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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Calling All Ranger (and Stars) Fans!

First, a bit of important background info:
For those of you who haven't read my profile, here's the Readers' Digest Condensed Version: I was born and raised in Texas, but I've been a proud fan of the New York Rangers since 1980, and a Stars' fan since they moved to Dallas in 1993. I have enormous respect for the history and traditions of The Great Game, and as a Native Texan, I'm proud of the New York Rangers' historic ties to The Lone Star State. How many of you are aware of the fact that the Rangers were founded by George "Tex" Rickard, who earned his nickname from his time spent as Town Marshall of Henrietta, TX? Today, the rodeo arena in Henrietta is named in his honor, and The Colonel and I made the pilgrimage last August:
I'm the rather handsome bald spot on the right

As the story goes, Rickard's New York NHL franchise was dubbed "Tex's Rangers" by the local media, and the name stuck. For those of you who haven't yet guessed it, my screen name is a play on both Tex Rickard and that icon of the State Fair of Texas, the "other" Big Tex. And yes, the photo I use is Rickard, himself.

The reason for the background info is simple: If you're a fan of either the Rangers or the Stars, I need your help in correcting a serious oversight. You see, there's another Texas tie to the New York Rangers: Brian Leetch was born in Corpus Christi, TX, and was just the second Native Texan to play in the NHL. He's had his jersey retired by the Rangers, been enshrined in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, and he's a shoe-in for the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Despite his many outstanding achievements, however, Brian Leetch has not yet been inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

I've already started the ball rolling by nominating Leetch for induction into the TSHoF. I have received assurances from the staff there that multiple nominations are NOT necessary. The way you can help, and what I'm asking each of you to consider, is to become an Official Voting Member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Yes, it does cost money, but for just $25, you'll be able to vote this June to put Brian Leetch into the (Texas) Hall. I've already signed up and forked over my $25, and you can do the same here.

I'd like to state the following for the record: Other than purchasing a membership in order to have voting privileges when the ballots are mailed out this June, I have no affiliation with the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, nor do I stand to benefit - financially or otherwise - from your membership. I'm doing this simply because I love The Great Game of Hockey and I want to do what I can to both recognize one of the Rangers' all-time greats and help grow the game in my home state by raising awareness of Texas' contributions (however small) to the NHL. If you'd like to join me in my crusade...thanks, and welcome aboard! If not, just ask yourself this: Was the joy of watching Brian Leetch skate at MSG for all those years - hoisting the Stanley Cup and becoming the only American-born player ever to win the Conn Smythe Trophy - worth $25?

Thanks for your time, and LET'S GO, RANGERS!!!

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