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 September 24, 2015
“Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel”

A popular story about New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra (1925-2015) is from 1950, when the team was on a road trip. Another teammate took a look at Yogi’s shabby bag and suggested that he buy a new one. “Why buy good luggage?” Yogi answered. “You only use it when you travel.”

The remark has been printed in two of Berra’s books and has frequently been included in lists of favorite Yogi Berrq sayings.

Wikipedia: Yogi Berra
Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra (May 12, 1925 – September 22, 2015) was an American professional baseball catcher, manager, and coach who played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) (1946–63, 1965), all but the last for the New York Yankees. An 18-time All-Star and 10-time World Series champion as a player, Berra had a career batting average of .285, while compiling 358 home runs and 1,430 runs batted in. He is one of only five players to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award three times. Widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

5 August 1950, Boston (MA) Traveler, “Suffolk Ends Meet Today Knowing Lush Days Are Over” by Arthur Siegel, pg. 6, cols. 3-4:
And from somewhere comes the latest one attributed to Yogi Berra, New York Yankees catcher...Berra, it seem, was being ribbed about the battered and shabby luggage during the current road trip...It was suggested that he should have something classier..."Why should I buy something new?” Berra is supposed to have retorted. “I only use this when I’m travelling.”

24 September 1950, Oakland (CA) Tribune, “Newsreel” by Hy Gardner, Parade magazine, pg. 27, col. 2:
RIGHT BEFORE the N. Y. Yankees went on their last road trip, Tommy Heinrich took one look at Yogi Berra’s worn-out luggage and gave him a lecture: “You’re a star now, Yogi, you’ve got to make an impression. You can’t carry such a sloppy bag—you ought to buy a new one, they’re cheap enough.” “Wottsa difference,” Yogi yawned, “you only use ‘em for travelin’!”

Google Books
Champagne Before Breakfast
By Hy Gardner
New York, NY: Henry Holt
Pg. 158:
Billy Martin, the Yankee hero of the 1953 World Series, now a Yank with Uncle Sam’s armed forces, was giving Yogi Berra a little lecture on keeping up appearances. Holding up Berra’s patched traveling bag, Billy said, “Yog, you ought to be ashamed of yourself, carrying around such a shabby bag. Why don’t you buy a new one? They’re only around ten bucks. Remember, you’re a Yankee, it’s unbecoming to carry that kind of luggage.”

“So what,” Yogi grunted. “I only use it when I travel.”

Google Books
The Yogi Book:
I Really Didn’t Say Everything I Said!

By Yogi Berra
New York, NY: Workman Publishing
Pg. 47:
“Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel.”

Google Books
When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!:
Inspiration and Wisdom from One of Baseball’s Greatest Heroes

By Yogi Berra with Dave Kaplan
New York, NY: Hyperion
Pg. ?:

The 50 greatest Yogi Berra quotes
By: Nate Scott | September 23, 2015 7:30 am
Yankees legend Yogi Berra passed away on Tuesday at the age of 90. An 18-time All-Star, Berra appeared in 14 World Series as a member of the Yankees and won 10 of them.
23. Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Thursday, September 24, 2015 • Permalink