Pete Frates long will live in the memories of the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins.
The local MLB and NHL teams paid tribute to the famous ALS fighter on Monday after his family announced his death. Frates in 2014 became the center of the “Ice Bucket Challenge” initiative, which raised more than $220 million for ALS research.
The Red Sox signed Frates, a former Boston College baseball captain, to a pro contract in 2015. Boston owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and CEO Sam Kennedy hailed Frates’ impact on the Red Sox and the fight against ALS in a statement the team released.
‘Never in the history of baseball have we seen a person’s efforts outside of the game gain him a professional baseball contract and a home in the National Baseball Hall of Fame,” Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry said. “Such was the enormity of Pete Frates’ impact. His efforts will not only be felt in the labs of ALS researchers across the country, but also within the walls of Fenway Park where his spirit will remain with us, always. Our condolences to his wife Julie, his daughter Lucy, his parents John and Nancy, and siblings Andrew and Jennifer.”
“While battling one of the world’s darkest diseases, Pete taught us how undaunted optimism can lay the groundwork to inspire a revolutionary movement,” Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner said. “He did more to raise awareness for ALS during his lifetime than anyone in the past eighty years since Lou Gehrig delivered his ‘Luckiest Man’ speech. He and his family are loved by many in our front office and we offer them our deepest condolences.”
“Behind every Red Sox fan, there’s a story,” Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy said. “We are so very proud that Pete’s story led him through Fenway Park as a player, and later, as an icon and member of our family. His legacy will affect generations of ALS patients nationwide, and his courage will be remembered by all of us. We were privileged to have known him, and honored that he was part of our team.”
The Bruins praised Frates as an “inspiration” and sent their condolences to his family in a tweet.
Pete Frates was the definition of an inspiration.
His courage, determination, and fight made Boston – and the world – proud. The impact he made on all of us will never be forgotten.
The Bruins offer their sincere condolences to the Frates family during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/2oFPGVJ4AZ
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 9, 2019
Frates was 34 years old.