Most baseball fans never knew her, or even of her. But Katy Feeney, former major league baseball exec who passsed away over the weekend due to natural causes at age 68, was a lifelong friend to every baseball fan, a major factor in helping the media obtain the information needed to entertain every fan, the game’s go-to person regarding the complicated aspects of scheduling, and one of the highest ranking women in the sport.
Everyone in baseball knew her. And everyone in baseball was her friend. Her ever-congenial personna was a welcomed presence at any game she attended, and she attended many, countless thousands in the nearly four decades she gave to the sport.
All of baseball mourned her loss.
“All of us at major league baseball are shocked and saddened by the news of Katy’s passing,” read statement from the commissioner’s office. “She was one of the most dedicated executives overseeing the schedule. Katy long held one of the most challenging positions in the sport.”
While based in New York, and an almost constant presence at Citi Field, Feeney held long standing ties with the San Francisco Giants as the daughter of former Giants GM and former NL President Charles “Chub” Feeney.
Giants President Larry Baer released this comment: “The passing of Katy Feeney brings great sadness to our organization. Katy was one of the most experienced voices in the game and was a alongtime friend that left an imprint not only on the Giants organization but all of baseball.”
Perhaps you heard Katy’s voice as the host of the many pre and post press conferences at major baseball events including All-Star games and the World Series. That was Katy calling on the various media members as they raised their questions to the participants.
Or when rainouts or other delays caused scheduling conflicts throughput the season, you may have wondered how that all got straightened out. It was Katy to the rescue.
Born into baseball as not only the daughter of a baseball exec, Katy was the grand-niece to former Giants owner Horace Stoneham. Yes, that Horace Stoneham who was responsible for moving the Giants out of New York and relocate the franchise to the West Coast.
Okay, so yes, it doesn’t hurt to know people, but since Feeney entered the sport in 1979 as MLB’s Assistant Director of Public Relations, her passion and efforts were constant. She was promoted to Director Media and Public Affairs in December of 1986.
When baseball eliminated the positions of league presidents in 2000, Feeney became Senior VP of Club Relations & Scheduling.
Last season was, ironically, her last season in baseball, choosing to retire and enjoy the sport again as a fan. At the baseball winter meetings last december, Katy said her goodbyes to the media who were all deeply touched by her efforts aiding them in their quests.
She will be missed.