Jeff Francoeur refires his career, becomes fan favorite with the KC Royals.
A bounce-back Francoeur wanted, and a bounce-back he received with Kansas City when he hit .285 with 20 home runs, 87 RBIs, 47 doubles and 22 stolen bases in 2011. For his resurgence, the Royals rewarded him with a two-year, $13.5 million extension before the season even ended.
The resurgence was short-lived, however. The very next season, Francoeur batted .235 with 16 homers, 49 RBIs, and only four steals.
Still, he was a fan favorite. The right field corner in Kauffman Stadium he patrolled was dubbed “The Frenchy Quarter.” The Royals even ran “Frenchy’s Quarter” promotions when for $21 (Francoeur’s uniform number), fans could buy a single-game package including Mardi Gras beads, a shirt and, of course, a right field seat. During one “Frenchy’s Quarter” game, Francoeur threw a baseball, upon which he’d written “To the Quarter! Have a few drinks + dogs on me!” and attached $100, to the fans.
And his generosity wasn’t limited to KC fans. Francoeur, despite never having played with the A’s, had a ton of fans in Oakland. As cbssports.com writer C. Trent Rosecrans tells it: in 2011, some A’s fans gave Francoeur some bacon treats; the following game, Francoeur gave some of them $100 and a baseball inscribed “Beer or Bacon Dog on me. Jeff Francoeur.” The very next April, he sent fans in Oakland’s right field bleachers a signed bat, a note saying “Right field bleacher crew, keep making bacon.”—and 20 pizzas.