Sneed hears that Gov. Pat Quinn, who was awed by Little League coach Darold Butler volunteering his time to Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West team, called Butler’s boss to make sure his job was safe because he had to take time off from work.
◆ Backshot: Quinn first met Butler in 2013, when Butler’s JRW team fell just one game short of reaching the World Series. Butler, who volunteers for the team, also works as a locomotive engineer for the Union Pacific railroad.
“The governor feels Butler is an impressive, inspiring man who works hard and believes in giving back to the community,” a Sneed source said.
“Having to take time off from work is no small thing for any employee, even when it’s for a good cause,” the source said. “Darold takes his job seriously.”
Sneed is told that Quinn phoned Union Pacific President Lance Fritz this week to sing Butler’s praises, let the company know “how big an impact Butler was making not only in the community but across the nation — and how Butler was an excellent ambassador for Illinois on what service is all about,” the source said.
“Mr. Fritz was very gracious and overjoyed himself that the team had made the World Series,” the source said. “He’s very proud of his employees and basically said not to worry.”
The president’s quandary . . .
President Barack Obama — who doesn’t want to tip the “scales one way or the other” by visiting Ferguson, Missouri, during the unrest caused by an ongoing investigation into the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown — still plans to return to his interrupted vacation on Martha’s Vineyard this week.