Tampa, Florida - Not every kid gets a chance to hit baseballs from a major leaguer. This weekend at USF in Tampa, big league hopefuls get to learn the ins-and-outs of the game from a guy they've watched at Tropicana for the past few years.
For the third straight year, outfielder Sam Fuld is hosting his annual sports camp for kids with Type-1 diabetes. It's a camp that's only open to kids with diabetes, a condition that Fuld has lived with since he was ten.
"It's really rewarding," said Fuld. "You get kids from all over the country. (There are) kids who were diagnosed two weeks ago and kids who were diagnosed ten years ago. It's a mixed bag."
The two things Fuld and the kids have in common are diabetes and a love for sports. Fuld, who played for the Rays for parts of the last three seasons, is a poster child for success on the field and dealing with diabetes.
The kids came from as far away as Arizona, Texas and upstate New York for the camp. They look up to Fuld, and the camp means a lot to the major leaguer.
"You get to inspire all of these kids and you get to learn from each other," he said. "It's one of the most rewarding things I do."
Fuld is still trying to make a decision on where he wants to play this season. The Rays begin spring training in two weeks. Pitchers and catchers report to Port Charlotte on February 14.