PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Shannon Forde, the beloved pillar of the Mets’ media relations department, where she worked for more than two decades, died Friday night after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 44.
“Shannon was an absolute inspiration to everyone in this organization, including me, and I told her so,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said in the team’s statement. “She was courageous in her fight and never let her illness claim her spirit. That spirit will remain with the Mets, in our memories and in our hearts.”
Forde, a graduate of St. John’s University, was hired by the Mets in 1994, breaking new ground as one of the first women in baseball public relations. She rose to the title of senior director but was really known as the heart of the Mets, with boundless enthusiasm and unwavering optimism, even during the tougher times for the franchise she truly loved.
“Shannon was a very unique person,” COO Jeff Wilpon said. “Citi Field won’t be the same without her contagious smile and genuine personality.”
Forde brightened both Shea Stadium and Citi Field during her tenure with the Mets, even after her cancer diagnosis. Despite failing health, she made sure to travel to Kansas City for the World Series, something she would never miss.
“She fought, fought and fought,” manager Terry Collins said. “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.”
Forde was part of the fabric of the team as much as anyone in the building, a behind-the-scenes dynamo and welcoming presence to those on the outside. It was her job to deal with the media, but she befriended everyone she came into contact with, whether it was in the clubhouse or press box.
“Shannon was with me my whole career with the Mets,” David Wright said. “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.”
Forde was a mother of two, Nicholas and Kendall, and is survived by her husband, John.