We've had a lot of great sports figures come through our city over the years and without question, Paul Splittorff stands among the best, not only because of his ability to pitch, but what he represents as a man and a citizen in our community. He was one us because he never left the area, after his playing days.
Splitt was a true Royal, through and through.
He was the first player the team had under contract back in 1968.
He holds most of the team pitching records but I remember Paul Splittorff in a different way.
I arrived in Kansas City to begin my television work in August of 1970, a month before split made his major league pitching debut.
He was like a neighbor - a guy you would love to sit around and shoot the bull with. He was down to earth. He was real.
He never pretended to be a cut above everybody else. Not Splitt.
He was one of the most unpretentious people I've met in sports.
My admiration and respect for him grew after he finished his playing career.
He pursued broadcasting and boy did he ever jump in, feet first.
He started at the very bottom.
He never asked for any favors along the way and never took any shortcuts.
Splitt took a tape recorder and spent many hours doing high school games, around the area, to learn the craft.
That was unheard of back in the day for ex major league players.
He did his early, broadcasting work, on a small radio station in Blue Springs.
He was eager to learn all facets of the trade and became a very good at it because no one worked harder, than Splitt.
He battled cancer in his final months and few friends really knew, how sick Paul was.
It was his spirit and his courage that carried him through the final days of covering the team he so deeply loved.
There is now a huge void in our sports community.
He will always be remembered as a winner in everything he did.