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 15, 2012
“If at first you don’t succeed, try left field” (baseball joke)

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is a popular American poem verse from the 1830s. The verse has many joke endings that replace “try, try again.”

“If at first you don’t succeed, try left field” is a jocular anti-proverb that has been cited in print since at least 1959, but began to be popular on Internet lists of one-line sayings since about 2006. The baseball pun is that “if at first (try) you don’t succeed” is replaced with “if at first (base) you don’t succeed.”

American film comedian W. C. Fields (1880-1946) is attributed with this take on the saying: “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. Then quit. There’s no use being a damn fool about it.” Other variations include “If at first you don’t succeed, you’re running about average,” “If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried,” “If at first you don’t succeed, redefine success,” “If at first you don’t succeed, try management,” “If at first you don’t succeed, try two more times so your failure is statistically significant,” “If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving isn’t for you,” “If at first you don’t succeed, we have a lot in common” and “Cooking Rule: If at first you don’t succeed, order pizza.”


The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred. R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
2006
Pg. 578:
Thomas H.Palmer
U.S. author, 1782-1861
“‘Tis a lesson you should heed,
Try, try again;
If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try again.”

Quoted in The Village Reader (1840). The identical words, except with “try, try again,” appear in a poem titled “Perseverance; or, Try Again,” printed in Common School Assistant, Aug. 1838. No author is identified.

Google News Archive
21 May 1959, Saskatoon (Sask.) Star-Phoenix, “Eric Nicol Writes,” pg. 1, col. 1:
Here is a letter from “Lefty” Wright, who says:

“I am a professional baseball player, but I been playing sandlots so long I got silicosis. What I want to know is, what is the most important rule in making good in baseball?”

Answer: The most important rule in baseball—if at first you don’t succeed, try left field.

MiriCommunity.net
ONE LINERS - PART 1
by calista » Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:38 pm
(...)
If at first you don’t succeed, try left field.

Bunch of Nonsense
One Liners
April 25, 2007
(...)
If at first you don’t succeed, try left field.

MotiFake
IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED - try left field demotivational poster
#114904 Created August 26, 2010

One Liner Jokes
Funny One Liner Jokes
Posted: September 22, 2011
(...)
If at first you don’t succeed, try left field.

CafePress
Quips, Quotes, and Sayings T-Shirts > Sayings and Quips: 26 > If at first you do not succeed try left field

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, September 15, 2012 • Permalink


I know that this is a joke but it make sense. It can actually inspire people that there’s always a better option.

Posted by boxes for moving gold coast  on  09/25  at  08:09 AM

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