The baseball programs at Notre Dame and Boston College have always been indelibly linked throughout their history. Never has that been closer than in recent years, with former Eagles head coach Mik Aoki coaching the Fighting Irish in South Bend and the move of the program from the Big East into the ACC's Atlantic Division.
As part of their weekend series against Boston College, Notre Dame designated Saturday's game, televised on ESPN3 as part of the teams' three games, as the ALS Game to benefit the Pete Frates #3 Fund. Notre Dame will wear special edition uniforms and hats courtesy of Under Armour. The uniforms will then be auctioned off with proceeds to benefit the Frates Fund.
The Irish will wear blue henley style jerseys with one button at the top, with the numbers on the back outlined in red, the color of ALS awareness. The familiar "Strike out ALS" ribbon used by the Frates Fund, with Pete's number three and red baseball stitches, will be above the jersey number.
Notre Dame will also wear ALS awareness red hats, and the uniform will feature red belts and red socks. Pete's dad and brother, John and Andrew, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch in at Frank Eck Stadium.
Mik Aoki joined the Boston College baseball staff in 2004 as an assistant coach during Pete's freshman year, and he served as a coach for Frates throughout his time at The Heights. In 2007, Aoki served as Frates' head coach after Pete Hughes moved to Virginia Tech. Current Boston College baseball head coach Mike Gambino also served on that staff and was part of the crew that helped bring Frates to Chestnut Hill.
Mik will host a Pints 4 Pete event on May 5th at Brothers Bar and Grill on Eddy Street in South Bend, while Notre Dame students will host a Pints 4 Pete event at The Blarney Stone in downtown South Bend on the same day.
Notre Dame has previously worn ALS special edition jerseys to help battle and raise awareness for the disease, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Boston College is continuing to stand behind Pete throughout this season. Earlier this year, the Eagles and Boston Red Sox wore special edition "PF3" wristbands during their annual exhibition. During the final week of the regular season, all ACC players, staff, and coaches will wear the wristbands as part of ALS Awareness Month. Boston College is also encouraging all teams to purchase a team set of the wristbands in hopes of starting a movement in honor, once again, of their friend and mentor, Pete Frates.
This is the fourth straight year that Notre Dame will honor Frates.