I have many great memories of Paul Splittorff. Sitting in Royals Stadium (before it was re-monikered “The K”) and watching that sweet left arm confound the damned Yankees is probably one of my favorites. But I also got to shake his hand in Allen Field House shortly after he got done broadcasting a Kansas Jayhawks basketball game. (Never quite sure how a Royals pitcher became the commentary guy for college basketball…but he did ok.)
I told Paul Splittorff then “Thanks for all the memories.” He brushed it off and moved on. I’ve also had the chance to say pretty much the exact same words to Freddie Patek and Frank White. What else is there to say? I miss those Royals. True, they were good. Really good. ’76, ’77, ’78 & 1980. Three Division Titles and one American League Pennant. Paul and Freddie retired before the Royals won the ’85 World Series. But in my mind, they were still apart of that tradition that helped the Royals to win it all. Key building blocks, if you will.
Part of my childhood and teen age years died with Paul Splittorff yesterday. I’m sure I’m not alone in Kansas City.