Boston College director of baseball operations Pete Frates was named the 2013 winner of the Tom Walter College Baseball Inspiration Award, given annually by Collegebaseballinsider.com.
In a statement released by the Boston College athletics website, the award was started in 2011 to honor Wake Forest head coach Tom Walter after donated a kidney to then-freshman outfielder Kevin Jordan. Frates was honored along with the following: Illinois State pitching coach Bill Mohl; Davidson head coach Dick Cooke; Minnesota pitching coach Todd Oakes; Minnesota pitcher Jordan Jess; Northwestern infielder Cody Stevens; and the entire team from the University of Texas-Pan American.
It's been well-documented about Frates' struggle with ALS, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease. A 2007 graduate from The Heights, Frates was diagnosed a little over a year ago with the disease, which slowly robs a human of their physical faculties. BC field manager Mike Gambino named him director of baseball operations that year, and he's tirelessly worked in conjunction with the Birdballers to raise awareness for ALS while continuing his fight against the disease. He and his family started the Pete Frates #3 fund, which helps subsidize all medical care and expenses not covered by medical insurance.
Boston College has hosted ALS Awareness Games each of the previous two years, in '12 and '13, setting attendance records at Shea Field by filling seating to over its 1,000-seat capacity. Fans jammed in along the Alumni Stadium ramp overlooking the field to catch the Birdballers, and Pete has become a bonafide hero to the masses as he's been a part of the fight with both OJ Bridgance in Maryland and former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason. He represented all those who are affected by the fight against ALS with the Boston Red Sox at each of their last two ALS Awareness Days, and he has repeatedly said he will attend as many functions and events as possible while he fights the disease. There is currently no known cure for Lou Gehrig's.
Congraulations to Pete, who has inspired so many of us to take action in the fight against ALS!