Major League Baseball is once again teaming up with Beverly's Pete Frates to help bring awareness to ALS.
New MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will be serving as an ally and an ambassador for Frates on Tuesday, March 3 in Fort Myers, Fla. when the Boston Red Sox play their annual exhibition game against Boston College at JetBlue Park.
Manfred will throw out the first pitch, signaling the beginning of the baseball season, in honor of Frates. The Red Sox and Eagles players will all be wearing the No. 3, which is what Frates wore as a standout ballplayer at both St. John's Prep and Boston College. In addition, Boston College is planning on wearing special throwback jerseys for the game, similar to those that Pete's teams wore when he patrolled the outfield for the Eagles in the mid-2000s.
Frates, the 30-year-old who has battled Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) for almost three full years, is hopeful that he'll be able to attend the March 3 event in person.
The Frates family has a strong connection to both the Red Sox and Major League Baseball (and of course, Boston College). Pete took his own 'Ice Bucket Challenge' -- the worldwide phenomenon he helped popularize last summer to raise more than $100 million dollars for ALS -- in front of Fenway Park's Green Monster in August. He was also present and on the field at Fenway during pregame ceremonies honoring Derek Jeter before the Yankee great's last-ever game on Sept. 28.
The Frates' were also guests of Major League Baseball at last year's Game 2 of the World Series between the host Kansas City Royals and eventual world champion San Francisco Giants, where Pete was honored prior to the contest.
More recently, Pete and his family went to New York for the 92nd annual Baseball Writers Association of America dinner; there, he was awarded the 'You Gotta Have Heart' Award along with legendary Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken -- who broke Gehrig's record of 2,130 consecutive games played back in 1995. Pete thanked to the assembled crowd there through voice recognition technology when he was honored.
Through these instances, the Frates family got to know Manfred -- who was officially named Commissioner of Baseball hours before the BBWAA dinner -- very well, and he is fully behind their cause of helping to raise continued awareness for ALS.