NEW YORK -- More than five years after the death of longtime Mets staffer Shannon Forde, her memory remains firmly secure in the minds of so many around baseball. Shortly after Forde’s passing, over 1,000 people attended a memorial service for her at Citi Field, with David Wright serving as one of the speakers. Nine Major League teams held moments of silence in her honor. Forde’s hometown dedicated a Little League field in her name.
“For the Mets, she was like our big sister, our mom,” longtime Mets closer John Franco said. “She would come down making sure the players were always taken care of -- the players, the families, whatever we needed to do. It was just a pleasure to be around her.”
Now, Forde is about to receive another significant recognition. On Sunday, she will be posthumously inducted into the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame, joining longtime Mets PR director Jay Horwitz, as well as former Mets players Cleon Jones and Mookie Wilson, former Yankees players Bernie Williams and Bobby Richardson, former Major League umpire Perry Barber, former Minor League player Joe Solimine, former Adelphi baseball coach Dom Scala, current MLB Network broadcaster Brian Kenny, and longtime documentarian Ken Burns.
“We are thrilled to be inducting such a distinguished class of inductees, who have lifetime achievements in the game of baseball,” the Hall’s executive director, Rene M. LeRoux, said in a statement.
The New York State Baseball Hall of Fame was founded in 2011 and is located in Clifton Park, N.Y. (Tickets for this year’s dinner remain available.) The Hall includes various baseball luminaries who either hail from the state -- including Franco, Craig Biggio, Sandy Koufax and others -- or adopted it as their home.
Forde will become the Hall’s first woman inductee, much as she served as a trailblazer throughout her career. When the Mets hired Forde 27 years ago, she was one of only a few women holding front office positions in MLB. She began as an intern before rising up the ranks to become the team’s senior director of media relations. Along the way, Forde received numerous awards and accolades, and even more upon her death in 2016. In addition to the Little League field that Major League Baseball built after raising nearly $300,000 in Forde’s name, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s New York chapter renamed its community service award after her.
Now, Forde will be honored alongside some of the most accomplished baseball people in New York history.
“That just shows you what type of person she was,” Franco said. “She was a sweetheart, a great mother to her kids, a great wife to her husband. All 25 players were like her kids. She treated us well, protected us, whatever she could do to help us. She was just a pleasure to be around, and I’m so happy that she’s being recognized and being inducted into the New York Hall of Fame. … Her memory has just carried on, because she was that type of person that deserves all the recognition.
“The community should be very proud that there was a woman like Shannon involved in baseball.”