If you’ve read any of my stuff here on Fastball, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the name Sarah Langs.
The researcher at MLB.com provides great insight on history and on statistical achievements around baseball, and a lot of pieces that I write are inspired by information she’s put out.
Unfortunately, at the age of 30, Langs is battling ALS. I don’t pretend to be an expert on disease, but I know that 1) by being a woman, she’s in the minority of those who get ALS and 2) by being that young, she’s in the minority again.
In addition to her baseball acumen, Langs is known on social media for her infectious love of baseball and her catchphrase “Baseball is the best!”
Friday is June 2nd, which means it’s Lou Gehrig Day around baseball. The sport will seek to raise awareness around ALS and try to raise funds to support research for the deadly disease. Despite her diagnosis, Langs continues to work tirelessly to support baseball and its fans.
Known as the “Iron Horse,” Gehrig died in 1941, two years after his retirement speech at Yankee Stadium, where he said that, ALS notwithstanding, he considered himself “the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.” After his death, ALS became known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”
Last year, Lou Gehrig Day was marked by MLB teams and supporters on various days throughout June. Patients and their families, in addition to volunteers, advocates, and others, participated from the stands and in local fundraisers to support ALS research. There are similar ways to participate this year.
“The MLB Schedule is out, so that means the 3rd annual #LouGehrigDay schedule is out! For the first time, all 30 teams will play on Lou Gehrig Day which is Friday, June 2, 2023! Where will you attend?!?” the Lou Gehrig Day committee said in a tweet.
The organization I Am ALS will have a league-wide presence and is asking each participant to complete a form for the team in which they’re interested, stating how they’d like to join in. Patients, ALS family members, caregivers, and others also are asked to share stories about how baseball helped inspire them to support the fight against the disease.
In addition, the organization Live Like Lou, which seeks to create and connect communities to support ALS research and families, is encouraging supporters to join Lou Gehrig Day activities on these days: June 2 at San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates games; June 6 with the Atlanta Braves; June 13 with the St. Louis Cardinals; June 16 with the Arizona Diamondbacks; Aug. 8 with the Chicago White Sox; and Aug. 28 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Participating Live Like Lou partners include members of Gehrig’s fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, the Permobil Foundation, the Team Hilliard Foundation, and ALS community members.
On June 9, the ALS Association is presenting a “Chasin’ a Cure” tailgate to mark Lou Gehrig Day in the Uecker parking lot at American Family Field in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, prior to the Milwaukee vs. Oakland MLB game.
“It’s recognizing not you necessarily as a baseball player, but what you do for the community,” Crawford said. “That’s what makes it a little bit different than any other award.”
Since 2019, Crawford has organized an annual charity golf event in which 100% of proceeds go to ALS research. The fundraising began in part because one of Crawford’s family friends, former A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty, lost his mother to the neurodegenerative disease.
The golf tournament is Crawford’s most significant charitable endeavor, but he’s also donated a couple baseball fields in the Bay Area and contributed to the Giants Community Fund. He and his wife have also donated to Buster Posey’s charity for pediatric cancer research and to Mike Yastrzesmki’s charity, he said.
After Crawford began the ALS fundraiser, he and his family made connections with people affected by the disease.
On Wednesday, the Nola brothers helped introduce this year’s Lou Gehrig Day activities with a virtual press conference. Lou Gehrig Day will be celebrated this Friday, June 2, the date Gehrig became the Yankees’ starting first baseman in 1925 and also the day he died at age 37 in 1941.
The Nola brothers were joined at the press conference by Marlins pitcher Tommy Nance, the Lou Gehrig Day spokesperson; 10-time All-Star Steve Garvey; MLB researcher and writer Sarah Langs; founding member of the Zac Brown Band, John Driskell Hopkins; Lou Gehrig Day committee member Phil Green; and MLB Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility April Brown. Robert Flores, host of MLB Network, moderated the event.
“It is incredibly important for us to celebrate this day under our new social responsibility platform MLB Together,” Brown said. “It’s important that we keep this mission front and center every day, not just on June 2.”
Everyone present had a personal link to the disease, either through their own diagnosis or that of someone close.
Green, a former University of Washington football player who was part of the committee that helped make Lou Gehrig Day a reality, said the day is as much about celebrating those currently battling the disease as it is about creating a future. better for the people who will fight against it.
“If [Lou Gehrig] were diagnosed today, his prognosis would be very similar,” said Green, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2018. “We’re doing this so that people diagnosed tomorrow or five years from now have a much better prognosis. I really appreciate the baseball community embracing our community.”
Green was not alone in that sentiment, as everyone who spoke mentioned the same thing: ALS is a deadly disease that is underfunded for research.
“We have an opportunity to show people that it’s not just middle-aged men who suffer from this. It hits everyone,” said Langs, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2021. “I’m glad I can raise awareness. I see it as something really positive.”
OnMyWay Is The #1 Distracted Driving Mobile App In The Nation!
OnMyWay, based in Charleston, SC, The Only Mobile App That Pays its Users Not to Text and Drive.
The #1 cause of death among young adults ages 16-27 is Car Accidents, with the majority related to Distracted Driving.
OnMyWay’s mission is to reverse this epidemic through positive rewards. Users get paid for every mile they do not text and drive and can refer their friends to get compensated for them as well.
The money earned can then be used for Cash Cards, Gift Cards, Travel Deals and Much, Much More….
The company also makes it a point to let users know that OnMyWay does NOT sell users data and only tracks them for purposes of providing a better experience while using the app.
The OnMyWay app is free to download and is currently available on both the App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android @ OnMyWay; Drive Safe, Get Paid.
Download App Now – https://r.onmyway.com
Sponsors and advertisers can contact the company directly through their website @ www.onmyway.com