Astros Keuchel and Hoes Accept #IceBucketChallenge to Strike Out ALS
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or just arrived from another planet (welcome to Earth!), you’ve heard about or seen the #IceBucketChallenge, a viral movement to raise awareness for ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Celebrities, politicians, athletes and even team mascots have been dousing themselves with ice cold buckets of ice water over the past week and it’s impossible to go onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram without seeing photos and videos posted. The Astros are no exception, with LHP Dallas Keuchel and OF L.J. Hoes accepting the challenge this week.
Keuchel received his challenge from CSN Houston reporter Julia Morales and made good before Tuesday night’s Astros game. Of course we’ve got video.
Keuchel in turn challenged fellow Arkansas Razorbacks Patrick Beverley of the Rockets and his former college roommate Drew Smyly of the Rays. We have no word yet on whether any of them have accepted.
L.J. Hoes’ Special Connection to ALS
While most athletes and celebrities take the challenge out of a desire to help the ALS cause (and because they don’t want to disappoint a friend), the motivation for Astros outfielder L.J. Hoes go much deeper. The Ice Bucket Challenge has an extra significance because Hoes’ grandfather, Charles Eguster Hoes, died two years ago — on August 16, 2012 — from complications related to ALS. Hoes was 78 and had been suffering from the debilitating disease for several years before it was finally diagnosed.
“It was pretty advanced.” Hoes said of his grandfather’s condition before getting soaked with the ice water. “They kept misdiagnosing it and he was getting hip surgeries. Then they realized it was nerves and it was too late.”
Hoes’ grandfather passed away just months after his diagnosis, as L.J. was coming up through the Orioles’ system. L.J. knew that the latest viral craze was something he had to do.
“When I heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge, I wanted to do it for my grandfather,” Hoes said.
Hoes got the chance when a former baseball teammate A.J. Lee challenged him via Instagram. L.J. accepted in the comments and was honor-bound by the Ice Bucket Challenge code to make good on his promise within 24 hours.
And here’s video of Hoes’ Ice Bucket Challenge at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday before the Astros-Twins game:
If you can’t quite hear it in the video, Hoes challenged several Astros teammates — fellow outfielders Dexter Fowler and George Springer, first baseman Jon Singleton, relievers Tony Sipp and Chad Qualls and pitcher Brad Peacock. We’ll keep you posted on the status of any future Ice Bucket Challenges for the team.
We’ve also got L.J.’s Instagram video of the challenge — in two parts:
To find out more about the Ice Bucket Challenge, ALS or to donate, visit the ALS Association.