“The St. Louis and Hartford clubs play their second game at the Grand Avenue park to-day, and a close contest is anticipated. Betting favors the home team.” “Ball and Bat,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 25, 1875, p8
Previous earliest use (Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3rd edition, 2009):
1878. “The home team responded with one run, made on two safe hits and a sacrifice.” (Cincinnati Commercial, May 22; Peter Morris).