Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Paul Splittorff is a class act.  He's in the fight of his life right now against cancer.  Split graced the mound for the Kansas City Royals for 15 seasons.  I watched him pitch the very first game in Royals Stadium when it opened in 1973.  It was a 12 to 1 win over the Texas Rangers.

He played in an era when teams didn't have revolving lineups because of free agency.  Splittorff pitched only for the Royals, became the then expansion team's first 20 game winner and missed out by one year being on the only Kansas City team to win a World Series.  That still makes me sad.

Splittorff was a very good major league pitcher.  He became an even better broadcaster after he hung up his glove.  Split was equally adapt at doing color for baseball as he was handling a college basketball game.

It's been a tough week for baseball.  Cancer also took one of its greatest sluggers this week, Harmon Killebrew.  Killer had a short stint with the Royals at the end of his career.  He was a beast.  A stocky, right handed hitter, he crushed massive home runs for the Senators and then the Twins.

One of my favorite trivia questions involves Killebrew.  How did he first enter a baseball game?  Amazingly, this great home run hitter came in as a pinch runner.

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