April 29, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — After outstanding success last year in Chicago for a series against Boston College and previous success in 2013, the University of Notre Dame baseball team is set to host its third annual ALS Game with funds going directly to the Pete Frates #3 Fund at 2:05 p.m. (ET) Saturday at Frank Eck Stadium when the Irish welcome in Northwestern State for game two of a three-game non-conference series.
Frates, who current Notre Dame head coach Mik Aoki coached at Boston College from 2004-07, was diagnosed with Amyotrphic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease in 2012, and has been battling the disease — while raising awareness around the world — ever since.
The disease, which causes weakness, speech problems and loss of motion among other severe symptoms, can become fatal within years of its onset. Yet despite his grim diagnosis, Frates has stood resolute in his determination to fight the disease and has been a source of inspiration for all who know him, chief among them his former coach.
“Pete and I came to BC together as I was in my first year as an assistant coach and Pete was a freshman,” said Aoki. “He was a really talented athlete that grew into a good baseball player. When I was promoted to head coach he was my first captain. He was an inspirational guy that always had a glass half full mentality. He played with a great deal of energy and had a passion for Boston College, his teammates and baseball. So for me personally and all those that are close to Pete, it was devastating that someone like that with so much zest for life could be diagnosed with this disease. Â Â
“We want to use this game to raise some much-needed funds for Pete. He has been a champion of the ALS cause and has raised a ton of awareness, but obviously he has some mounting medical costs and some things he needs in order to function on a daily basis – from nurses to new technology that helps him continue to communicate.”
This past summer, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was started by Frates and quickly spread around the globe, raising in the 100’s of million’s of dollars for efforts to find a cure for the disease.
For the second year in a row, the Irish will do their part in spreading awareness about Pete’s fight while generating funds to help Frates as well as others fight the disease.
Saturday will be an action-packed day with many activities surrounding the game against the Demons. Notre Dame will wear special uniforms for the game that will be auctioned off in the weeks following the game on UND.com.
Pregame, fans are invited to tailgate in The Eck parking lot. The South Bend Harley Owners Group will also be tailgating in the lot before riding out to the warning track of the baseball field for the national anthem, which will be sung by one of their fellow Harley group members.
At the conclusion of the game, any fan that donated money will be entered into a drawing for the right to perform the Ice Bucket Challenge on Aoki as well as several local South Bend television and radio personalities including WNDU sports reporter Angelo Di Carlo, Bob Nagle, the sports/marketing director at LeSEA Broadcasting in addition to duties as the Notre Dame women’s basketball radio play-by-play broadcaster and the Notre Dame baseball public address announcer and Mark McGill, a local radio personality for Michiana News Channel 95.3 FM.
For those that live in the South Bend area, Aoki and his wife Sue will play host to a Pints for Pete event that is set to get underway at 7 p.m. (ET) May 7 at Brothers Bar & Grill on Eddy Street in South Bend. All are welcome to come raise a glass for Pete and all victims of ALS. Donations are accepted – but aren’t required – to attend.Â
Anyone wishing to donate money to the Pete Frates #3 Fund that can’t make the game or the Pints for Pete event or doesn’t wish to participate in the jersey auction can read more about Pete and donate directly atÂ petefrates.com.
For more information on Notre Dame baseball, follow the Irish on Facebook (/NDBaseball), Twitter (@NDBaseball) and Instagram (notredamebaseball). Â Â
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director