The news that our dear friend Paul Splittorff had passed away hit everyone in the Royals family hard. The winningest pitcher in Royals history will always be remembered as not only a great Royal but a great person. I think it’s safe to say that anyone who ever met him considered him a friend.
I met Splitt before coming to Kansas City, when I was still broadcasting for the Cincinnati Reds. The first thing Paul did was ask me what I needed to know about the Royals. He proceeded to answer every question I had, and within a couple of minutes I felt like I had known him all my life. That’s just the kind of guy he was. And when I came to Kansas City he couldn’t have been more welcoming. We’ll all miss you Splitt…and you’ll never be forgotten…
The Royals Senior Director of Team Travel/Clubhouse Operations Jeff Davenport did a great job to quickly have these patches with “Splitt” emblazened on them available within a couple of days of receiving the sad news. These patches will be worn on the right sleeve of all the Royals various uniform tops for the remainder of the 2011 season. Royals Vice President of Communications and Broadcasting Mike Swanson will also have this logo on all Royals press materials for the rest of the year.
Royals Third Base Coach/Infield Coach Eddie Rodriguez shows me the patch on his sleeve. All of us who knew Paul are aware that he would never want all this attention. That’s just the kind of guy he was. But in talking to those in uniform, they’re all proud to have it adorning their sleeve.
Fellow Royals Hall of Famer Frank White was Splitt’s teammate for 12 seasons. Those teams won a lot of games. Frank has many great memories of Paul both on and off the field. His best memory was when Number 34 helped pitch the Royals into the 1980 World Series. As you can see here, Frank’s shirt has the “Splitt” patch on the sleeve as well.