BOSTON (CBS) — Former Boston College baseball player and inspiration for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Pete Frates received a special honor at Fenway Park.
Saturday, Frates and his family gave a few of his signature items to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, where they will find a new permanent home as a tribute to Frates.
“Pete, you’re going to the Hall Of Fame in the one of the most unbelievable ways possible,” Nancy Frates cried.
The items presented were the bucket Frates used for his own ice bucket challenge, his sunglasses, and his hat and baseball glove from his playing days at BC.
Frates was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 when he was just 27-years-old.
He has since become the driving force behind the Ice Bucket Challenge, a fundraising phenomenon that has raised over $250 million for ALS research in three years.
“One story we need to tell is baseball and connection to ALS,” said Jon Shestakofsky of the Baseball Hall of Fame. “It goes way back to Lou Gehrig. It’s a testament to Pete and he’s turned it into an amazing cause.”
Ice bucket challenges grabbed the attention of those all over the world, from local businesses to professional sports teams, to state governors, and even Bill Gates.
According to the ALS Association last summer, researchers from Project MinE, which was funded by money raised by the Ice Bucket Challenge, isolated a gene variation present in many ALS patients. Scientists identified the NEK1 gene, as a gene that causes the neurodegenerative disease.
The family says through the ice bucket challenge Frates has forever altered the course of research and awareness for ALS.
“We are so thrilled to have a permanent place for Pete’s artifacts so that his legacy established through the ice bucket challenge and is also going to continue on in Cooperstown,” John Frates said.
Recently, the Frates family opened up about the financial burden of caring for a loved one with ALS, especially when they want to stay home.
John Frates, Pete Frates father, explained to WBZ-TV in May that Frates’ room was almost transformed into an Intensive Care Unit where Frates has 24-hour care.
“Any family would be broke because of this,” said John. “After 2-and-a-half years of this type of expense, it’s become absolutely unsustainable for us. We can’t afford it.”