High schools

St. John’s Prep dedicates baseball field to Pete Frates

Danvers Ma 10/20/17 Pete Frates with is wife Julie Frates and daugher Lucy Frates during St. John's Prep dedicating its baseball field to Pete Frates ('03), named the Pete Frates Diamond at St. John's Prep. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) topic reporter
Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff
Pete Frates is joined by his wife Julie and daughter Lucy at the dedication of the Frates Diamond at St. John’s Prep on Friday.

DANVERS — On Friday evening, St. John’s Prep officially dedicated its baseball field to accomplished alumnus Pete Frates (Class of 2003), a former baseball, hockey, and football standout at Prep and four-year baseball star at Boston College.

In March 2012, Frates was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease. In 2014, the Beverly native spearheaded the Ice Bucket Challenge, which went viral on social media and raised more than $220 million toward a cure for the disease.

Standing on the turf at newly minted Pete Frates ’03 Diamond, Pete’s father, John, talked about his son’s fighting spirit.

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“One man can make a difference in this world,” said John. “[Pete]’s an example that you can live with ALS. He wasn’t going to accept his diagnosis and live out his days without doing something; he decided that was unacceptable and the exposure he’s brought to the disease is great. For the Prep family to honor Pete in this way will go a long way in helping make this disease a thing of the past.”

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Boston College retired Frates’s No. 3 jersey in 2016 and St. John’s Prep is also hanging up the No. 3 for all three sports in which Frates competed, the first such honor in the school’s 110-year history.

“Every time we come on this baseball field we think about Pete, there’s no doubt about it,” said Prep baseball coach Dan Letarte. “He had a great career here and he’s going to continue to inspire all our student athletes.”

Frates, his wife Julie, and their three-year-old daughter, Lucy, were also honored at midfield during the opening coin toss of Prep’s football game against Bridgewater-Raynham at new Glatz Field.