By Jay Horwitz
She had the ability to touch all part of the Mets family; the players, the staff, the front office and ownership. Yes, the media loved Shannon Forde, too.
She passed away five years ago today after a courageous nearly four-year battle with cancer. She will be mourned by so many.
In this the era of breakthroughs for women in sports and politics, Shannon should be remembered as a trailblazer in her own right. She worked with our media relations departments for 22 year. It was a time when women in public relations in baseball for that matter, all sports were an anomaly.
Shannon rose up the ranks to become a senior director with the Mets and one of the most respected PR people in all of baseball.
She excelled in pressure situations, loved working with all of our charities, especially Tuesday’s Children, which was her favorite. She always attened to request for autograph request that came in to our department regardless of who it was.
She was dedicated to her family and to the Mets. It wasn’t easy raising two young kids in a job that required working late nights and weekends.
Shannon was my right hand. She made sure I never missed an important date or appointment.
In full disclosure, I am a lousy driver with a bad sense of direction. We are both from New Jersey and after night games, we always faced the dilemma, do we go the upper level or lower level on the George Washington Bridge. She would always call Waze or a GPS app on her cell phone to make sure I made the right decision.
The one thing Shannon hated more than anything else with people asking her how she felt. She wanted no pity or sympathy. She used to literally shut her office door so she could get her work done.
The honors she received after her passed were just amazing and showed how respected she was in baseball.
· Nine major league teams held a moment of silence for her
· The Mets offices received more than 500 calls, letters and texts
· More than 1,000 people attended a memorial service for her at Citi Field
· MLB helped build a field in her hometown of Little Ferry, NJ; local high schools and colleges now play on Shannon Dalton Forde Field
· She became the first woman inducted into the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame
I remember exactly where I was when the call came in that she had died. I was having dinner some friends in St. Lucie. In some respects, it seems like the call came yesterday, in other respects its feels like 100 yesterdays ago.
It is important for people to remember Shannon Forde for her heart, her professionalism and for her devotion to her family and her job.
She always will be a part of the Mets family.