“I have to say this morning I started to reflect on 2004, which was Pete’s first year down here and the excitement,” she said.
“He was a freshman and being in the old Fort Myers ballpark, and just how the Red Sox, even back in 2004, were so inclusive and so welcoming of the BC families. And to have this and for this to happen is completely overwhelming and we’re honored and we’re just full of gratitude,” he said.
Frates very much remains a part of the Boston College baseball family. The school’s baseball media guide lists him as Director of Baseball Operations, a job he’s held since 2012.
Boston College coach Mike Gambino said the current players know Frates well.
“He’s been with this team for five straight years and these boys are so close to him.” Gambino said.
The Red Sox have also become close to Frates.
“What an honor it is for the Red Sox to be able to salute someone who has so magnificently changed the world,” Red Sox executive vice president Charles Steinberg said.
“I think people embraced the cause and to do so was enhanced by our having known him for years and knowing that it was his desire to turn a tragic illness into a force for good,” he said.
Gambino said he’s learned a great deal from Frates.
“He has taught me so much about not just helping coach young men but to help raise young men,” Gambino said. “It’s about winning baseball games, but it’s also about raising young men.”
Gambino said Frates still communicates with Boston College coaches and players.
“We talk just about every over the computer about what’s going on with the club,” Gambino said. “He’s also taught me what true leadership is.”
Boston College second baseman Blake Butera, a team captain, also is in regular contact with Frates.
“He just cares about this program as much as anyone else,” Butera said. “He’s always following us, always checking in. He’s texting or messaging us on Facebook or emailing. He wants to be a part of it.”
Said Steinberg: “For someone who isn’t fully communicative because of this disease you can still feel his passion when you look in his eyes.”
“They still communicate,” he said.
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