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Ice Bucket Challenge extra meaningful for Campbell

Ice Bucket Challenge extra meaningful for Campbell

NEW YORK -- The Mets participated in the latest viral fundraiser on Thursday at Citi Field, taking part in the Ice Bucket Challenge that is meant to raise awareness of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The team stepped onto the warning track near the home dugout during an unusually cool August afternoon in Queens as some Mets (mostly veterans) dumped eight buckets of ice water on others (mostly rookies).

For one of those rookies, Eric Campbell, the Mets' participation in the cause carried extra significance. One of the driving forces behind the Ice Bucket Challenge is Pete Frates, Campbell's former Boston College teammate who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. Frates can no longer walk or talk.

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"For [the Mets] to take the time out and do this, I'm sure it means a lot to everybody who has either been involved or has somebody that's been affected by it," Campbell said. "It's awesome. Whatever can raise more awareness for it, the more people that get involved, the better."

During Frates' time as a college baseball player, he left his mark on Campbell and countless others. When Campbell was still in high school and on a visit to B.C., Frates -- then just an underclassman -- was one of the first people he met on campus.

"[Frates] really made me feel at home there. He was overly nice to me and my parents," Campbell said. "You meet a lot of players [while visiting], but when you're eating breakfast in the cafeteria, he left his table and came over to my table just to make sure we were enjoying our stay and letting us know that anything we need, to call him. Little stuff like that, that's the type of guy he is."

Frates captained the Eagles in 2007, Campbell's second of three seasons at B.C. before the Mets took him in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

"Anyone that ever meets [Frates] would be instant friends with him," Campbell said.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has garnered a great deal of attention in the last few weeks, and it has reportedly raised millions of extra dollars for ALS research. It consists of a person (or group) dumping ice water on themselves, then challenging a handful of other people (or groups) to do the same -- as well as make a donation.

The Jets put the Mets up to the task earlier this week. The Mets then challenged the SNY broadcasting team of Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez, as well as Jon Stewart, the host of "The Daily Show."

"Hopefully, everyone just takes a minute to Google what ALS is and what it does to your body," Campbell said. "It's a chance to learn about it."

Tim Healey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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