This is my 100th entry for this blog. It was going to be something other than an analysis of a particular player, team or issue. Maybe there would have been a little more humor, a list of 100….(fill in the blank) in baseball or just a big old thank you to the readers who have followed and encouraged me since I started this a year ago. But circumstances in life tell you to go in a different direction. And while baseball is a part of this piece, it will not be the primary focus of this article.
During Game 1 of this year’s World Series, announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver held up two of those “Stand Up 2 Cancer” signs, each with a name written on them. McCarver’s sign had the name Shannon Forde who is a senior executive in the New York Mets’ Media Relations department. I immediately froze because I knew Shannon Forde as Shannon Dalton, a classmate of mine and also a member of the Athletic Administration Club with me at St. John’s University. I found out that Shannon was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in August and that a benefit featuring several prominent athletes from around the New York area was being held for her on November 1st (switched to November 29th because of Hurricane Sandy).
The news about Shannon floored me. Although I haven’t seen her for 17 years and our time together at St. John’s wasn’t all that long, I considered her a friend and someone who was extremely nice. Reading the kind things being said about her by so many people in the baseball world only reinforces my belief about what a good person she is. Shannon was a big Lenny Dykstra fan when I met her and she knew baseball better than most people I knew. I remember that eight to ten of us from school went to Yankee Stadium in April 1994 and spoke with John Maroon, who at that time was the Media Relations director for the Cleveland Indians. Out of that group, Shannon was the one who made it the farthest in Major League Baseball rising up to become a Senior Director with the Mets. I guarantee you it was not easy and I am sure she sacrificed a lot in her life to get where she is.
Shannon is married with two young children and is showing just how tough she is by continuing to work full-time while going through this ordeal. As we get ready to celebrate Christmas, let us remember those who are having a tough time with not only their health but also with finances and even loneliness. In particular, let us say a prayer for Shannon as she continues to fight this disease and that her family and friends continue to be rocks for her.
Good luck Shannon. Be well.
Follow me on Twitter @ltj41 and covering the Arizona Diamondbacks at http://venomstrikes.com