Houston Astros’ owner Jim Crane excited to watch Missouri Mules playing at Minute Maid Park
Houston Astros’ owner Jim Crane is excited by the fact that University of Central Missouri Mules, a team that he has played for during his college years, was on the scoreboard at Minute Maid Park, the home of the Houston Astros.
The game played between the Mules and the Texas A&M-Kingsville is a part of the inaugural Astros in Action D-II Invitational Tournament. The tournament is played between teams from relatively smaller schools. Jim has been instrumental in organising of the
Crane, who has been active in community work as well, was excited to see the Mules play at Minute Maid Park. He said that he never thought he will get a chance to see his college team play in the big league stadium.
"It's great to see that logo up there," Crane said. "You never thought you'd see that."
Jim Crane was a successful pitcher for the Mules from where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in 1976. He posted a 21-8 winning record with a 2.42 ERA in his playing days and was an honourable mention in the Division II All American.
The Houston ball club’s owner sees why the tournament should have taken place as the ball park is currently not being utilised and it will provide an opportunity to some youngster to have a taste of playing in a proper Major League facility. Jim is confident
that the tournament will continue in the future.
"There's no reason not to have [the tournament]," Crane said. "The park is sitting empty. You're not going to get a big crowd in here, but people get the opportunity to go to a big league park, and its fun and we're going to try to continue it."
Crane in 1998 gave $1.2 million to the University for the uplifting of their ball park, the James R. Crane Stadium at Robert N. Tompkins Field. He says that the current effort is one way of giving back to his alma mater.
"It's fun to try to give a little something back," Crane said. "I was fortunate I had a good run there and enjoyed it, and [baseball] kind of got me through college and got me down the road."
Athletic Director at the university Jerry Hughes was all praise for Jim who he said has always been giving back and has been funding scholarships as well. Hughes considers Jim as a friend and a generous person.
It is a great example that is being set by Jim Crane on how to make a difference to the educational institute that provided you with a base to move forward on.
It is good to see that youngsters are getting a chance to have a taste of the top notch facilities and encouragement such as this can motivate them into moving forward and achieve successful playing careers.