Former Royals pitcher dies

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 2:53 PM ET

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Paul Splittorff, who spent his entire 15- year major league career with the Kansas City Royals and became one of the team's broadcasters, died Wednesday due to complications from melanoma. He was 64.

The Royals said in a statement that Splittorff died at his home in the Kansas City suburb of Blue Springs, Missouri. It was just over a week ago that Splittorff's condition was revealed.

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

"This is a very difficult day for our organization due to the passing of Paul Splittorff," said Royals owner and CEO David Glass in a statement. "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 humour 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."

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 four division titles (1976-78, 1980) and made the playoffs on five occasions, during Splittorff's career, reaching the World Series in 1980.

Splittorff retired in June 1984 when the club brought along prospects that included Bret Saberhagen and Mark Gubicza. The team went on to reach the playoffs that year and captured their lone World Series title the following season.

In 429 games, including 392 starts, Splittorff completed his career with a 166-143 mark and a 3.81 earned run average in 2,554 2/3 innings. 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 had been cut back since the start of the 2010 season because of illness.

To honour Splittorff's memory, the Royals will wear a memorial patch that says "Splitt" on the sleeve of their jerseys the remainder of the season.

Splittorff is survived by his wife, Lynn, daughter, Jennifer, and son, Jamie.


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