Fans take part in Ice Bucket Challenge

Fans take part in Ice Bucket Challenge

BOSTON -- As he sat on an overturned bucket, Rob Daigle knew what was coming. Hanley Ramirez had a bucket of icy water in his hands, and it was about to end up all over him.

So when Ramirez decided to douse both himself and Daigle, laughing as the water dripped off his dreads, the 50-year-old Newburyport, Mass., resident was caught off guard.

"I didn't expect him to do what he did, so that was pretty cool," Daigle said afterwards. "I was very appreciative."

Frates, Quinn on ALS Challenge

For the Red Sox, the month of August ended the same way it began: With members of the team participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at Fenway park. Instead of soaking their teammates, however, Monday's conclusion of the awareness campaign featured the likes of Ramirez, David Ortiz, Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts pouring buckets of frigid water on some of their biggest supporters.

Daigle, a lifelong Red Sox devotee, was one of five fans that bid on and won the chance to be soaked in ice water. Daigle participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge last August, but it has taken on an entirely new meaning for him since he was diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) on April 1.

"It was not up until what Pete [Frates] did last year with the Ice Bucket Challenge, people didn't really know about ALS," Daigle said. "They weren't aware of that. I wasn't really aware of that until I started seeing things that possibly could happen. And then when they diagnosed me, I had no choice but to find out about it. So this year, [it is] extremely important for me."

Frates, a former Boston College baseball player, and Pat Quinn are recognized as co-founders of the initiative. Both took part in the challenge's kickoff at Fenway Park on Aug. 1. The Red Sox signed Frates to a ceremonial contract at their home opener this season and have maintained close ties with the Frates family and the Ice Bucket Challenge.

In addition to participating in the challenge with players, the winning fans also received signed Frates Red Sox jerseys and tickets to Monday night's game against the Yankees.

Jacob Bundy, a 12-year-old Sox fan from Hartford, Conn., had his jersey signed by Holt, who is his favorite player.

"I don't know what word to use," Bundy said, his eyes widening. "Better than amazing. Better than awesome. Better than good. Better than great. I don't know."

ALS affects roughly 30,000 people nationwide and has no known cure. Daigle cited the lack of privately-funded drug company research on the disease as a primary reason why the Ice Bucket Challenge is so important for him and others like him. He knows a remedy for the disease might not be on the horizon, but he and the others who participated on Monday have been more than willing to fight for the cause this year.

"This money here goes directly to research, where companies like ALS [Therapy Development Institute] here in Cambridge, they're totally focused on ALS treatments," Daigle said. "They work with a lab, work with animals, just to try to get some kind of results and try to find a breakthrough.

"And that's what we need. We need a breakthrough. I may not see it in my lifetime, but somebody down the road needs to be able to get the rewards from it."

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