Francoeur brings the bacon -- and pizza, too

Francoeur brings the bacon -- and pizza, too

OAKLAND -- Jeff Francoeur has a knack for congeniality that reaches beyond the confines of Kauffman Stadium and Kansas City Royals fans. He's winning fans in opponents' ballparks.

Not just any fans either, but a group of 10-15 people who entrench themselves in Section 149 of the right-field bleachers at the Oakland Coliseum. Francoeur inspired "Bacon Tuesday," an annual event for each time the Royals play in Oakland.

Not even a rainy night could dampen the spirits of the fun-loving Francoeur and his hardy band of followers.

"You don't get to build relationships like here in right field every day," Francoeur said before the Royals' series finale in Oakland on Wednesday. "I just enjoy them. It's a lot of fun."

Francoeur plans to wear the special T-shirt presented to him during Tuesday night's second rain delay. He's getting another one signed by the fans in right field which he plans to frame.

The bright green shirt, inscribed "Second annual Bacon Tuesday, sponsored by Jeff Francoeur," hangs in his locker amid a myriad of blue clothing.

"The first time we came out here last year, I started playing around with them," Francoeur said. "We were here twice last year, and toward the end, they started liking me. They asked me if I liked bacon, and I really do love bacon, and told them."

Francoeur, on a Tuesday night, wrapped a $100 bill around a baseball and threw it to the group, suggesting they buy beer and bacon with the money. It's been a match made in bacon heaven ever since.

On Wednesday, Francoeur surprised the group by ordering 20 pizzas that were delivered to them during the game.

"Next year, I guess it will be the third annual, and I'm going to get here early and eat bacon with them in the parking lot," Francoeur said. "It's been great, something special."