NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Though the atmosphere in a Major League press box can become anxious at times, with writers facing deadline pressure and team officials striving to meet the demands of the media, Shannon Forde always managed to keep a smile on her face while performing her duties as the New York Mets' senior director of media relations.
Forde recently died of breast cancer at age 44. In her memory, Major League Baseball and all 30 clubs have contributed to an auction to benefit youth baseball and softball in her hometown of Little Ferry, N.J. The events and items that are up for grabs for fans would put the same type of smile on the winning bidders' faces that Forde always wore.
The Giants are offering three experiences to honor Forde:
A private 30-minute pitching lesson for one person with right-hander Johnny Cueto at AT&T Park during the 2017 regular season. The one-on-one tutorial will be conducted on a mutually agreed upon date.
Four lower reserved tickets, four pregame field passes and a meet-and-greet with a Giants player to be specified in the dugout on a mutually-agreed-upon date during 2017.
A day with the broadcasters. The winning bidder will enjoy a 2017 Giants home game from the broadcast booth at AT&T Park. The winner will get a meet-and-greet with all six Giants broadcasters pregame, watch one full inning from each of the Giants' three broadcast booths (CSN Bay Area, KNBR 680 and KKSF 910 (Spanish) and then watch the remaining portion of the game in a private broadcast booth at the ballpark (subject to a mutually-agreed-upon date).
Funds from the auction will help renovate a youth baseball and softball field in Little Ferry by constructing dugouts with protective fencing. Benches, perimeter fencing, bleachers, a backstop and a scoreboard and field signs will be among the initiatives paid for by funds from the auction, which can be accessed through MLB.com/Shannon. The field will be dedicated in her name. Overall, more than 100 unique baseball-related experiences or memorabilia packages are being offered.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.