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Paul Splittorff loses his battle with cancer

May 25, 2011, 9:40 AM EST

Paul Spitoroff

Given the news we heard last week, this was inevitable, but no less sad: Royals pitcher Paul Splittorff died this morning, losing his battle with melanoma and oral cancer.

Splittorff was the quintessential crafty lefty, never overpowering hitters but always finding a way.  His durability and effectiveness led him to become the all-time leader in victories for the Royals. He was a fixture in their rotation from the days right after they entered the league and he played a huge role for them as they rose to the top of the AL West and, in many ways, became the premiere organization in the American League.

Splittorff amassed a career mark of 166-143 with a 3.81 ERA and pitched well in multiple playoff series for the Royals. His final years were spent as a broadcaster for the team.

He was 64-years-old.

  1. sportsdrenched - May 25, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    That’s too bad. I’m of the generation that only remembers him as a broadcaster. He’s been the voice and face of the Royals and Big 12 Hoops for a long time around here.

  2. lifelongroyalsfan - May 25, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    I am just old enough to have vague memories of him pitching in his twilight years as a player. The most solid memories are him as a broadcaster. During the darkest days of the franchise when the Royals were being run like the latest Wal-Mart store, he was a refreshing and honest breath of air stating his opinions during the games. It took a very confident person to blast the team that was paying him. The baseball community lost magical voice and player. Our loss but the starting rotation in baseball heaven just called up the lefty they needed.

  3. garryfish - May 25, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    As a Yankees fan, I remember him giving us fits, especially in the playoffs. Paul, Good Luck on Heavens baseball team with Harmon.

  4. Old Gator - May 25, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    I remember him vividly as a pitcher and saw him pitch against the Borg on numerous occasions. Of course, that was a name you could never forget. This really feels like it’s been one of the worst seasons in memory for all kinds of bad news.

    Craig, you’re beginning to remind me of the tall man in black in The Right Stuff.

  5. royalsfaninfargo - May 25, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Lefty is, was and will always be a legend in KC. for both his on-field and off-field contributions to the royals and the community. for some reason in my mind Lefty and powder-blue go together better than any combo in royals history.

  6. danberman4 - May 25, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Sad news. He was an excellent pitcher. It makes me recall the days when the Royals and Brewers were trying to be contenders.

    http://pinetarandbrickbats.blogspot.com/2011/05/remembering-royals-during-their-heyday.html

  7. pisano - May 25, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    One tough competitor, I’m a Yankee fan and I remember him well. The Yankees always had trouble with him. A good man on and off the field. God rest his soul.

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