Being left-handed seems to equal having great success if you were a KC Royals pitcher during the playoff runs from 1975-1985.
Paul Splittorff spent his entire career with the Royals and spent time in the broadcast booth with the team after his playing days were over. For many of us, he was the trusted television analyst once Kansas City games became more available during the 1990s and 2000s.
He was an original Royal as he was drafted in 1968 before the Royals had played their first game as a franchise. It did not take “Split” long to reach the majors, first appearing in 1970 and an anchor of the rotation from 1971-1983.
One 20-win and one 19-win season were produced along with a fifth-place finish in Rookie of the Year voting and one top-ten Cy Young award finalist. His numbers improved once the playoffs started as well. He was 2-0 in four starts (seven appearances total) with a 2.79 ERA.
Like Leibrandt and Gura, Splittorff was not going to blow you away with his stuff but he was good at keeping runners from scoring. He could also be counted on to eat up the innings tossing 88 complete games in his career.
Areas that he is the all-time leader in Kansas City categories are plenty. Wins, starts by a pitcher, and innings pitched are records that will have a hard time being touched. Splittorff is also fifth in strikeouts and second in complete games and shutouts.
It was a sad day when Split passed away, whether an older or younger fan you knew the name. He helped build the foundation that put the Royals in position to make the playoffs for many years and ultimately win a World Series.