Langs' BBWAA honor couldn't be more fitting

Beloved MLB stats guru receives Casey Stengel 'You Could Look It Up' Award

January 29th, 2023

NEW YORK -- Among Casey Stengel's many oft-quoted quips was the saying, "You could look it up." That's exactly what Sarah Langs does for a living, much to the delight of her thousands of readers and Twitter followers.

On Saturday night, Langs was honored with the Casey Stengel "You Could Look It Up" Award, presented at the annual Baseball Writers' Association of America New York chapter dinner at the Hilton in Midtown Manhattan. The honor, first given to Ty Cobb in 1960, is typically presented to someone the BBWAA has not previously recognized.

“I was totally not expecting anything like this,” Langs said in a recent interview with, “but I'm really honored. I'm really grateful.”

The award's investigative spirit is prominent in Langs’ work throughout her career. Since 2019, she has specialized in research and stats-heavy stories at MLB. Among Langs’ projects are appearances on SNY’s “Baseball Night in New York,” MLB Network, Buster Olney’s “Baseball Tonight” podcast and her “Fielding Questions” podcast with Guardians beat reporter Mandy Bell. Langs also contributed to the first all-female MLB broadcast in 2021 as an analyst.

Olney, Langs’ coworker at ESPN, presented her award on Saturday. His introduction reflected the immense gratitude that Langs has always shown the people in her life. The guests showed Langs some of that same appreciation with a standing ovation before and after her acceptance speech.

“[When Langs] began working as a researcher at ESPN [in 2015], we all noticed right away how she would send thank you notes in emails or texts,” Olney said in his introduction. “The notes reflected Sarah's happy enthusiasm for her work and in particular for baseball. … Nobody loves baseball more than Sarah Langs.”

She was honored alongside others receiving year-end BBWAA awards and New York chapter honors, including Ron Darling, a colleague at MLB Network who received the “Willie, Mickey & The Duke” Award with his broadcast partners at SNY (where Langs interned in college), Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez.

“[Cohen is] able to use the information I've put out there to make his listeners smarter in the moment, and it's really cool to be able to influence that,” Langs said. “So obviously it means a lot to be honored with them.”

Langs was honored with the Casey Stengel "You Could Look It Up" Award, presented by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Langs’ passion for baseball stretches back much further than her MLB tenure. As a Mets fan growing up in New York City, she sat around the table with her parents and pondered seemingly “unanswerable” baseball questions. While other kids were watching Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, she was watching Baseball Tonight and Sunday Night Baseball.

In sixth grade, a teacher noticed her aptitude for English and her interest in baseball and encouraged her to pursue a career that combined both of those subjects. (Langs thanked him in her speech on Saturday.) She later nourished her love of baseball at the University of Chicago, where she edited the sports section of The Chicago Maroon.

It was there, Langs believes, that her famous catchphrase “Baseball is the best!!” originated.

Though Langs “certainly never set out to have a catchphrase,” the mantra’s popularity grew once she started working at MLB and tweeting about baseball more often. She stuck with it.

“I loved my job at ESPN, but I did do everything. I focused on baseball, but I had to do everything,” Langs said. “So when I got the chance to be 24/7 baseball, I think [the catchphrase] kind of came out of that. ‘This is baseball. This is why I'm here. This is the best thing.’”

Several weeks after Langs shared her ALS diagnosis in October 2022, Rotowear announced that a shirt emblazoned with “Baseball is the best/End ALS” was available for preorder. After the outpouring from the baseball community, Langs has been deeply touched by the support from her loved ones and, just as meaningfully, those she doesn’t know at all.

“The idea that people I will never meet went out of their way to [buy the shirts] helps me understand that maybe I made an impact,” Langs said. “I'm just overwhelmed, and in a good way, overwhelmed with love.”

Other luminaries provided more of the star-studded evening’s highlights after enjoying a three-course dinner and mingling over cocktails. Before receiving his American League Cy Young Award, Justin Verlander happily held onto other honorees’ awards during their speeches. Comedian Hank Azaria referred to Cohen, Hernandez and Darling as “the Yankees of talking about the Mets” while introducing their award.

Last but certainly not least, director Spike Lee delivered an entertaining introduction of Aaron Judge’s AL Most Valuable Player Award, garnering laughs with an extended description of his early Mets fandom before segueing into his current love for the Yankees.

But amidst the humor, gratitude was the common thread among the presenters and honorees. While presenting the Arthur and Milton Richman “You Gotta Have Heart” Award, writer Joel Sherman summed up what the audience was all thinking after Langs’ rousing reception:

“Everyone is on Team Sarah.”