Editor’s note: This column originally appeared in the Sept. 2014 edition of New England Baseball Journal. Pete Frates, the former Boston College baseball captain who inspired people around the world to dump buckets of ice water over their heads to raise millions of dollars for Lou Gehrig’s disease research, died today, according to his family. He was 34.
Pete Frates never bothered to tip off the Boston College baseball team about his plan to raise awareness for ALS – the disease he has battled since being diagnosed in March of 2012.
Frates, the 29-year-old director of baseball operations for the BC baseball team, didn’t send out an email to players encouraging them to participate. The former BC baseball captain didn’t draw from the connections he’d made as a player by dipping into the alumni mailing list. Heck, he didn’t even complete the Ice Bucket Challenge himself until he was the subject of a SportsCenter feature after ALS donations over a two-week stretch in early August had eclipsed the total number of donations in all of 2013.
Frates came up with the idea, and let social media take its course.