Cleanup – Cleanup Hitter – Cleanup Man – Cleanup Position (1906)

“Give Chicago, Detroit, or the Athletics one or two of those hard, clean up-hitters that Lajoie has and see how easily either of those clubs would walk off with the flag.” Topeka State Journal, July 18, 1906, p2
NOTE: This, and other articles in 1907 and 1908, refer to “clean-up hitters”, plural, on a team, indicating it refers to ability to clear bases, but not to a specific place in the batting order. (Ken Liss)

“He [Frank Schulte] is a ‘clean-up’ hitter, leading the Cubs in home runs.” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, October 8, 1906, p15 (Also in other papers)
NOTE: This World Series preview refers to Schulte’s ability to clear the bases and, indeed, he led the Cubs that year with seven home runs. It did not, however, mean hitting fourth. He hit third, ahead of Frank Chance. (Ken Liss)

“…. Bennett at second base will round out our infield splendidly and give us a crackerjack cleanup hitter to boot. Bennett is a grand batsman to hit fourth and is one of the most-feared men in the league to be coming up with runners on bases.” The Spokesman-Review [Spokane, WA], December 14, 1908, p15
NOTE: This is the earliest citation that clearly refers to the cleanup hitter in the fourth position in the batting order, though it is not clear if the 1907 citation below is used in that way. (Ken Liss)

“He [Buck Connors] sure is a cleanup hitter and just the man to hit fourth, where he has always been placed.” The Spokesman-Review [Spokane, WA], January 17, 1909, p17

Previous earliest use (Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3rd edition, 2009):
– 1ST USE. 1907 (New York Evening Journal, Apr. 15; Edward J. Nichols). Cleanup Hitter
– 1ST USE. 1910 (Baseball Magazine, September, p. 8; Edward J. Nichols). Cleanup Man
– 1ST USE. 1910 (Baseball Magazine, September, p. 9; Edward J. Nichols). Clean Up
– 1ST USE. 1911. “Hardy, who had been moved up into the ‘clean-up’ position, buzzed a line drive” (Charles E. Van Loan, The Big League, p. 171; David Shulman). Cleanup Position