“The Worcesters only went to the bat in eight innings, in which they got five men on the bases–three on safe hits, one on balls and one on fielder’s choice.” Buffalo Express, June 15, 1880, p4. [Richard Hershberger]
Previous earliest use (Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3rd edition, 2009):
1ST USE. 1889. “Murphy in the second and Farmer in the third got first on what, in genteel baseball parlance is known as a ‘fielder’s choice.’ In plain, every day lingo, three men went after the ball and none of them got it where any one of them should have caught it” (Milwaukee Sentinel, May 20; Peter Morris).