March 04, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) Shannon Forde, who worked in the media relations department for the New York Mets for more than 20 years, died Friday night after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 44.

Forde's death, announced by the team, was met with an outpouring of grief and condolences from players, executives and reporters across the sport. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, who was diagnosed with cancer last year, said Forde ''was an absolute inspiration to everyone in this organization.''

''She was courageous in her fight and never let her illness claim her spirit,'' he said in a release. ''That spirit will remain with the Mets, in our memories and in our hearts.''

Forde went to St. John's University and joined the Mets in 1994. Her survivors include her husband, John, and two children, Nicholas and Kendall.

Jeff Wilpon, the chief operating officer of the Mets, said Citi Field ''won't be the same without her contagious smile and genuine personality.''

''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.''

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