Lowell Park has hosted countless great baseball players during its storied history, but in June, 2011, Lowell Park hosted greatness itself. Many Kettleers fans know that the unofficial kickoff of our summer baseball season is a scrimmage game that takes place between Cotuit and the Lexington Blue Sox of the Boston Intercity League on the Saturday before the official CCBL opening day. The Blue Sox manager is former Cotuit Kettleer Rick DeAngelis, who played for the Kettleers in the summer of 1968. For years, the scrimmage game was not widely publicized, and because it takes place before most schools are out for summer break, it is generally not well attended. Such was the case in June, 2011. Although nobody in attendance on that late Spring day knew it, they all witnessed greatness. A relatively unknown player from Boston College was on the Lexington Blue Sox roster. He wore number 3. He was a Massachusetts native, and he knew all about the Cape Cod Baseball League and the talent that it takes to compete in the Nation’s best collegiate summer baseball league. His name was Peter Frates, who passed away on December 9, 2019, at the age of 34 after an absolutely heroic battle with ALS.
Pete’s fight against ALS was epic. Immediately upon his diagnosis in March of 2012, just 9 months after he played baseball at Lowell Park, his first reaction was to describe the news as an “opportunity.” Instead of feeling down, scared, or sorry for himself, Pete decided to take on ALS with everything he had. We believe that ALS never faced a fight like the one Peter Frates gave it over the past 7 years. Pete got married, and became a father to a beautiful daughter. He also co-invented the Ice Bucket Challenge that became a worldwide phenomenon raising awareness of ALS and over $220,000,000 in donations that have gone directly to medical research aimed at finding a cure for ALS. He shared his fight publicly, never complained, and generated massive fundraising efforts to battle the disease that cut his life short. He fought with everything he had.
The Cotuit Kettleers are honored that Pete Frates played baseball on our home field in Cotuit in 2011. We salute him for a life extremely well lived, and we express our sincere condolences to his wife Julie, daughter Lucy, father John, mother Nancy, siblings Jennifer and Andrew, and to the entire Frates family and all who loved him. Pete has already changed the World for the better. His mission will continue because of his incredible ability to inspire others to give of themselves on behalf of others. One day, there will be a cure for ALS. When that day comes, the name Pete Frates will be forever linked to an historic medical breakthrough, ensuring that nobody will ever suffer from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis again.
Since 2015, the Cotuit Kettleers and the Lexington Blue Sox, have dedicated their annual scrimmage game to Pete Frates, and raised funds that have been donated to the PeteFrates3 Fund in the hope of finding a cure. Next June, the Cotuit Kettleers will once again welcome our baseball brothers, the Lexington Blue Sox, to play baseball at Lowell Park. We look forward to continuing to honor Pete Frates for his greatness each Spring, and playing a small role in supporting Pete’s heroic efforts to #StrikeOutALS.