(Photo: Marc Levine/NY Mets)
Back in 2013 as my two children became just of the age to start appreciating the great sport of baseball, I decided to call in the favor and ask the Mets if I could get a couple of batting practice passes for them and I would, of course, buy tickets for them for the game.
Well, not only did I get the field passes for them, the Mets gave me tickets right behind the plate. It was a great day for them and two new Met fans were formed.
And the person responsible for all of this was Shannon Forde.
If the Mets media relations department had a heart and soul, it was Shannon. She was the go to person. Jay Horwitz runs the department, but Shannon kept it organized. If you were a member of the media and needed something done, you went to Shannon.
Needed an extra credential? Email Shannon. Wanted to “cover” Billy Joel? Call Shannon. Needed something on the field before the game? Shannon.
You get the drift.
And Horwitz would probably agree that if Shannon wasn’t his No. 1, the entire department would have imploded upon itself years ago. The department has gotten a lot larger in recent years, partially to pick up the slack that Shannon covered herself.
Shannon passed away today after a long bout with cancer. Originally diagnosed as breast cancer back in 2012, she fought it off and then it came back and moved aggressively through her body.
Throughout the whole ordeal, she never lost her smile and never lost her kindness.
“Shannon was a very unique person,” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon. “I was fortunate to see her a few weeks ago at the rehab facility and had a great time laughing and visiting with her for over an hour. My condolences to her husband, John, two children, Nicholas and Kendall and the Dalton and Forde families. Citi Field won’t be the same without her contagious smile and genuine personality.”
She was 44.
Media relations in Citi Field will never be the same without her. She wasn’t just a local beloved employee, but known throughout Major League Baseball. Last year during Game 3 of the World Series, when MLB did its “Stand Up for Cancer” campaign, almost to a man, the Mets stood up for Shannon.
“She fought, fought and fought,” said manager Terry Collins. “She came to work as long as she could. She loved her job and loved the Mets. I have so much admiration for the way she conducted herself the last several years.”
“Shannon was with me my whole career with the Mets,” said Mets captain David Wright. “She helped me so much when I was a rookie. She worked hard to assist my foundation and helped me get acclimated to New York.”
You will never find anyone nicer than her in this business. Media Relations departments generally have an antagonistic relationship with the press. Shannon, though, was the exception. She was one of a kind.
She will be sorely missed.