George W. Shaffer
born George W. Shafer
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 165 lb.
- Debut May 23, 1874
- Final Game September 13, 1890
- Born October 4, 1851 in Philadelphia, PA USA
- Died January 22, 1922 in Philadelphia, PA USA
Brother of Taylor Shafer, Orator Shafer was a pretty good hitter, but is most famous for three other things. First, he was a talker, which got him the nickname "Orator". Second, he showed up regularly, allowing him to lead his league in games played several times. Third, he was one of the top players of his era in terms of getting outfield assists (only Jimmy Ryan and George Van Haltren from his general time period have more lifetime outfield assists).
Shafer started pro play in the National Association in 1874, but became an everyday player in 1877, appearing in every one of the 1877 Louisville Grays games. The following year, again leading the league in games played, he was the strongest hitter in the 1878 National League, with an OPS+ of 184. However, he moved around a lot during his 13-year major league career, playing for ten teams - he was with no team longer than three years. He was very successful in the 1884 Union Association, but the league lasted only one year. In his last major league year, with the 1890 Athletics, he was still an above-average hitter.
Defensively, he hit a peak with 50 assists in right field in 1879, which is still the record.
The 1877 Louisville Grays were a team plagued by scandal, but Shafer was not involved.
- UA Doubles Leader (1884)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1884)
- Assists, outfielder, season, 50, 1879