NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — When Shannon Dalton Forde passed away from cancer last year, her family, friends and coworkers from the New York Mets promised to never forget the popular director of media relations.
Earlier this month, they made good on that promise by dedicating a little league baseball field in her name to her childhood hometown of Little Ferry, New Jersey.
“Shannon was great to everybody, and everybody loved Shannon. We miss her,” former Mets pitcher John Franco told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams, saying she was kind of like his kid sister. “Always (had) a smile on her face, even when she was sick.”
Mets captain David Wright says during his rookie year she took him under her wing.
“I knew a little bit about the history of the Mets, but I didn’t know how to get to the ballpark, where to walk into the ballpark – you know dealing with the media kind of for the first time,” he says. “She was kind of a big sister to me, where – not just on the job training, but hey, what do I eat? Where do I stay?”
Forde died at the age of 44 after battling breast cancer.
The team and the town have transformed a rock-strewn patch of dirt into a diamond, complete with a scoreboard, fencing and her name in the outfield.
“This is a very proud moment for our family. When the MLB and the town came to us with this idea of putting the field in this spot, we thought it couldn’t be more perfect,” Forde’s niece said.
“To her children, Nick and Kendall, what a great thrill to play on a field that honors your mother. You should be really proud,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said.
Her kids christened the new ballpark, throwing out the first pitch.