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Report: Paul Splittorff has throat cancer; is near death

May 16, 2011, 5:30 PM EDT

Paul Spitoroff

I would very much like to never have to post about this sort of thing again, but it’s reported today that longtime Royals starter and recent broadcaster Paul Splittorff has throat cancer and melanoma and is near death.  He had been suffering from an ailment which affected his voice since early last year, but what the trouble was was unknown until now.

Splittoroff pitched 15 years in the majors, between the years of 1970 and 1984, all with the Royals.  He was never the ace of the staff, but he was steady through the 1970s, rising as the Royals rose to competitiveness. He amassed a career mark of 166-143 with a 3.81 career ERA. He pitched effectively in seven playoff games as well.

Sad news.

  1. florida76 - May 16, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    20 win seasons are significant achievements for starting pitchers, and Splittorff won 20 in 1973. Also had a 19 win campaign, and teamed with Dennis Leonard on that staff for those excellent Royals teams in the mid 70s and early 80s.

    Regardless of whether or not this was smoking-related, it’s a sad situation for everyone involved. I recall Splittorff did some ESPN college world series work back in the day, and did a fine job.

  2. SmackSaw - May 16, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    Splittoroff and Larry Gura were Yankee killers. I’m hoping for the best.

    • florida76 - May 16, 2011 at 8:31 PM

      Forgot about Gura, he was another quality pitcher for KC in those days. In ’78, Gura went 16-4 with a 2.72 ERA. Best wishes to the Splitorff family during these difficult times.

  3. sportsdrenched - May 17, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Split has been broadcasting for 24 years. He did TV for Big 12 Hoops also.

    You could visibly see his health decline during the broadcasts this season. Sad News.

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