UChicago Alum Sarah Langs Continues to Inspire Fans Around the Nation

Langs, a prominent journalist in the world of Major League Baseball, refuses to let a recent ALS diagnosis get in the way of her love for baseball.

By Marcos Gonzalez

There are so many words that can be, and have been, used to describe Sarah Langs. Ask anybody who knows or follows Langs and they will tell you that she is kind, inspirational, and one of the most passionate voices in baseball. I was fortunate enough to have a conversation with her about life, journalism, and the one thing she characterizes as “the best”: baseball. 

Growing up, Langs was like many sports fans across the nation. Born into a sports-loving household, conversations about sports were commonplace at her family’s dinner table. “We would ask these questions that we didn’t really have a way to answer. We didn’t have phones next to us, and I didn’t know about Baseball Reference [a popular stats website founded in 2000]. It was kind of a different time.”  

Though she may not have known it as she was growing up, these discussions were a precursor for what was still to come in her career. By middle school, Langs said she knew that she wanted to pursue a career in sports journalism. In her eyes, she always had a strong curiosity when it came to sports, and baseball, being so rich in history, was the perfect way to unleash it. Surely enough, Langs wasted no time when she arrived at UChicago. She began writing about sports as a member of the The Maroon during her first year at the University and eventually worked her way up to head editor of the sports section.  

Her pursuit continued when she began to work as an intern with the New York Post, Newsweek, and The Daily Beast. Though none of these gigs allowed Langs to write about sports, she was able to get her feet wet in the field of journalism before eventually taking a job as an editorial intern with Sportsnet New York (SNY). Though Langs could not pinpoint an exact moment where this dream started to become a reality, she mentioned her time at SNY, where she first got the chance to speak to MLB players, as a key moment. During her time at SNY, Langs had the chance to write a research-based piece for the first time in her career. Before she knew it, she was pitching ideas for research-based stories about the Mets.  

After finishing her classes and graduating, Langs took a job with NBC Sports Chicago in a similar role as the one she had at SNY. She continued to express interest in writing these research pieces about the Cubs and the White Sox. “I [knew] there [were] people covering these two teams, but there [was] something else I could add.” Langs’ different approach to baseball coverage turned her into a star in the field rather quickly. ESPN quickly took notice and hired Langs to their stats and information team before Langs moved on to MLB.com and MLB Network, where she has made history as a journalist. On July 20, 2021, Langs participated in the first all-female MLB broadcast, along with Melanie Newman, Lauren Gardner, Heidi Watney, and Alanna Rizzo. With that game, Langs secured herself a spot in Cooperstown; a baseball signed by the women on the broadcast was sent to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 

Unfortunately, in October of 2022, Langs announced that she was diagnosed with ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that weakens muscles and reduces physical ability. Regardless, Langs has refused to let the news get in the way of her love for journalism or baseball alike. Following her announcement, Langs continued to spread her love of baseball, taking part in coverage of the MLB playoffs and tweeting interesting facts and stats about every game. During the offseason, Langs covered free agency and contributed to MLB Network’s ranking of the top ten players at every position. Her recent 2023 World Baseball Classic coverage continued to showcase just how passionate Langs is about baseball, as if her hourly tweets signed off with “baseball is the best” were not enough proof of that.   

It is clear that the game’s love for her, however, has grown even stronger. Those in the baseball world have shown an outpouring of love for Langs. The New York Mets paid tribute to her in between innings of their 2022 playoff run by displaying a message to Langs on the jumbotron. Mandy Bell, Langs’ co-host on their podcast “Baseball Dimensions,” ran ALS marathons for Langs. Rob Friedman, better known as the Pitching Ninja on Twitter, teamed up with Rotowear to design a shirt that displays the messages “End ALS” and “Baseball is the best.” Proceeds from this shirt were donated to Project ALS, an ALS research organization working towards finding a cure. 

Sarah Langs is many things. She is a tremendous reporter, a lover of baseball, and an inspiration to all. To Langs, baseball is the best. To baseball, Sarah Langs is the best. 

To donate to Project ALS, please visit ProjectALS.org.