Sunday, October 21, 2018

New York Rangers Matchbook Covers

Well, if everything has gone according to plan and Blogger is cooperating (harrumph) this will post as I'm inside Madison Square Garden in beautiful New York City. I'll be watching just my second Rangers home game since 1970. The last time I was in the Garden for a Rangers game was 2005 against the Sabres and I'm not ashamed to say I was very misty-eyed walking in after 35 years.

I'll try to hold it together this time.

In honor of that I'm posting my oldest Rangers memorabilia pieces, three matchbook covers featuring players my father saw as a kid in the 30s. The Rangers were the only team he and I 'shared' and I will always remember his rule on weekends when the Rangers were playing....'No TV or radio allowed'. Together we would watch the same-day taped game broadcast, usually on the basement TV. He didn't want the result known beforehand. I had usually snuck a listen to my transistor radio or learned the score from my friends on the block. I never told him though!

Ott Heller, Murray Murdoch and Butch Keeling played together in the old MSG for most of the 30s. The Blueshirts were a fairly successful franchise in those days. Between their joining the modern NHL in 1926 and 1941 they won three Stanley Cups and made the playoffs in all but one season.

Ott Heller's actual first name was 'Ehrhardt' and was known as 'Ott', never Otto, at least in every Rangers reference that I own. The matchbook cover is in error.

Heller, Murdoch and Keeling played together on one Cup-winning club...the 1932/33 Rangers. And no, I am not old enough to have seem them in person. I only go back to about 1958 as a fan.

I love the reference to a team nickname I've never heard, the Garden Horsemen, on Murdoch's cover. I don't know and can't find any backstory on that. But I like it.

As I type this early in the week the Rangers are looking even worse than I expected them to look so far. But win or lose the game I'm watching on Sunday this is my team, always and forever. #LGR


  1. Hope you had a great time. I need to find some of these matchbooks

  2. Man, those are nice pieces. I don't remember seeing those uniforms before. I think my father only went back to the 1940's with the Blueshirts, but he's no longer around to ask.

    Just because you're at the Garden I did something I haven't done in a long, long time - I purposefully went to and looked up the score of the Rangers game (1-0 Calgary in the 2nd, not good but not insurmountable). I also looked to see how many Rangers I've heard of: Kreider, Zucarrello, Shattenkirk, Staal and, of course, Lundqvist. Not great, but better than I'd feared. :-)

  3. Sorry you didn't get a better game from the Blueshirts! (Or the Blackshirts or Redshirts, if these matchbook covers are to be believed!)

  4. These are pretty awesome! I actually bought a matchbook collection a few years ago. No sports related ones though. Mostly hotels, restaurants, and casinos. Ended up flipping them to a friend who sets up at flea markets. Seeing yours kinda makes me regret that decision. They're such a dated collectible and each one tells a story.

  5. I missed the game today, I was in the Bronx seeing something I love more than cards. My first time in the City since 1995!