An Outside The Lines feature on MLBN's Sarah Langs and her battle with ALS. An Outside The Lines feature on MLBN’s Sarah Langs.

For many of those who follow MLB, Sarah Langs has been a familiar presence for years. From time working for MetsBlog, SNY and CSN Chicago through ESPN and then MLB/MLB Network, Langs has made her mark as a an incredible researcher, writer, on-air voice (including on the first all-female on-air MLB broadcast, on YouTube in 2021), and source of both astounding historical facts and relentless #BaseballIsTheBest positivity on Twitter. Ahead of last year’s postseason, though, Langs revealed that she was battling neurogenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease):

Friday marks Lou Gehrig Day across MLB, and the league is doing some remarkable things to honor and celebrate Langs and advance ALS research. To start with, illuminated wooden stars known as “A Langs Star” will be displayed in each TV broadcast booth calling a game Friday, with those stars coming from ESPN’s Karl Ravech, Christopher Owens (The Star Man) and Project ALS. They’ll be available for fans to purchase at, with all proceeds benefitting Project ALS (which works to identify and fund scientific research that will lead to the first effective treatments and a cure for ALS) on Langs’ behalf.

MLB is also running a special charitable auction at to benefit the Expanded Access Protocol program at the Healey & AMG Center for ALS. That auction will feature 30 autographed and authenticated Lou Gehrig Day bats, including players selected by Langs.

And Langs herself will be throwing out the first pitch at the New York Mets’ game Friday night, the team she grew up watching:

Beyond that, broadcasters, media members, and fans across MLB and beyond (including ESPN coverage of the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament) are showing off “Baseball Is The Best” shirts, a collaboration from Langs, Rob Friedman, and Rotowear that benefits Project ALS:

Here are some of those displayed shirts:

The Boston Red Sox even obtained those for everyone in their press box Friday:

And the New York Yankees have announced plans to honor Langs during HOPE Week in July, including on the anniversary of Gehrig’s speech:

Meanwhile, both MLB Network and ESPN delivered moving pieces on Langs Friday, with Cleveland Guardians’ reporter and Langs’ friend Mandy Bell helming the MLB one and Buster Olney helming the ESPN one:

That Outside The Lines piece from ESPN includes coverage of the #Fistbumps4ALS awarness and fundraising effort Langs launched a month ago on her birthday:

That’s seen incredible adoption throughout the sports world, including on ESPN and TNT shows not about baseball, and has currently raised more than $34,000, well surpassing a $30,000 goal:

Another notable part of that OTL piece covers how Langs was battling health issues as far back as 2018 and was diagnosed with ALS in 2021, but wants to keep working because of her love for baseball. As she says near the end, “The difference between myself and people who are eager to retire because of a terminal diagnosis is that my work is my passion, baseball is my passion, and getting to work on it is what I want to continue to do.” That’s impressive, and brings up thoughts of another prominent sports figure battling ALS, Calgary Flames’ assistant general manager Chris Snow. And Langs, Snow, and others are illustrating how much many with ALS can still do despite incredible health challenges. Langs also had an important message at an awards dinner earlier this year, shown around 4:20 in the MLBN piece above:

“I want to make sure that in addition to making sure that everybody loves baseball, that we tell people in our everyday lives how much we love and appreciate them, not just because something has gone wrong.”

The closing of a piece on this Bell wrote for is notable, too, on the difference Langs is still making:

Gehrig has shown us all first-hand what the reality of this situation is. You can fight this disease as hard as you want, but eventually, it wins.

Medications offered to those with ALS extend lives by a matter of months, not years. According to Sarah’s favorite research group, Project ALS, 30,000 people are living with ALS in the United States at any given time. More than 100,000 are living with it worldwide. The average life expectancy after getting your diagnosis is just two to five years.

Sarah knows she probably won’t see the cure for ALS in her lifetime, but she’s determined to raise funds to support the research it takes to find that cure, so others don’t have to have as devastating of an outlook as she has.

I know Gehrig would be appalled to learn that more than eight decades after his death, there have been no improvements for those living with ALS. But if somehow I could just talk with him for a few minutes to explain Sarah’s story, I know he would find solace in the fact that Sarah is fighting to make a difference.

And she will be the difference. I just know it.

It’s great to see MLB, its teams, its broadcasters, and so many else around the game saluting Langs this way. We send her and her family and friends all the best.

[, MLB on Twitter; top image via Outside The Lines on Twitter]


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.