Royals Hall of Fame pitcher Paul Splittorff passes away at age 64; team to wear memorial patch
The Kansas City Royals are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Royals’ Hall of Fame pitcher and broadcaster Paul Splittorff, 64, due to complications from melanoma. The all-time winningest pitcher in franchise history passed away this morning at the family home in Blue Springs, Mo.
“This is a very difficult day for our organization due to the passing of Paul Splittorff,” said Royals Owner and CEO David Glass. “My prayers go out to Lynn, Jennifer and Jamie, who like all of us will miss him terribly. Paul was a lifer as a Kansas City Royal, first as a stalwart on the field who became the winningest pitcher in franchise history and then transforming himself into an outstanding broadcaster. We will not only miss the insight and humor that he injected into every telecast, but most importantly we will miss his friendship. He epitomized class and was always a great ambassador for the Kansas City Royals.”
Splittorff’s entire big league career was spent in a Royals uniform from 1970-1984, where he compiled a record of 166-143 with a 3.81 ERA in 429 appearances, including 392 starts. The club’s 25th-round pick in the 1968 amateur draft is the Royals’ all-time leader in wins, starts and innings pitched (2,554.2) and was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1987. Splittorff, who became the club’s first 20-game winner in 1973, averaged nearly 15 wins and 220 innings per season from 1972-1980. He made seven postseason appearances, including four starts, going 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA. He started the 1980 ALCS Game 3 clincher at Yankee Stadium, allowing just one run in 5.1 innings.
Upon retiring from baseball in 1984, Splittorff worked in broadcasting as both an analyst and in play-by-play. 2011 was his 24th season as a Royals television broadcaster and he also worked basketball games for the Big 8 and Big 12 conferences as well as local high school events.
Splittorff was born in Evansville, Ind., and was raised in Arlington Heights, Ill., where he graduated from Arlington High School. He starred in both baseball and basketball at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, before being selected by the Royals. Splittorff is survived by his wife, Lynn, daughter, Jennifer, and son, Jamie.
To honor Splittorff’s memory, the Royals will wear a memorial patch that says “Splitt” on the sleeve of their jerseys the remainder of the season. Funeral arrangements and other plans to honor Splittorff will be announced at a later date.