Esposito: Shannon Forde, A Hall Of Famer Everyday

Normally, one media source doesn’t go around sending its readers to other media sources, but today is special. On this evening, Shannon Forde, the longtime Mets Media Relations liason, is officially being inducted into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame, the first female inductee, in a ceremony held at Foley’s Pub in Manhattan, home to the IABHOF.

Our caps are off to Ms. Forde for the honor, and we urge readers to check out any of the various notices the city’s media sources posted, including one notable piece in the NY Daily News. The piece recognized that Shannon (she has that first name level of recognition status) is like a mom, a big sister, or a good friend to the players, and a valued presence to members of the media when they need information or other assistance.

For over 20 years, Shannon has served under Jay Horwitz, the team’s VP of Media Relations. Officially the Senior Director of media Relations, Shannon first joined the organization when she was just 22, so you could say she has been a Met for virtually her entire adult life.

Shannon is being inducted along with a well-accomplished cast of fellow Irish Americans. Welcome to the IABHOF: famed actor/comedian Bill Murray, cause “betcha didn’t know” Murray is the owner of several minor league baseball teams; Mike Sweeney, former Kansas City Royal; Jack McKeon, longtime baseball lifer who is a two-time Manager of the Year and skipper of the World Champion 2003 Florida Marlins; and Dave O’Brien, longtime ESPN and Boston Red Sox broadcaster.

Also being honored is longtime major league coach Don Wakamatsu, who is being feted with the second annual Pete Caldera & Duke Castiglione “I Didn’t Know He Was Irish Award.” Yes, Wakamatsu, currently the Royals bench coach, is the son of Irish American and Japanese parents.

Previous inductees into the IABHOF include: Nolan Ryan, Rusty Staub, Kevin Costner, Steve Garvey, Sean Casey, Mark McGwire, Vin Scully, Gene Michael, Dan Shaughnessy, Tim McCarver, Tug McGraw, and members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, including Walter O’Malley, Connie Mack, John McGraw, “Wee” Willie Keeler, Mike “King” Kelly, and “Big Ed” Walsh.

What makes it extra-special in recognizing and congratulating Shannon is her valiant efforts in the past two years battling Stage 4 breast cancer. All of baseball is rooting for her as she continues to work and undergo treatments at the same time.

At the 2013 All-Star Game, when the entire stadium was asked to hold “Stand Up 2 Cancer” signs for loved, more than several players and other mlb personnel, including David Wright and Matt Harvey, inscribed their signs with Shannon’s name. Several fundraisers have been held on her behalf, including one hosted by Ron Darling. A special website: Hope Shines For Shannon, has been created to channel more positive energy toward her fight.

So kudos, prayers and best wishes to you, Shannon. Keep the faith.

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