Great Experiment (1945)

“No one in Canada will be greatly perturbed about this and probably Branch Rickey, president of the Dodgers who arranged the deal, considered Montreal the logical place for the great experiment.” Ken McConnell, “The Negro in Baseball,” Vancouver Province, October 24, 1945, p12

NOTE: The Dictionary does not list a first use, but notes that, according to Jules Tygiel (author of Baseball’s Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy, published in 1983), “the terms ‘great experiment’ and noble experiment were used by Rickey, but Tygiel’s publisher (Oxford Univ. Press) preferred ‘great’ because ‘noble’ referred to Prohibition.”

Both “great experiment” and “noble experiment” appeared in print on October 24th, the day after Robinson’s signing.

No earliest use given in 2009 Dickson Baseball Dictionary