Ex-Royals pitcher Splittorff has cancer

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 4:12 AM ET

KANSAS CITY, MO. - Paul Splittorff, who spent his entire 15-year major-league career with the Kansas City Royals, is battling two types of cancer.

The Kansas City Star reported on Monday that the 64-year-old has both oral cancer and melanoma. His family issued a statement which confirmed the diagnosis and also asked to respect his privacy, according to the paper.

A native of Evansville, Indiana, Splittorff played for the Royals from 1970-84, and remains the club's all-time leader in wins, losses, games started and innings pitched.

During his tenure, the left-handed hurler helped the Royals rise from an expansion franchise to an elite club in the American League. Kansas City won five outright division titles (1976-78, 1980, 1984) and made the playoffs on six occasions.

He completed his career with a 166-143 mark, a 3.81 earned-run average in 2,554 2/3 innings over 429 games (392 starts), and the Royals inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 1987.

Immediately following his playing career, Splittorff became part of the team's broadcasting crew, but his duties have been cut back since the start of the 2010 season due to illness.


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