Just last week, it was reported that Royals broadcaster and former pitcher Paul Splittorff was seriously ill. I had hoped that the reports were premature and he would be able to fight and win his battle with cancer. Unfortunately, that wasn't in the cards as he died at his family home in Blue Springs, Missouri.
Splittorff was my favorite television broadcaster the Royals have put on the air. His opinions were thoughtful, intelligent and frank. He was also a fantastic pitcher and he still holds the franchise record in Wins (166), Starts (392) and Innings Pitched (2554.2). He's a member of the Royals Hall of Fame and deservedly so.
It's certainly a sad day for all Royals fans. Paul Splittorff was a great pitcher and a better person and he represented himself and the Royals well in everything he did. He's without question the model of what every Royal should be on and off the field. He'll certainly be missed.
Greg Hall at KC Confidential is reporting that former Kansas City Royals pitcher and current broadcaster Paul Splittorff has throat cancer and melanaoma. Hall is also reporting that Splittorff "is not expected to make it through the week."
Since 2010, Paul Splittorff has been battling some issues with his voice that left him off the television broadcasts following Opening Day. It's long been reported that he had a viral infection at the root. While he's improved since then, there is still some lingering issues with his voice that for the most part have kept him on the pre and post-game rather than his customary color commentary.
Listening to Splittorff break down a game made Royals television broadcasts not only entertaining but educational. He never talked down to the audience and he always had interesting things to say. Since his voice troubles surfaced, I've truly missed his analysis. While he clearly had some trouble talking, I was always a proponent of having him back in the booth. It was never the sound of his voice that I enjoyed, rather it was the thoughts that were being voiced. I'd always assumed that eventually, he would recover and be back in the booth.
I hope that the predictions are wrong, Split can recover and once again we can hear him discuss the fine art of pitching. In the mean-time my thoughts are with the Royals Hall-of-Fame pitcher, broadcaster and his family.
Update: The Royals have released an official statement on Paul Splittorff
The family of Paul Splittorff has confirmed that he has been admitted to an area hospital and has received treatment for both oral cancer and melanoma. The family has also requested to please respect their privacy during this difficult time and to expect no further comments on his condition.