|Born: August 20, 1960|
San Diego, California, U.S.
|April 7, 1984, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 24, 1999, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Earned run average||3.97|
|Career highlights and awards|
Mark Edward Langston (born August 20, 1960) is an American former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. He pitched for the Seattle Mariners (1984–1989), Montreal Expos (1989), California / Anaheim Angels (1990–1997), San Diego Padres (1998), and Cleveland Indians (1999). During a 16-year baseball career, Langston compiled 179 wins, 2,464 strikeouts, and a 3.97 earned run average (ERA).
Langston attended Buchser High School in Santa Clara, California. After graduating in 1978, he was selected in the 15th round (377th overall) of the 1978 Major League Baseball draft by the Chicago Cubs, who offered him $10,000 to sign with the team. However, he chose not to sign with the Cubs and attend college. In a 2018 interview, Langston told MLB.com, "I was 17 when I graduated from high school. It would have been interesting -- I didn't turn 18 until August, so I don't know how I would have handled that, as a kid that's really never been anywhere. It's completely different than what these kids were exposed to in the Draft now, where they play on all these different select teams and all that. We didn't have any of that, so it would have been really my first big time away from home, and I don't know how it would have panned out."
Langston pitched collegiately at San Jose State and was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the second round (35th overall) of the 1981 Major League Baseball draft. He was chosen as a compensation pick from the Texas Rangers for the signing of Bill Stein, and signed with the Mariners for $40,000. Langston debuted for the Mariners in 1984 with fellow rookie Alvin Davis. He made his major league debut on April 7, 1984, allowing two earned runs in seven innings while striking out five to earn the win against the Milwaukee Brewers. Davis' performance won him the American League Rookie of the Year award, but Langston's performance was voted worthy of the Rookie Pitcher of the Year award, as he finished the year with a 17–10 record, a 3.40 ERA, and a league-leading 204 strikeouts in 35 games (33 starts). He also led the majors in walks, with 118. He went on to lead the league in strikeouts two more times while playing for the Mariners, recording 245 strikeouts in 1986, and 262 in 1987. In 1989, Langston began the season 4–5 with a 3.56 ERA in 10 starts before being traded.
After rejecting a three-year, $7.1 million contract extension, the Mariners traded Langston, who was their top pitcher at the time, to the Montreal Expos with pitcher Mike Campbell for pitchers Randy Johnson, Gene Harris and Brian Holman on May 25, 1989. He made 24 starts with the Expos, going 12–9 with a 2.39 ERA and 175 strikeouts in 176+2⁄3 innings. Combined between Seattle and Montreal, Langston went 16–14 with a career-low 2.74 ERA in 34 total starts.
On December 1, 1989, Langston signed a five-year, $16 million contract with the California Angels as a free agent, making him the highest-paid player in baseball at the time. In his first start with the Angels on April 11, 1990, he pitched the first seven innings for a 2–0 combined no-hitter with Mike Witt. Witt, who had pitched a perfect game back in 1984, tossed the final two frames. This combined no-hitter remained the last one in Angels history until Ervin Santana pitched a no-hitter on July 27, 2011.
Langston was the Angels' starting pitcher for the 1995 American League West tie-breaker game against the Seattle Mariners. He earned the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits in 6+2⁄3 innings as the Mariners advanced to the first American League Division Series.
On January 7, 1998, Langston signed a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres. He appeared in 22 games (16 starts) for the Padres in 1998, going 4–6 with a 5.86 ERA. In the 1998 World Series, Langston's 2–2 pitch to Tino Martinez appeared to be over the plate, but was called ball three by home plate umpire Rich Garcia; Langston's next pitch was hit for a grand slam in the seventh inning of Game 1 to give the New York Yankees a 9–5 lead. The Yankees went on to sweep the Padres in four games.
After the 1998 season, Langston re-signed with the Padres for the 1999 season, but initially announced his retirement from baseball near the end of Spring Training. However, he changed his mind shortly after, and signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians on April 4, 1999. He went 1–2 with a 5.25 ERA in 25 games (five starts) with Cleveland. On March 20, 2000, Langston officially retired from baseball.
Noted for his pickoff move to first base, his 91 career pickoffs were, at the time of his retirement, the most in baseball history. Langston is one of only eight pitchers in MLB history to pick off three runners in a single game which he accomplished against the Cubs in 1989. Today, he has the fourth-most pickoffs in baseball history, behind only Kenny Rogers, Terry Mulholland and Andy Pettitte, all of them also left-handed pitchers.
Langston serves as a radio color commentator for the Los Angeles Angels during all games and is also a co-host of the Angels post-game call-in show Angel Talk on radio station KLAA.
On September 20, 2019, after announcing the starting lineups for an away game against the Houston Astros, Langston suffered from ventricular fibrillation and collapsed in the broadcast booth. He was revived and taken to a hospital, where he later had a defibrillator installed; Jose Mota took over Langston's place in the radio broadcasts. Langston returned to California on September 28 and resumed his Angels radio duties the next day.
Right after retirement Langston was the head coach for Lutheran High School of Orange County for two years.
Langston appeared as himself in an episode of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, entitled "To Tell a Mortal", where he plays catch with Harvey.