Kansas City Royals

Former Royals pitcher Splittorff battling cancer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Broadcaster and former pitcher Paul Splittorff, a member of the Royals' Hall of Fame, is battling oral cancer and melanoma, his family confirmed Monday in a report issued by the club.

The statement did not elaborate on Splittorff's condition while issuing a request for privacy.

"The family of Paul Splittorff has confirmed he has been admitted to an area hospital," the statement said, "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."

Splittorff, 64, often exhibited slurred speech over the last two years, and his workload was steadily reduced by Fox Sports Kansas City, which holds the Royals' broadcasting rights. He always characterized the problem as a temporary condition resulting from a virus.

Splittorff was often referred to as "the big left-hander" and remains the Royals' all-time leader in victories, losses, games started and innings pitched. He was 166-143 with a 3.81 ERA in 429 games in a 15-year career from 1970-84 spent entirely with the Royals.

The Royals inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 1987.

Splittorff started his broadcasting career following his retirement as a player. He is in his 24th season as a member of the Royals' broadcasting crew. His broadcasting duties also include extensive time as an analyst on Big 12 basketball games.