“‘What’s that fellow’s name who acts as if he wanted to put his right foot in the water bucket near the players’ bench?’ asked McCallister of Capt.. Bird, concerning a left-handed batter who would step back as a pitch came squarely over the plate.” “Landing Yost a Lucky Trick,” Detroit Free Press, March 5, 1905, p13
“Beacher appeared to pull away from the plate the least bit, ‘put his foot in the bucket,’ as the athletes say, but he hit hard nevertheless, and if he has a minor fault in style, he is young and smart enough to correct it.” Jack Ryder, “Narrow Escape for Ganzeloids: Cardinals All But Tied Score in the Ninth,” Cincinnati Enquirer, September 6, 1908, p9 (First use of full term)
Previous earliest use (Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3rd edition, 2009):
1912. (American Magazine, June, p.205; David Shulman).