SAN FRANCISCO — You can take the ballplayer out of Northern California, but when it comes to Kevin Frandsen, you can't take Northern California out of the ballplayer's heart.

Frandsen, a star at Bellarmine College Prep (San Jose) and San Jose State before being drafted by the Giants, his childhood team, returned to AT&T Park this week wearing Philadelphia Phillies red. Frandsen worked out at AT&T Park during the winter when he was a Giant, and never had stepped foot in the visitor's clubhouse before Monday.

It didn't take long for him to settle in.

"You flip a switch," said Frandsen, who started at first base on Wednesday. "And you just want to beat them."

Frandsen may have been in an unfamiliar clubhouse this week, but everything else about the trip back to the Bay Area brought the 30-year-old back into his comfort zone. Frandsen still lives in the Bay Area and is engaged to a woman from San Jose, who, like Frandsen, is a lifelong Giants fan.

His allegiance to the area's sporting scene goes much farther than that Giants fandom or the yellow Warriors shirt he wore for a pre-game workout on Monday. Before Tuesday's game, Frandsen talked at length about the speed of the Sharks and the drafting acumen of 49ers general manager Trent Baake. Frandsen, whose family already has seat licenses for the new Santa Clara stadium, was thrilled when the Niners picked former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore.


Advertisement

His passion for Bay Area sports isn't limited to the professional level. Frandsen said he is big fan of Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) basketball star Aaron Gordon and watched from afar in 2011 as the Bellarmine football team nearly won a state title.

"This is home," Frandsen said.

Frandsen still lives in the Bay Area and attended several postseason games last fall as a fan. But his in-season home is now Philadelphia, where he has put up good numbers in limited playing time and learned quickly that Phillies fans are every bit as passionate as he is about his hometown teams.

"It's very similar to (San Francisco)," Frandsen said. "Just a little more brutal at times."

Frandsen hit .240 in 174 games with the Giants but didn't always see eye to eye with other members of the organization.

"I wish I was like this maturity-wise back then," he said. "I was always passionate and played with high energy. I wasn't always accepted by the veterans."

Still, Frandsen said, he has no regrets about the way his run with the Giants ended. After watching friends and former teammates win a title a year ago, Frandsen said he hopes to accomplish a lifelong goal with the Phillies.

"My hands are a little light," Frandsen said, smiling. "I don't have rings on them."