Frates takes ice bucket challenge at Fenway
BOSTON -- It was only fitting that former Boston College baseball captain Pete Frates, who helped raise awareness for an ice bucket challenge that has spread like wild-fire on social media and raised millions for ALS, got doused himself on Friday.
Frates, who was diagnosed with the disease two and a half years ago, chose center field at Fenway Park as his venue. He was joined by his parents, and other friends, as well as several members of the Red Sox, including manager John Farrell, second baseman Dustin Pedroia, catcher David Ross and third baseman Will Middlebrooks.
During batting practice, slugger David Ortiz greeted Frates and his family and posed for pictures.
For the entire month of August, people have been dumping buckets of ice water on themselves on video, and then challenging friends to do the same. Anyone who doesn't follow through on the challenge within 24 hours pays $100 to ALS. Those who do dump the bucket make a smaller donation.
The challenge has even spread to celebrities like Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake and Mark Zuckerberg.
"It's been overwhelming in such a positive way," said Nancy Frates, Pete's mother. "Pete set this as his mission the day he was diagnosed. He said, 'I'm going to change the face of this disease.' My son has been taken from just a little bit every day for the past two and a half years. But to see his mission almost be complete -- now it's the research, treatment and cure. The awareness is raising the funding. The funding will now raise research, and hopefully a treatment and cure."
Farrell and Middlebrooks also did the ice bucket challenge on Friday. Farrell challenged former Indians manager Terry Francona and Yankees manager Joe Girardi to participate.
Frates turns 30 in December and his wife is expecting a child in September.
"The great thing about this is everybody is on the same playing field when they pour a bucket of cold water on their head -- from Mark Zuckerberg to Lance Bass to me," said Nancy Frates. "I think it's a wonderful thing, but it shows the power of social media and how it can do such good. But the thing that's driving it the most is the kindness of people."
Pete Frates hit a home run at Fenway Park during his collegiate career.