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Nostalgic Francoeur enjoys return to Atlanta

Padres outfielder excited to play four-game set at Turner Field

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ATLANTA -- Jeff Francoeur has played at Turner Field since the Braves traded him to the Mets in July 2009, but this return to his hometown is not as uneasy as previous trips for the Padres veteran.

"It was kind of weird the first couple of years with the Mets," Francoeur said. "Now it's been five years and there's so many good memories here and so many good people, some of the clubhouse people, that I love it. It's great, so it's a lot easier to come back now."

Also of note: Francoeur will have a new fan cheering him on at the ballpark this weekend.

"My little girl just turned 1, so to have her out here tonight, kind of where it all started for me, will be cool," Francoeur said. "Get some pictures with her."

Francoeur's wife, Catie, and daughter, Emma Cate, will be among several family and friends in attendance this weekend. However, Francoeur lives in the Atlanta area, so the contingent will not be as crazed as it has been before.

"I've gotten good at saying, 'No' to tickets now," Francoeur joked. "Most people bought them now. They know with having a baby and being home, they don't quite bother me as much, which is nice."

Francoeur has been nostalgic in his return to Atlanta as Bobby Cox, his first Major League manager, is being inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame along with former Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.

The former Atlanta right fielder plans to come to Turner Field early on Sunday afternoon to watch the trio be inducted alongside Frank Thomas, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre.

"On the way in today, I called Bobby, talked to him for a minute just to tell him good luck and congrats," Francoeur said. "I wish I could see a lot more of the people I know, but they're all up in Cooperstown, which is a good thing."

Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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