The sports world was quick to react to the news that Pete Frates, the former Boston College baseball player known for his key role popularizing the Ice Bucket Challenge as he fought his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, had passed away at 34.
Many took to social media to express their sadness of the news, as well as admiration for the courageous battle Frates waged.
Principal owner John Henry: “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. 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.”
Chairman Tom Werner: “While battling one of the world’s darkest diseases, Pete taught us how undaunted optimism can lay the groundwork to inspire a revolutionary movement. 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.”
President and CEO Sam Kennedy: “Behind every Red Sox fan, there’s a story. 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.”
Major League Baseball
Commissioner Robert Manfred:
“The courage and determination of Pete Frates inspired countless people throughout the game he loved and around the world. He galvanized ALS awareness for a new generation and honored the memory of a fellow ballplayer, Lou Gehrig. All of us at Major League Baseball are proud that Pete and his family are members of the baseball family. We will forever remember Pete’s example as we continue to support the pursuit of a cure for ALS.”
“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.”
Pete Frates was the definition of an inspiration.— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 9, 2019
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
“Heartbroken over the loss of @PeteFrates3 , our hero, teammate, mentor and brother. He changed the world.”
“A hero that transcends the diamond.
“Today we remember the courage of @BCEagles alum Pete Frates, who inspired the nation to raise more than $220 million – changing the world of ALS forever.”
“You changed the world Pete. Im so very proud to have called you my friend. Heart hurts a lot today but ur name and legacy will live on forever. Rest easy my friend - we’ll continue to spread your word. Boston was so lucky to have you. #BostonStrong #alsicebucketchallenge #rip”
You changed the world Pete. Im so very proud to have called you my friend. Heart hurts a lot today but ur name and legacy will live on forever. Rest easy my friend - we’ll continue to spread your word. Boston was so lucky to have you 😔🙏🏿 #BostonStrong #alsicebucketchallenge #rip pic.twitter.com/LxHtExXWZN— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) December 9, 2019
Jackie Bradley Jr.
“Rest In Peace my friend! Pete, you will be truly missed and your legacy will never be forgotten. Thank you for being a light for so many others.”
■ TD Garden:
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Pete Frates. His heroic battle served as an inspiration to all and will never be forgotten. TD Garden will glow red tonight in honor of Pete and his fight against ALS.”
“Oh how we loved and admired courageous Pete Frates. He changed the world by taking us on his journey, creating the Ice Bucket Challenge, and improving hope for others facing this daunting disease. Rest In Peace, and love to the remarkable Frates Family.”
“@PeteFrates3 you were my hero, just as I told you every time we spoke. You truly made a difference. Your name and memory will live on forever. I am a better man having met you and being able to call you a friend. Thank you for everything. You will be missed.”
■ Boston College AD Martin Jarmond:
“There is no one that embodied the spirit of Boston College more than Pete Frates. Pete’s impact not only on our campus but nationally for his efforts in leading to raise awareness for ALS will be remembered forever. He was a special person who led his life to the fullest and I am just glad I had the honor of spending time with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
■ NESN’s Tom Caron, host of the Red Sox pregame and postgame shows:
“Pete Frates’ courage led to over $200 million raised in the fight against #ALS. We will always remember him for his bravery, and for shining a light on an underfunded battle with a hideous disease. Our hearts go out to John, Nancy, Julie and the entire Frates family. #RIP”
■ Former Red Sox infielder and WEEI radio host Lou Merloni:
“RIP Pete Frates. You will never be forgotten for all that you have done for bringing awareness to ALS. Pete faced his fears of being diagnosed with ALS and used it as fuel to continue to live an amazing loving life. We will all miss you!!”
■ Former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Matt Hasselbeck, who played at Xaverian and Boston College:
Pete Frates was a game-changer, a true inspiration who literally changed the world.
■ Ryan Whitney, NHL analyst and former NHL player who played at Thayer Academy and Boston University.
“When the cure for ALS is found Pete Frates will be one of the first names mentioned when people ask how it happened. What a fight he put forth. Rest In Peace.”
The college baseball community also joined in mourning the loss, with former BC players, as well as some of the team’s opponents, expressing their sympathies.
■ Mike Gambino, Boston College baseball manager
“When you’re a man of character and live a life of integrity and the cause is just, then people will follow. Pete represented everything we want in our student-athletes. He embodied character, toughness and class; living as a man for others to change the world. Pete’s individual battle with ALS has ended, but the mission that he started the day he was diagnosed lives on in our community, our university and in our program until we strike out ALS. This disease is going to end because of Pete Frates. We are all the better for having known Pete and witnessed his courage in the face of true adversity. Like Pete, the entire Frates family will always be a part of our program and our hearts go out to them.”
■ Justin Dunn: Former Boston College pitcher drafted in the first round by the New York Mets in 2016, now with the Seattle Mariners.
“I love you Pete! Forever my hero! #PF3”
■ Chris Shaw, Lexington High grad who starred at Boston College and was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the first round in 2015:
“I lost my hero today. I love you, Pete.”
“We are deeply saddened over the loss of @PeteFrates3. We had the honor to meet him in 2018 at Fenway Park during the @BCBirdBall annual Pete Frates ALS Awareness Game. His courage and legacy will live on.”
“The #ClemsonFamily is saddened by the loss of such an inspirational man. Our thoughts are with the Frates & BC Family. “
Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney.