LITTLE FERRY N.J. -- Tributes mounted in and around the New York Mets organization and Major League Baseball for Shannon Dalton Forde of Little Ferry, a pioneer for women in baseball public relations who died Friday night at 44 after battling breast cancer.
Forde, a senior director of media relations for the Mets, leaves her husband, John, and sons Nicholas and Kendall.
Forde was "a wonderful, dedicated member of the Mets family" Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza tweeted.
“Shannon was an absolute inspiration to everyone in this organization, including me, and I told her so,” said Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, who is battling cancer himself. “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.”
"She fought, fought and fought," Mets 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."
Her appearance at last fall's World Series at Citi Field in Flushing was an inspiration to many.
Forde, who was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in 2012, was graduated from Ridgefield Park High School and St. John's University. She joined the Mets as an intern nearly 22 years ago.
“Shannon was with me my whole career with the Mets,” team captain 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.”
Justin Turner, who played for the Mets from 2010-13, wrote: "Her smile and sense of humor were refreshing and she had warmth and kindness about her that was comforting. Even through tough times she always put everyone else first."
Mike Swanson, the vice president of communications for the Kansas City Royals, said Forde "was the rock behind" Mets vice president of media relations Jay Horwitz.
"When Jay had his hands full with the media, she was always there to help with everything," Swanson said. "This is heartbreaking."
Horwitz himself called her a "daughter figure."
Various MLB teams tweeted tributes, while several notable baseball writers offered condolences.
MLB.com's Bryan Hoch called Forde "the warmest [and] kindest person you would ever want to meet."
John Harper, the Daily News baseball columnist, said she "touched all who knew her with her strength and smile."
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