Shaffer was an outstanding fielder, baserunner, and, as his nickname indicates, talker. He was an erratic hitter. He hit .214 in 1882. In 1884 he finished second in the Union Association batting chase with .360 and a league-leading 40 doubles. The next year he dropped to .195. His brother Taylor Shaffer, 18 years younger, was a second baseman for the 1890 Philadelphia American Association team.