A cause dear to Kansas City and George Brett was Wednesday’s theme at the World Series. Game two between the Royals and Giants was dedicated to ALS awareness.
Before the action, Commissioner Bud Selig honored Pete Frates, a former captain of the Boston College baseball team who was stricken with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain.
Pete couldn’t travel to Kansas City but his parents, John and Nancy, his brother Andrew and sister Jennifer were recognized and accepted an engraved sterling ice bucket, a symbol of the fund-raising “Ice Bucket Challenge” phenomenon that swept the nation over the summer.
Pete Frates, 29, had challenged Major League Baseball to the fund-raising challenge of dumping a bucket of dumping a bucket of ice water over somebody’s head. Incoming baseball commissioner Rob Manfred obliged.
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“You’ll note with some interest that I did not,” said Selig, who is retiring from the job in January.
Brett, the Royals legend who threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Wednesday, became a major contributor to the Keith Worthington Chapter of the ALS during his career and continues to make it a charitable priority.
Brett and golfer Tom Watson conduct a fund-raising golf tournament each spring, named for former Kansas City Star editor Joe McGuff, who succumbed to ALS in 2006.
According to the ALS Association, in the two weeks after the Ice Bucket Challenge began in July some $7.6 million was donated to the various chapters, compared with $1.4 million during the same period in 2013.
“The great Jackie Robinson once said, ‘A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives,’” Selig said. “A member of the baseball family, Pete Frates, is making an enormous impact on countless lives.”