Jim Crane, the multimillionaire owner of the Houston Astros who’s seeking public subsidies for a spring training stadium in Palm Beach Gardens, knows how to make a memorable impression.
To serenade his wife, Franci, on her 60th birthday, he got the B-52s, a New Wave band that had hits like “Love Shack” and “Roam” in the 1980s, to perform in front of 200 guests three years ago in a tent on the yard of their Nantucket home.
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Personal: Bachelor’s degree in industrial safety from Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri) in 1976. Owns homes in Houston, Pebble Beach and Nantucket. Wife, Franci Crane, is a trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
Athletics: Two-time All American pitcher for Central Missouri State; went 21-8 with a 2.42 ERA from 1973-76; holds school records for complete games (23) and shutouts (7). Inducted into CMSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.
Business: Founded Eagle USA Airfreight in 1984 with $10,000 loan from sister. Formed Crane Worldwide Logistics in 2008. Owns Champion Energy Services and Crane Capital Group.
Sports operations: Bought The Floridian golf course in 2010 for $25.6 million from H. Wayne Huizenga. Bought the Houston Astros baseball team in 2011 for $610 million.
Charity: Donated $1 million to Texas Children’s Hospital in 2008. Helped underwrite $1.2-million renovation of Mules Field at his alma mater; field renamed James R. Crane Stadium.
Politics: Has contributed to both political parties, including $35,800 to President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.