New York Rangers’ Greats Lay Wreath At Founder’s Gravesite

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Adam Graves and Rod Gilbert will pay their respects to the team’s founder at Woodlawn Cemetery prior to the home opener of the 2015-16 NHL season.

The night before the New York Rangers’ home opener, Adam Graves and Rod Gilbert will honor and pay their respects to the founder of the team, George “Tex” Rickard, who is interred at The Woodlawn Cemetery, in hopes of bringing forth good luck for this upcoming hockey season. At 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9, the two former players will lay a wreath at his burial site. Rickard’s grandson and the Fordham Prep Rams Ice Hockey Team are also slated to be in attendance.

Each year, at the start of the NHL season and throughout, visitors come to pay respects at Rickard’s gravesite in hopes of bestowing good fortune upon the Rangers. Visitors often leave behind mementos, such as hockey pucks, pennants, flowers, etc.

Having founded the Rangers’ hockey franchise in 1926, George Lewis “Tex” Rickard was an American boxing promoter and builder of the third Madison Square Garden. Rickard was born in Kansas City, Mo. in 1870 and spent most of his youth in Texas. At the age of 23, he was elected marshal of Henrietta, Texas, and it is there that he acquired the nickname “Tex.” He became interested in promoting boxing matches and in 1920, Tex secured the rights to promote live events from Madison Square Garden in NYC. By 1924, he put financing in place to construct a new Madison Square Garden, which was completed a year later. To compete with the now-defunct New York Americans ice hockey team, Tex was awarded an NHL franchise in 1926. The team was dubbed “Tex’s Rangers” and the nickname stuck. They won a division title in their first season and the Stanley Cup in their second season. Rickard died in 1929 at the age of 59 and is buried at The Woodlawn Cemetery. Each year, at the beginning of the hockey season, mementos can be found at his gravesite, left behind by Rangers fans with the hopes of bringing forth a winning season.

About the Company:
Founded in 1863 and located in the Bronx, Woodlawn Cemetery is more than 150 years old. Still an active cemetery with new development ongoing, it is one of the largest cemeteries in New York City and is a designated National Historic Landmark. Woodlawn Cemetery is the final resting place of many persons of note. Celebrated lot owners include artists, religious leaders, writers, business moguls, civic leaders, entertainers, diplomats, jazz musicians, suffragists and more.

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Barbara Selesky
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