The RHHDAS has 1895 and Dickson's BASEBALL DICTIONARY (Which I'm late

submitting to--why isn't he online? Why did I have to introduce myself to

Christine Ammer the other day at ADS and tell her I've antedated hundreds of

her stuff?) has 1908!! "Cracker jack" wasn't rare in baseball; the term was

used before the food(?) product.

This is from the Kansas City Journal, 17 May 1888, pg. 2, col. 5:

The Derby was a fair race, but the Brooklyn handicap was a "Cracker


This is from the New York Sporting Times, 11 July 1891, pg. 5, col. 2:

Shannon is putting up a beautiful game at second base. He is the

cracker-jack of the association, all points considered.