A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from July 23, 2004
Broadway Blueshirts
The New York Rangers hockey team doesn't play on Broadway, but they do play in blue shirts. The Rangers were founded in 1925; the nickname "Broadway Blueshirts" appears in print by at least 1938. From 1925-1967, the Rangers played in the Madison Square Garden that was located at 50th Street and Eighth Avenue. Since 1968, the Rangers have played in the current Madison Square Garden, located at Seventh Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets. Although neither location is on "Broadway," the old excitement of Broadway applied to the team.

A blue pin-striped shirt sold by the name "Broadway Blue Shirt" in 1924.

Wikipedia: New York Rangers
The New York Rangers are a professional ice hockey team based in New York, New York, United States. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). Playing their home games at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers are one of the oldest teams in the NHL, having joined in 1925 as an expansion franchise, and are part of the group of teams referred to as the Original Six. The Rangers were the first NHL franchise in the United States to win the Stanley Cup, which they have done four times (most recently in 1994).

Early years
In 1925, the New York Americans joined the National Hockey League, playing in Madison Square Garden. The Amerks proved to be an even greater success than expected, leading Garden president Tex Rickard to go after a team for the Garden despite promising the Amerks that they would be the only hockey team to play there.

Rickard was granted a franchise to begin play in the 1926-27 season, and he originally planned to name it the New York Giants. However, the New York press soon nicknamed his team "Tex's Rangers", and the new name stuck. Rickard managed to get future legendary Toronto Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe to assemble the team. However, Smythe had a falling-out with Rickard's hockey man, Col. John S. Hammond, and was fired as manager-coach on the eve of the first season — he was paid a then-hefty $2,500 to leave. Smythe was replaced by Pacific Coast Hockey Association co-founder Lester Patrick. The new team turned out to be a winner. The Rangers won the American Division title their first year but lost to the Boston Bruins in the playoffs. The team's early success led to players becoming minor celebrities and fixtures in New York City's Roaring 20's nightlife. It was also during this time, playing at the Garden on 48th Street, blocks away from Times Square, that the Rangers obtained their now-famous nickname "The Broadway Blueshirts".

Wikipedia: Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG, and known colloquially simply as The Garden, has been the name of four arenas in New York City. It is also the name of the entity which owns the arena and several of the professional sports franchises which play there. There have been four incarnations of the arena. The first two were located at the Northeast corner of Madison Square (Madison Ave. & 26th St.) from which the arena derived its name. Subsequently a new 17,000-seat Garden (opened December 15, 1925) was built at 50th Street and 8th Avenue, and the current Garden (opened February 14, 1968) is at 7th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station.

The arena lends its name to the Madison Square Garden Network, a cable television network that broadcasts most sporting events that are held in the Garden, as well as concerts and entertainment events that have taken place at the venue.

It is controlled by the Madison Square Garden, L.P. subsidiary of Cablevision.
The third garden, now known as Madison Square Garden III, was built on 50th Street and Eighth Avenue by boxing promoter Tex Rickard and was dubbed "The House That Tex Built." The New York Rangers, owned by Rickard, got their name from a wordplay on his name (Tex's Rangers). It was built in 249 days on the site of the city's streetcar barns. However, the Rangers were not the first NHL team to play at the Garden; the New York Americans had begun play in 1925 and were so wildly successful at the gate that Rickard wanted his own team as well. The Rangers were founded in 1926 and both teams played at the Garden until the Americans folded in 1942, the Rangers having stolen their commercial success with their own success on the ice (winning three Stanley Cups between 1928 and 1940).

8 April 1924, Fresno (CA) Bee, pg. 5, col. 7 ad:
Broadway Blue Shirts
It's the new shade with collar to match. They're smart -- fresh looking -- a very pleasant change.

22 May 1924, Lowell (MA) Sun, pg. 5, col. 3 ad:

30 May 1924, Syracuse (NY) Herald, pg. 11, col. 4 ad:
"Broadway Blue" Shirts
Special at $1.95

The popular powder blue pin striped negligee shirts with or without collars attached. They are well tailored and launder perfectly.

18 October 1938, Winnipeg (Manitoba) Free Press, pg. 15, col. 6:
Lester Patrick sent his Broadway Blueshirts through a stiff one hour drill and it appeared he will make only two changes in the line-up that finished second in the American section of the N.H.L. last season.

6 January 1939, New York (NY) Times, pg. 22:
By The Associated Press.
MONTREAL, Jan. 5. -- Unbeaten in three starts since the first of the year, the last-place Montreal Canadiens tonight held the New York Rangers to a 2-2 overtime draw in a National Hockey League contest before about 6,000 fans.

The Flying Frenchmen were unable to hold a two-goal lead against the Broadway Blueshirts and failed to gain in their race with Detroit to get out of the cellar as the Wings played to a draw with the Americans.

13 April 1940, Washington (DC) Post, pg. X19:
By the Associated Press (...)
It was the second overtime struggle of the series and the gruelling play has told on the Broadway Blue Shirts.

7 November 1946, Wisconsin Rapids (WI) Daily Tribune, pg. 9, col. 4:
By the Associated Press. (...)
The Chicago Blackhawks moved into a third-place deadlock with the New York Rangers by trouncing the Broadway Blueshirts 6-2 in the Windy City in the circuit's only other game.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Friday, July 23, 2004 • Permalink

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