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 February 23, 2016
“Take it with a grin of salt”

To “take it with a grain of salt” means not to worry too much about something. ‘Grin of salt” is a popular malaprop of “grain of salt.” Baseball pitcher Bob Feller (1918-2010) had his father root for him in a 1938 game, but said that he’d lost his fastball; his father said to take that statement “with a grin of salt.”

The Yankees won the first game of the 1953 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers (the Yankees would win the Series in six games), and the press asked Yankees catcher Yogi Berra (1925-2015) about a critical umpire’s call. Berra said:

“I’ll take the umpire’s word for it, and you can take all that hollering from the Dodger fans with a grin of salt.”

“Grin of salt” is often included in the long list of Yogi Berra’s colorful language, called “Yogisms” or “Berraisms.”


Wikipedia: Grain of salt
“(With) a grain of salt,” (or “a pinch of salt") is an idiom of the English language, which means to view something with skepticism, or to not take it literally.

History
Theories of the phrase’s origin include Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia, regarding the discovery of a recipe for an antidote to a poison. In the antidote, one of the ingredients was a grain of salt. Threats involving the poison were thus to be taken “with a grain of salt”, and therefore less seriously.

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, Berra was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

Wikipedia: 1953 World Series
The 1953 World Series matched the 4-time defending champions New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers in a rematch of the 1952 Series, and the 4th such matchup between the two teams in the past seven seasons. The Yankees won in 6 games for their 5th consecutive title—a mark which has not been equalled—and their 16th overall.

26 July 1938, Hutchinson (KS) News, “Feller Family to Be In There, Rooting For Young Bob Today” (AP), pg. 2, col. 2:
“Dad” Feller, who arrived from Iowa with the family late yesterday, took his stalwart son’s statement “with a grin of salt.”
(Baseball pitcher Bob Feller’s statement was that he had lost his fastball.—ed.)

1 October 1953, Lubbock (TX) Evening Journal, “Yogi Berra’s Play Praised” by Lawton Carver (INS), sec. 2, pg. 5, col. 1:
Berra was among those who could not say for sure whether Hodges was safe or out on the game’s one heatedly disputed play.

“I’ll take the umpire’s word for it,” he said, “and you can take all that hollering from the Dodger fans with a grin of salt.”

16 August 1971, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “The Best of Yogi” by John Hall, pg. D3, col. 1:
Berra, the philosopher, asked to comment on a controversial play that was the turning point in a World Series win over the Dodgers: “I’ll take the umpire’s word. You can take all that hollering from the Dodger fans with a GRIN of salt.”

Google Books
Ya Gotta Believe!:
The 40th Anniversary New York Mets Fan Book

By Michael Lichtenstein
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press
2002
Pg. 27:
“Take it with a grin of salt.”
("Yogisms."—ed.)

Newsweek
YOGI BERRA’S MOST MEMORABLE SAYINGS
BY MICHELE GORMAN ON 9/23/15 AT 2:04 PM
(...)
On advice:
“Take it with a grin of salt.”

Twitter
Dan DeLuca
‏@Dan_DeLuca_Pro
Take it with a grin of salt. - Yogi Berra #quote #YogiBerraRIP
2:01 PM - 16 Feb 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Tuesday, February 23, 2016 • Permalink