Houston Astros Jim Crane
Owner and Chairman

On Nov. 17, 2011, when Major League Baseball unanimously approved the purchase of the Houston Astros by a group headed by Houston businessman Jim Crane, a new era of Astros baseball began.

As the new Owner and Chairman, Jim Crane hit the ground running upon taking control of the Astros by immediately putting his plan to rebuild the franchise into place. As a highly successful businessman in Houston and former standout college pitcher, Jim has the credentials to make the Astros a winning team both on and off the field.

From the start, Jim has been clear about his goals: to make the Astros a ballclub that can have sustained success at the Major League level by building a top-notch farm system, and to provide Astros fans with an outstanding experience at Minute Maid Park.

As a Houstonian, Jim shares the same passion for the Astros as their fans and is dedicated to bringing those fans the World Series championship they deserve.

The Astros have also supported several of MLB's diversity initiatives under Jim's leadership. In May of 2014, the Astros hosted MLB's eighth annual Civil Rights Game and ancillary activities, a series of events developed by MLB to pay tribute to those who fought for equal rights for all Americans both on and off the field. The Astros also hosted the 2013 Diversity Summit, MLB's sports employment and business opportunity career and trade fair, as well as the 2012 and 2013 Urban Invitational, a nationally-televised collegiate baseball tournament designed to give HBCUs and their baseball programs national exposure. Houston also hosted the 2013 Breakthrough Series, a collegiate and professional scouting showcase featuring a diverse group of some of the top high school players in the country.

The Early Years
Jim hails from St. Louis, MO, where he became a loyal, spirited fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. As a teenager, he caddied for members of the Cardinals team at local golf clubs and parked cars for patrons at Cardinals games. Jim was impressed by the caring, family atmosphere on the Cardinals team and the team's close ties with the local community. He has carried these values forward throughout his life in business, philanthropic and personal relationships.

Passion for the Game As a young man, Jim put his innate passion for baseball into action at Central Missouri State University (now the University of Central Missouri), where he was a standout pitcher for the Mules from 1973-76 under the late, revered coach, Robert Tompkins. He had a four-year record of 21-8 with an earned-run average of 2.42, and ranks first in career complete games (23), first in career shutouts (7) and third in career strikeouts (215). Jim still holds the Mules' single-game strikeout record with 18, and in 1997, was inducted into the Central Missouri State University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Jim was the primary underwriter of a $1.2-million renovation in 1998 of the old Mules' Field on the University of Central Missouri campus. On January 21, 1998, the facility was renamed the James R. Crane Stadium/Robert N. Tompkins Field in honor of Jim and his beloved coach. Jim continues to contribute to the college annually to provide athletic scholarships for Mules baseball. At the annual NCAA convention in San Diego in January of 2014, Jim served as a keynote speaker and was also honored as a member of the NCAA 40th Anniversary Tribute Team for Division II athletes.

Jim earned a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial safety from Central Missouri State University in 1976. This led to a loss-control job evaluating commercial risks for an insurance company and then a move to Houston in 1982, where he entered the freight forwarding business.

Success in the Business World
In March of 1984, at the age of 30 and with $10,000 borrowed from his sister, Jim founded Eagle USA Airfreight (EGL, Inc.). In his first office located in Houston with a sole employee, Jim handled the loading and trucking himself. The company made money in its first month, and Jim ultimately built it into an organization of more than 10,000 employees with 400-plus facilities in 139 countries. EGL was named one of Houston's "Best Places to Work," and reached #599 on the Fortune 1000 list during Jim's tenure. Jim has been the recipient of a long list of awards and honors for his entrepreneurial activities and business successes. The company was acquired in an LBO transaction in August 2007.

In August of 2008, Crane formed Crane Worldwide Logistics (CWL), a premier global provider of customized transportation and logistics services. CWL continues to grow rapidly with experienced members of Crane's management team and sales force at the helm.

Jim is the owner of Champion Energy Services, which ranks in the top five nonutility-affiliated retail electric providers in the United States and among the top 20 retail electricity companies in the nation and is also CEO and President of Crane Capital Group, Inc.

Jim's love of baseball is unabated, and he has added the game of golf to his athletic endeavors. He acquired the Floridian, a private golf resort in Palm City, Florida in 2010.

Giving Back
As Astros Owner and Chairman, Jim has embraced the opportunity to give back to the City of Houston and beyond. One of his first initiatives was the creation of the Astros Community Leaders program, which is a collaboration between the Houston Astros, Houston-based corporations, the City of Houston, Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. This ambitious endeavor will contribute approximately $18 million to the city over a five year period to refurbish youth baseball and softball fields in disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout the city. Additional features include player and coaching clinics, complimentary tickets to Astros home games, equipment and special visits from Astros players and front office personnel. As of early 2015, 18 different fields have opened at Diez, Sunnyside, Moody, Ingrando, Melrose, Hidalgo and Denver Harbor Parks as part of the Community Leaders program.

Jim personally developed the Community Leaders program, which offers corporations the opportunity to partner with the Astros and the Astros Foundation to become part of a team that will improve several city neighborhoods through the game of baseball.

"Baseball was very important to my own development," said Jim. "Playing baseball made me a lot more confident and comfortable in my ability to achieve things. I'd like to be able to help more kids get the opportunities I had through baseball."

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