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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Since the days of old, many of us grew up with heroes, people we admire and trust.

For little Jared Tompkins, one of his baseball heroes is Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves.

"He's good at baseball and he has a good attitude," Tompkins said.

That can take you a long way.

The 9-year-old is also a fan of well-known third baseman Alex Rodriguez. He's now one of 13 MLB players in hot water for alleged drug violations.

So how does Jared feel about this let down?

"Pretty bad ... upset."

And he's certainly not alone. The news hit many of these little fans hard.

"Oh my gosh. Why would he use them? Great player. He shouldn't have used them. He shouldn't have," said John Cabrera.

As the investigation continues, many fans both young and old are holding on to hope, looking to the future and preparing for whatever is ahead.

"Hopefully everyone takes from this and plays the game how it use to be," said instructor Blake Burger. " ... Use your own skills. Work with what you got."

That's something instructor Blake Burger teaches his campers at the Rick Wilkins Academy of Baseball.

These guys know how to play the old fashion way.


They're clear on what's right and wrong. And say if the allegations against A-Rod and the gang are true, it's a devastating blow.

"It does kind of stink for those kids. Because they thought that they were good players and people they could look up to, and the next thing you know they're taking steroids. And they're suspended," said 11-year-old Cole Burgess.

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