Royals step up to help fill community's needs Players, officials put their efforts behind worthy causes
KANSAS CITY -- Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur always had a warm spot in his heart for the people of Joplin, Mo. So he was pleased that the team and, indeed, the entire Kansas City area supported the tornado-torn community.
Delta Air Lines and Jeff Francoeur Go to Bat for Hometown Atlanta Charity
Delta Air Lines and Atlanta Braves' slugger Jeff Francoeur teamed up to go to bat for a hometown charity, Atlanta's Dream House for Medically Fragile Children, through a new charitable sponsorship called the SkyMiles Home Run Program. The Official Airline of the Atlanta Braves donated 25,000 Delta SkyMiles for each home run hit by Francoeur during the 2007 season to benefit this local charity. In 2008, Francoeur will also be working again with Dream House and a host of other local charities.
"Hitting a home run is always a big thrill, but Delta's SkyMiles Home Run Program will make each future hit even more valuable," said Francoeur, who has amassed 10 home runs through the All-Star break this season. "Helping children and families in need is very important to me, and I am honored to support the Dream House for Medically Fragile Children."
ATLANTA - One night when Jeff Francoeur was in Florida for spring training, he checked his e-mail and saw photos of a blond boy he remembered playing football and lacrosse.
In another photo, he saw a young man in a hospital bed with an 18-inch slice down his spine. It was a friend's kid brother, Drew Leathers. Tears filled Francoeur's eyes.
The Atlanta Braves' power-hitting right fielder was entering his third major league season, known as a free swinger trying to find discipline at the plate. Off the field, he had struggled to find a cause to back with his star power. When he learned that Drew suffered from a disorder that causes painful tumors that grow to the size of baseballs, it was like seeing a pitch down the heart of the plate.