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.

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Entry from October 12, 2013
“I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early”

New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra is known for his quotations ("Berraisms") as well as his play. The Yankees were playing the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1947 World Series, and Berra was given instructions on how to take the subway to Brooklyn. Berra show up at Ebbets Field very early. When asked why, he reportedly said:

“I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.”

The story has been cited in print since at least 1949.

Wikipedia: Yogi Berra
Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra (born May 12, 1925) is an American former Major League Baseball catcher, outfielder, and manager. He played almost his entire 19-year baseball career (1946–1965) for the New York Yankees. Berra is one of only four players to be named the Most Valuable Player of the American League three times and is one of seven managers to lead both American and National League teams to the World Series. As a player, coach, or manager, Berra appeared in 21 World Series. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

Berra is widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history. He was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in a voting of fans in 1999. According to the win shares formula developed by sabermetrician Bill James, Berra is the greatest catcher of all time and the 52nd greatest non-pitching player in major-league history.

Berra, who quit school after the eighth grade, was also known for his mangled quotes, such as “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over”, while speaking to reporters. Simultaneously denying and confirming his reputation, Berra once stated, “I really didn’t say everything I said.”

2 June 1949, Pampa (TX) News, “Warren’s Warmup” by Warren Hasse, pg. 13, col. 6:
The Yankees have played many games at Ebbetts (sic) Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and because of the subway confusion the club posts directions in the clubhouse of what subway to take to get to the field. But Berra has never been able to find the right express. Someone asked him if he had ever been late for a game at Ebbetts Field.

“No,” Berra replied. “I know I’m going to take the wrong train so I leave the house an hour earlier.”

Google Books
The autobiography of a professional baseball player

By Yogi Berra with Ed Fitzgerald
Garden City, NY: Doubleday
Pg. 100:
“I knew I was gonna take the wrong train, so I left an hour early.”

24 October 1963, Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, “Legendary Berraisms: Some Fact and Fiction” by Joe Reichler, pg. 15, col. 7:
When the Yankees played the Dodgers in the 1947 World Series, Berra’s first, he received explicit instructions on how to travel by subway to Ebbets Field. Yogi showed up an hour before schedule. Asked why so early, he replied: “I figured I’d take the wrong train so I left the house an hour earlier.”

Sports Illustrated
April 02, 1984
As a reincarnated Yankee skipper, Yogi Berra is working for George Steinbrenner. Is Yogi worried about longevity? No. He knows a managing job, like a ball game, ain’t over ‘til it’s over

Roy Blount Jr.
As I drove to the club, I kept thinking that over. How could he know that a given distance wouldn’t seem far to me? I thought it over so much that the distance went by even faster than I’d been prepared for, and I missed the turn. I should have remembered what Berra said about taking the subway to Brooklyn for the World Series: “I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.”

Google Books
Dim Wit:
The Funniest, Stupidest Things Ever Said

By Rosemarie Jarski
London: Ebury
Pg. 412:
I knew I was going to take the wrong train so I left early.

CBS News
By MARY-JAYNE MCKAY / CBS/ February 11, 2009, 9:13 PM
Famous Yogi-isms
“I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Saturday, October 12, 2013 • Permalink