Official scorer Shannon obituary

Bill Shannon, a legendary official scorekeeper at Mets and Yankees games, died Tuesday in a house fire at his West Caldwell, N.J., home, the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America confirmed. He was 69.

Courtesy of New York Mets

Bill Shannon

Shannon was an authoritative voice on scoring. He wrote the book "Official Scoring in the Big Leagues," which included a chapter on the history of that work.

The biography of Shannon in that book reads: "Bill Shannon has been an official scorer for the American and National Leagues in New York for nearly a quarter-century. He has been official scorer for four no-hitters -- Dave Righetti (1983), Jim Abbott (1993), Dwight Gooden (1996) and David Cone's perfect game (July18, 1999). Shannon is also the first official scorer ever to work the ALCS and NLCS in the same season, and has been on the official scoring crew for three World Series. He also has been the official scorer for numerous other notable baseball events, including Tom Seaver's 300th win (1985), the celebrated seventh games of the 2003 and 2004 ALCS at Yankee Stadium and Mike Piazza's 352nd career home run as a catcher. Shannon has been a baseball writer and sports reporters since the early 1950s, previously having worked as an official scorer in the old Eastern Intercollegiate League and the minor leagues. He has been cited by several publications as the best official scorer in the major leagues."

Shannon wrote in the introduction to the book: "During roughly a quarter-century of working as a scorer, it as been my privilege to work with some of the best in the business, especially the legendary Red Foley, under whom I was able to study the nuances of a very nuanced business. Were there calls Red made I didn't agree with? Absolutely. And I know that I made plenty that he didn't like. There are many blessings to work shoulder-to-shoulder over long periods with a gentleman. One of those blessings is not having to squabble over judgment calls."

Directly from the Associated Press:

West Caldwell fire chief Charlie Holden said the three-alarm fire was called in just before 9 a.m. and brought under control within an hour. Holden identified Shannon, 69, as the only fatality.

Neighbors told News 12-New Jersey they were able to rescue Shannon's mother through the front door. One neighbor placed a ladder up to the second floor to reach Shannon, but Shannon told the neighbor he was unable to break the window and disappeared into the thick smoke.

Shannon became an official scorer for the American League in 1979 and the National League one year later, and in recent seasons was the senior official scorer for games of the New York Yankees and Mets. He also contributed stories to The Associated Press.

After attending Columbia University and serving in the Army, he was the head of public relations for Madison Square Garden from 1965-73 as it moved into its new building. He was longtime assistant on the press staff for the U.S. Tennis Association.

He authored the book, "The Ballparks," a history of major league baseball stadiums and edited "The Official Encyclopedia of Tennis of the United States Tennis Association."