By Ryan Adams

With so much negativity in the sports world today sometimes it’s hard to remember that for every bad seed, there’s a dozen good, decent seeds that live life the right way and make a strong and positive difference on the field as well as off of it. There are plenty of athletes out there who genuinely care and genuinely want to make a difference with the position they’re in and wake up every morning trying to do just that. For years, Tampa Bay Rays fans have had plenty of those types come through and still have plenty of them inside the clubhouse today. One in particular is the Rays new ace, Alex Cobb.

Every year a handful of Rays players pay visit to All Children’s Hospital and spend some time with children who fight horrible ailments every day of their lives. A couple years ago, Alex Cobb made one of his first visits to All Children’s and a special patient there immediately took to him.

Her name is Madison and she and Cobber have created a friendship since that first day that continues to grow beyond the diamond.

“When I went into her room, she was just so happy to see me that day,” Cobb told me Friday. “Didn’t care about baseball nothing along those lines. Just happy to have someone come in there and hang out with her for a little bit. I spent the majority of my time with her that day. She wouldn’t let me leave.”

Since that day, Cobb said he has kept in touch with Madison and the two have grown closer. On Friday, Cobb and the Rays invited Madison to come out to the Trop before the White Sox game and spend some time with her favorite player.

No matter how many times the team make their trip over to visit with these amazing children – Madison only has eyes for one Ray. No matter who shows up, she’s always looking for #53.

“That’s really neat,” said Cobb smiling ear to ear. “The cooler part of it is that it’s not on a baseball level. It’s a personal level. The fact that she finds me as a friend of hers.”

Just watching Cobb talk about Madison and seeing the genuine adoration for her in his eyes and smiles when we spoke about some of her favorite things – I knew I was standing in front of one of the good seeds. One of the seeds who will never think he’s bigger than the moment or bigger than the game. Someone who wants to make a difference in this young girl’s life as she battles with something none of us could ever imagine.

Every fifth day Alex Cobb goes out to that mound and fights for his team. Just putting a smile on little Madison’s face has given her another reason to fight every day.

Alex Cobb is one of the good seeds. One of the lights in a sports world that can be riddled with so much darkness on any given day.

To Madison, he’s just Alex Cobb. A really good friend who just happens to be a baseball player. A really good friend who just happens to change her life just a little bit more every day.

To hear the entire conversation I had with Alex Cobb on his time with Madison, click the link below.

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