Eat Himself Out of the League (1907)

“‘Oh, he ate himself out of the league. Do you know,’ continued Shannon, ‘I believe more players eat themselves out of baseball than drink their jobs away. It is a fact that many men overload their stomachs at the noon meal and when they appear on the diamond they are heavy and loggy like a serpent that has gorged itself. Yes, sir, overeating has blasted many a promising player’s chances.” Spike Shannon of the New York Giants quoted in “Ate Himself Out of Job: Spike Shannon Tells Why One Pitcher Disappeared,” Brooklyn Citizen, January 10, 1907, p5

No earliest use given in 2009 Dickson Baseball Dictionary