov. 20 has been designated "Always Kids Day." Every child accompanied by a parent or adult will be admitted free to the game, which begins at 2 p.m. at Bender Arena.

CAPTION: Michael Chang smashes a return during his 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 victory over 15th-seeded Cedric Pioline of France in the quarterfinals of the Paris Open.