“Second division mud is very adhesive–most distressingly so.” Sporting Life August 15, 1891 p. 9, from J. F. Donnolly’s column. [Richard Hershberger]
Previous earliest use (Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3rd edition, 2009):
1ST USE. 1895. “The Baltimores, the winners of the flag last year, are not playing the ball they played last year, and the team is now down in the second division” (Atlanta Constitution, May 3; Peter Morris).