Jeff Francoeur's interactions with fans have become legendary. Whether he's sending 20 pizzas to A's fans in Oakland or throwing $100 of beer money into the Kauffman Stadium stands, the Kansas City Royals right fielder has made plenty of friends around the league.
Francoeur is oft-cited as a ballplayer who "gets it" and what's cool is that he realizes he doesn't always have to engage in stunts to leave an impact on those who pay to see him. Sometimes all it takes is a simple smile and a few seconds of your time.
For a great example, check out this heart-melting picture and message that a mother posted on Facebook after taking her family to see the Royals at Minute Maid Park earlier this week.
Dear Jeff Francoeur,
Just last night my husband, daughter and 7 year old son attended the Royals vs Astros game here in Houston. My husband was born and raised in KC and our family lived there for 5 years before we were transferred to Houston.
Last year my son was diagnosed with Autism. Going to large stadiums that are really loud are out of my sons comfort zone, we told him we were going to see the KC Royals and he was instantly excited.
We made sure to get to the game early so that we could find our seats before the stadium filled up. We were lucky enough to get to the stadium while the Royals were having their batting practice.
My husband told our son that he should call you over and that you may autograph his cap for him. As my son yelled with hope in his voice, you came jogging over to us. My son was so excited when he saw you coming over that he fell while trying to climb over the seats to the front row. It is rare that we see our son get excited over anything to do with sports as Autistic children tend to be more interested in books, and computers rather than sports.
Our son stared up at you with tears in his eyes, you took the time to coddle him, ask his name and make him feel special.
We just wanted to say thank you for not only taking the time to come over to see our son, but for signing his hat, and posing for a picture with him. It is truly a day that our son will never forget. You are a true role model, this was a day our family will always remember.
Well, that was just awesome. Since publicly posting her thanks on Wednesday, Tammy Blanchard Robertson's message has received almost 500 likes and 60 shares. And though we know that Frenchy doesn't do these types of things for publicity or praise, this special moment deserves an even bigger audience. There's no way to look at that photo or letter and not be reminded that we all have the ability to brighten someone's day.
Great job, Jeff Francoeur.