Sunday, August 8, 2021

Go West, Custom Card

Today's custom card was inspired by a screen star of the Western era, and features a football star who played for some NFL teams with Western-type names.

First, here's the original card, featuring actor Forrest Tucker smiling on a sunny day at the ranch.

1953 Topps Who-Z-At Star #3, Forrest Tucker

Any ideas on who the look-alike football star is? Here are some hints:

He's somewhat recently retired.

In retirement, he's been known to appear in an occasional television commercial.

Those Western-named football teams? The Colts and the Broncos.

Enough hints? Okay, here's the custom card.

It's Peyton Manning! 
Looks like he's happy that Nationwide is on his side.
Design-wise, there's not much to this card. Simple beige border. Simple nameplate at the bottom right. All I really had to do with those features was change the name to Peyton Manning, and change the text underneath from IN "SAN ANTONE" to something else. I went with IN "BRONCO BOWL" for two reasons: first, because Manning won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos, and second, because a bucking bronco calls to mind all those Western films from the era.
And there's a close resemblance between Mr. Tucker and Mr. Manning, don't you think? Sometimes when I do these look-alike custom cards it takes me quite a while to find an image of the look-alike facing the same direction, or with a similar facial expression, for example. However, when I conducted an image search for Peyton Manning, a photo came up right on the first page where everything matched up almost perfectly to the Forrest Tucker image. 
However, I still had my work cut out for me. The cards in the 1953 Who-Z-At Star? set had the Kodak Flexichrome process applied to them. It's a complicated, multi-step process that uses dyes and paints to add color to an existing black and white photo. This meant I had to take Peyton's photograph and make it appear to have a similar painterly look. 

It was totally worth it. The original cards are beautiful, and the 80-card set features lots of remarkable actors, actresses, singers, and musicians from the era.  

Other big names include Slim Pickens, Lionel Barrymore, Gene Kelly, Ava Gardner, and Errol Flynn. Oh, and there's also a card of a young lady named Elizabeth Taylor. 

But let's get to the star on the original card, because he was impressive, too

Forrest Tucker had early acting success in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and then enlisted in the US Army during World War II. He resumed his acting career after the war. Notably, he played alongside top actors like Errol Flynn, Gary Cooper, John Wayne, and Randolph Scott.

Here are just some of the famous films in which he appeared: The Yearling (1946), Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), Pony Express (1953). Aside from the silver screen, Tucker also played the character of Sergeant Morgan O'Rourke in the TV show F Troop, and even appeared on a few episodes of Gunsmoke.

As for Peyton Manning, you might know a thing or two about him, even if you're not a football fan. Here's a brief indication of his success:

17 seasons played
14x Pro Bowl
7x All-Pro
5x MVP
2 Super Bowl victories (2006 Colts, 2015 Broncos)

In 266 games, he went 186-79, posting a 65.3 completion percentage, 71,940 passing yards, and 539 passing touchdowns. He finished his career with an average of 7.7 yards per pass attempt.

Further proof of his greatness? As of this writing, 71,940 passing yards puts him at #3 all time, behind only Drew Brees and Tom Brady. 539 passing touchdowns also puts him at #3 behind the same two guys. 

He's in the top 10 in career completion percentage (65.3) and the top 5 in passes completed (6,135).

And that's that. Another fun custom card in the books. How many of you guessed the look-alike this time around?

Thanks for reading, as always.


  1. F Troop! I used to like to watch the reruns back when I was younger.

    1. I was hoping someone would recognize that show. Thanks for reading, Bo!

  2. Another fantastic custom! I didn't guess Manning, but could see the resemblance after seeing your custom.

    1. Thanks very much, Fuji! Glad you enjoyed the card. Remember that Nationwide is on your side.

  3. One of my favorite celebrity sets! Good job on the custom too.

    1. Thanks, Jon! Glad you like the custom. The Who-Z-At Star set is great, for sure.