“Rob Gilks, of Cincinnati, pitcher, late pitcher of Hamilton, Ohio League club. Gilks was known all over the North as the cyclone pitcher.” “Chattanooga’s Team,” Chattanooga Daily Commercial, December 28, 1884, p4
Previous earliest use (Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3rd edition, 2009):
“Hunolt, Stockton’s ‘cyclone’ pitcher…pitches a straight ball over the plate with a speed that is terrific and of which he has perfect control” (San Francisco Examiner, Apr. 14; Peter Morris).