Paul Splittorff

Splittorff was the first player originally signed by the Royals to make it to the majors, and in 1973 he became their first 20-game winner. A thinking control pitcher with a fine sinkerball, he led the AL with a .727 winning percentage by going 16-6 in 1977 (despite a 1-4 start), helping the Royals to their second of three consecutive division titles. He threw two one-hitters, including one on August 3, 1975, in which he set down the last 26 Oakland batters. Beleaguered by back problems, after 17 years in the Royals’ organization, he retired as the club’s all-time leader in games and innings pitched, starts, wins, and losses.