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The White Sox GM and the President-elect

Alan Schwarz of the Times has a nice piece on the friendship between White Sox GM Kenny Williams and now President-elect Barack Obama:

“All 30 general managers at baseball’s annual executive meetings here at a Southern California resort spent Tuesday distracted by more than arbitration seminars and beckoning golf holes. Like many other citizens, they sat around televisions expecting to watch the national election returns deep into the night.

But Williams, general manager of the Chicago White Sox, followed the coverage with a keener sense of anticipation than any of his contemporaries. Not only is he one of just two African-American general managers — the Los Angeles Angels’ Tony Reagins is the other — but as a fellow prominent member of Chicago’s black community he has known Barack Obama for almost 10 years, and considers him a friend.

They have hung out at mutual friends’ barbecues, shot hoops at a local health club as recently as this summer, and — with Williams intrigued by public-policy issues and Obama a longtime White Sox fan — discussed each other’s jobs far more than their own.

“I’m interested in all these questions of foreign policy and national security,” Williams said. “In between his games, shooting a couple of baskets, he asks me, ‘What about your pitching?’ I said, ‘Excuse me, you worry about national security, I’ll worry about the pitching.’ ”

Tags:  Kenny Williams  Obama

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