Block the Plate (1890)

“The Ottawas completed a double play in the third when their center-fielder sent the ball to the plate ahead of Mackey after catching Wirsche’s fly. Their catcher ‘blocked’ the plate gallantly, and Mackey turned completely over his shoulder, alighting on his own head and shoulder very hard, but did not seem to mind it.” Evening Gazette {Sterling, IL}, June 3, 1890, p2

No earliest use given in Dickson Baseball Dictionary