- Card series: 1880s: Diamond Duos
- City: Philadelphia
- Team: Quakers
- League: National League
William James Hoover (1863-1924) was a prime example of players from the beginning of baseball who could shine at the amateur or minor league level and fail when up against the true elites of the game. In Buster’s case, the exception (the Union Association of 1884) proves the rule. That is where Hoover began in the “majors” but was really playing against minor-league caliber opponents. He wowed, hitting .364 (2nd in the league), third in OBP and slugging. Then that quixotic misadventure ended and the players had to find real homes. Buster’s was still in Philadelphia with Harry Wright’s Quakers where he hit .190. After years mostly in the minors (where he often excelled, averaging .306 over 11 seasons) he got a shot with the Orioles and hit .217. Finally, the Cincinnati Reds gave him a try in 1892: 14 games, .176. Hoover finished up hitting .305 for the Troy Washerwomen in 1894.
- Bill James has thoroughly analyzed the quality of the Union Association and found that it, like the anonymous Wisconsin dairy, could have embraced the motto: “Our Best Is None Too Good”
George Edward Andrews (1859-1934) was an outfielder for the Philadelphia Quakers from 1884-89 before becoming caught up in the turbulence of the early ‘90s when leagues and teams were forming and folding with abandon. He played the last year of the Indianapolis Hoosiers’ franchise in 1889, then for the Players’ League (John Montgomery) Ward’s Wonders of Brooklyn in 1890 and (Mike “King”) Kelly’s Killers in Cincinnati in 1891, his last season in the majors. Andrews’ lifetime batting average was .257 with more hits (830) than games played (774).
- The speedy Andrews stole 35+ bases three times, including a NL-leading 56 in 1886
- The Ohio native was a rare college graduate in the early days of baseball, an alumnus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland