Nick Asselin can tell a lot of stories about Pete Frates from when the two were baseball teammates at Boston College.
He states that Frates was “hands down” the strongest kid on the baseball team. Asselin recalls with absolute clarity how he drew people to him with his easygoing, friendly manner. He laughs when he thinks of Pete as the guy outside in the winter walking around without a coat on, yet never remembers him being sick even once.
So like many people, Asselin couldn’t believe it when he learned that Frates had been diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in March 2012. And like so many people, he wanted to do whatever he could, no matter what it was, to help his good friend.
So Asselin, along with another good friend and ex-teammate of Frates’, Adam Crabtree, have put together ‘Country Strikes Out ALS’, a night of country music at the House of Blues in Boston on Thursday, Sept. 12 to raise both awareness and funds towards fighting this dreaded disease. The show begins at 8 p.m.
“We wanted to take Pete’s vision of awareness to the next level and help him through monetary contributions,” said the 28-year-old Asselin, who grew up in Bedford, N.H. “By doing this, we’re able to take Pete’s story outside the realm of baseball to an new audience.”
Joe Nichols, a country singer with hits such as ‘Brokenheartsville’, ‘Gimmie That Girl’ and, most recently, ‘75 and Sunny’, will headline the event at the House of Blues. Chase Rice, who co-wrote the No. 1 hit “Cruise” (sung by Florida Georgia Line) will also perform that night, while Sam Hunt (who has written songs for Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney, among others) will perform an acoustic set. In addition, former Boston College classmate Ayla Brown, daughter of former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, will also perform.