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April 24, 2013

Around the Horn: Eagles committed to Frates' ALS cause

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“Pete’s a great individual. He was a great teammate, a great player and he’s been an inspiration to all,” said Eagles head coach Pat Yanchus.

The effort to strike out ALS isn’t limited to the Prep’s Danvers campus; it stretches across the country to Eagles past and present.

Last weekend, Frates’ coach at BC, Mik Aoki, had a special ALS Awareness day in South Bend, Ind. for his current squad, Notre Dame. His players wore red hats with Frates’ No. 3, and St. John’s baseball alum Pat Connaughton started for the Irish. The game was against Quinnipiac, and in the opposing dugout honoring Frates was another ex-Eagle, QU pitcher Nick Fabrizio.

The cause reaches pro baseball, where St. John’s grad Stephen Peterson, a teammate of Pete’s brother Andrew Frates, has a red Team Frate Train T-shirt in his locker in the Milwaukee Brewers minor league system. The same is true of Matt Antonelli, Pete’s teammate in football, hockey and baseball at St. John’s, in the Cleveland Indians system.

Boston College is hosting an ALS Awareness Day on May 4, and proceeds from this year’s Baseball Beanpot at Fenway Park will also benefit the fund.

It even stretches to pro hockey, where American Hockey League defenseman Will O’Neill, another teammate of Andrew’s in his time at St. John’s, has a Strike Out ALS hat. New York Ranger Brian Boyle, who went to BC with Pete, is another big supporter of the fight against ALS, and Boston Bruins players such as Patrice Bergeron (who donated his suite to Frates and his family/friends for a game earlier this season) and Shawn Thornton have worn Frate Train gear in the Bruins’ locker room and during TV interviews.

“It’s a brotherhood, forever,” Bingel said of the bond that’s brought the Eagles to Frates’ side. “There were a lot of alumni here, Dr. (Ed) Hardiman (SJP headmaster) came down; it was a great thing.”

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