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.
“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.”
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.