“He had nought to rely on except a glove and a prayer book and had not speed enough to break a pane of glass.” Cairo Bulletin, June 15, 1905, p4
Previous earliest use (Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3rd edition, 2009):
1ST USE. 1912. “All he has when he goes to the box is a glove and a prayer” (The Sporting Life, May 18).