Yankees announce surprise honor for beloved reporter Sarah Langs amid ALS battle

Los Angeles Angels v New York Yankees - Game Two
Los Angeles Angels v New York Yankees - Game Two / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Baseball is the best, and has always been the best. Nobody understands that -- or communicates that -- better than Sarah Langs.

Baseball's intrepid statistical guru and television icon, Langs announced her 2021 ALS diagnosis to the public last fall. In the wake of the news, the MLB community has done its very best to show Langs at every turn how appreciated her passion and thorough, impressive work really are.

As ALS Awareness Month ends, MLB's dedication to the cause begins, with Lou Gehrig Day on the calendar this weekend. Langs has been front and center in leading the fight, spreading her fist bumps for the cause across the game (and across the sporting landscape and fandom community at large).

Tragically, there remains no cure for this degenerative disease. But that has not robbed Langs of her smile, and has not stopped the baseball community from fighting for her and countless others.

Though Langs grew up a Mets fan, she still found herself overwhelmed with Yankees-related emotion this week when a cadre of key figures -- Gerrit Cole, Aaron Boone, Brian Cashman, Julia Steinbrenner, Omar Minaya, Buster Olney, PR powerhouse Jason Zillo -- greeted her on a Zoom call and announced that she'd be their Hope Week honoree on July 4, the anniversary of Gehrig's iconic speech.

Yankees send reporter Sarah Langs love for ALS battle

While clearly basking in the love and appreciation, Langs still took the time to remind Gerrit Cole that she fought for him this offseason. When everyone else at MLB Network kept Cole out of their Top 10 pitcher rankings, she forced his name back into the conversation. And that is why we love Sarah. No matter the emotions of the moment at hand, there is always baseball left to be discussed.

As colleague and best friend Mandy Bell noted in her flawless tribute for MLB.com, Langs and Gehrig have always shared a strange kinship, long before her diagnosis. Langs' birthday is May 2; that, too, is the day Gehrig first asked out of the lineup, ending his Iron Man streak. Langs' desk when she started at ESPN was stationed next to a snippet of Gehrig's speech; she once photographed it, motivated only by some unseen forces of nature.

Now, Langs will be imbued with the hue of Yankees legends on a spotlight day for Major League Baseball. She's more than earned it. Baseball is the best, and in the face of tragedy, Langs still beams as if the world is only getting brighter.