Splittorff, one of the most popular players in Kansas City baseball history, pitched for the Royals for 15 seasons, from 1970-1984, and was a mainstay in their rotation during the years when they were a perennial contender and appeared in the World Series in 1980. Splittorff started and won Game 3 of the 1980 ALCS against the Yankees, sending the Royals for their first World Series. Splittorff, a 25th-round draft choice in the franchise's first draft, spent his entire career with the Royals and still owns the club record with 166 wins. He was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1987.
After retirement from baseball, Splittorff went into broadcasting and was a popular fixture on Royals broadcasts for the last 25 years, until the melanoma caused his voice to begin to give out; he did mostly pre- and postgame work on Royals broadcasts for the last two years.