Behind the Plate (1877)

“Flint’s work behind the home plate saved several wild pitches by Nolan, and his only error was one wild throw to second.” “Indianapolis vs. Stars,” Indianapolis News, April 27, 1877, p2.

“Mr. Cone saw this, as every other man who sat behind the plate did, and undertook to carry out the rules.” “Field and Turf,” Chicago Tribune, May 6, 1877, p7.
— Earliest use of “behind the plate” without “home”

No earliest use given inĀ Dickson Baseball Dictionary