Sportsnet via NESN
There are many times in the world of sports where individual people can transcend the game to become an example for others, an inspiration in personal struggles. On Thursday, Calgary Flames Assistant General Manager Chris Snow became one such individual when he threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park, home of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox, on “Lou Gehrig Day” throughout the league.
Lou Gehrig, a legendary player for the New York Yankees whose struggles with Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (simply known today as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), a neurodegenerative neuromuscular disease that ultimately results in the loss of motor function in muscles and in later stages, other body functions, brought awareness to the disease, is honored every season on June 2 to remember his contributions to the game of baseball as well as his fight against ALS. Snow, who was raised in the Boston area as a child, was diagnosed with ALS in 2019, and was given a year to live upon his diagnosis.
Two years later, Snow and his family (wife Kasie, son Cohen, and daughter Willa), threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park on Lou Gehrig.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 12, 2021
In the days and months leading up to the first pitch at Fenway, Snow, who has served as Flames Assistant General Manager since 2019 and been with the organization for over 10 seasons, practiced with his children at home. While losing his father, two of his uncles, and a cousin to the disease, Snow’s treatments (which includes an experimental drug that targets the genetic mutation of the ALS and being fed through a tube) has enabled him to survive a year past the diagnosed expectancy.
His final full season Lou Gehrig hit .295 with 29 home runs. With #ALS. Today, on #LouGehrigDay across @MLB, 2 years after my diagnosis and 1 year after I was supposed to die, I picked up a wood bat with my one useful hand. I am proof. Science is gaining on this disease. 1/4 pic.twitter.com/KBaiKkocf6
— Chris Snow (@ChrisSnowCGY) June 2, 2021
— Chris Snow (@ChrisSnowCGY) August 11, 2021
Earlier in his life, Snow served as a reporter who covered the Red Sox, and for the occasion at Fenway on Thursday (a day after his 40th birthday), he donned a Red Sox No. 40 uniform while tossing a ceremonial first pitch with family and friends in attendance. Originally a right-handed thrower, he now has to use his left arm as a result of the disease. ““I’ve kind of put myself in that position over the last few days, just thinking about taking those few deep breaths and really breathe that in,” Snow told The Calgary Sun’s Wes Gilbertson, “Because I’m sure the nerves and the adrenaline and the excitement will be in overdrive.”
Special day at Fenway, as Flames assistant GM (and former Globe writer) Chris Snow throws out the first pitch with his family.
Snow, who celebrated his 40th birthday yesterday, was diagnosed with ALS more than 2 years ago.
The entire Snow family continues to be an inspiration. pic.twitter.com/OrAdlRtKZk
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) August 12, 2021
To say that Thursday was a special day for Chris Snow and his family would be an understatement. For the Flames’ Assistant General Manager, it was another victory in his battle with ALS.
By Michael Fleetwood