I have been attending a few Boston College games for the last eight seasons, but last Monday night when I took in the Old Time Baseball Game things seemed different. The game featured players from around New England, including four Boston College connections in Eagles head coach Mike Gambino, Director of Baseball Operations Pete Frates, catcher Matt Paré, and pitcher Eric Gorman.
The real story of the night was Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS this past spring. Frates is a 2007 graduate of the Eagles program, and was the captain during one of the first years of ACC play. His teams were stuck in the middle of a transition from being a strong Big East squad into the perennial baseball power conference in the ACC. The teams might not have had the most success on the field but played with passion that can’t be matched. Everyone around the Boston College program knew that passion was led by Frates inner desire to win and have a “dirtdog” attitude.
Frates made a start at first base before being lifted after one pitch. You know what bothers me the most? I had to see Pete walk out of the outfield in a slow fashion as the effects of ALS have started to hurt his ability to walk. He hasn’t let this challenge put him down, as he has tried to make this fight into a positive by raising money for ALS research. Boston College’s program hosted a ALS Awareness Day, and Frates’ family and friends have started “The Pete Frates #3 Fund”, set up for his medical care expenses. The current fight against ALS is through experimental drugs and procedures that are not covered by insurance and thus are costly.
You can donate to the Pete Frates #3 Fund by clicking here.
Photos courtesy of BC Media Relations