Speed Merchant (Baserunner) (1899)

Right fielder Frank of the visitors scored a home run on a hit inside the grounds. It was not as long a hit as Billy Massey’s was the other day, but Frank is such a speed merchant that he cleared all the bases before the ball was fielded home.Buffalo Enquirer, June 20, 1899, p4

Previous earliest use (Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3rd edition, 2009):
1ST USE. 1910 (Baseball Magazine, May, p. 32; Edward J. Nichols)

  • NOTE: The term speed merchant was widely used to describe bicycle racers in the 1890s and probably came from there to be applied to baseball.