10 Things You Didn’t Know About Jim Crane

As one of the most influential figures in American professional sports, Jim Crane is a businessman, investor, and owner of the Houston Astros. His life is characterized by both significant achievements and controversy. However, there’s much more to Crane than what meets the eye. Let’s explore ten things you may not know about him.

1. Crane is from a Small-Town, Humble Background

Born in Dellwood, Missouri, Jim Crane grew up in a small-town environment that nurtured his love for sports. His father worked in insurance and his mother was a homemaker. Even though he hailed from a middle-class background, his hard work paid off when he made it big in the logistics industry and later in the world of professional sports.

Despite his success, Crane hasn’t forgotten about his roots. In many interviews, he has traced his work ethic back to the valuable lessons he learned while growing up in a small town. Often, he speaks of his youth with great fondness, demonstrating that success hasn’t changed his appreciation for his humble beginning.

2. He is a Former College Baseball Player

Before he was the owner of the Houston Astros, Crane was an avid baseball player himself. In fact, he played at the college level during his time at Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri). He started as a walk-on player, proving his dedication and passion for the sport from the beginning.

His baseball skills earned him an athletic scholarship and by his senior year, he received All-American honors. His experience as a baseball player undoubtedly contributes to his understanding of the game and has informed his decisions as a team owner.

3. Crane is a Philanthropist

In addition to his business acumen, Crane is known for his philanthropic efforts. Over the years, his charitable contributions have supported several causes. His dedication to philanthropy is exemplified by his donation of $1 million to his alma mater, the University of Central Missouri.

Moreover, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Crane and the Houston Astros set up a relief fund. This fund has provided much-needed support to the affected communities in Houston and its surrounding areas. His generosity shows a commitment to giving back to the community that is commendable.

4. His Logistics Company, Crane Worldwide Logistics, is Successful

Jim Crane is the founder of Crane Worldwide Logistics, a successful global logistics company with offices in over 100 locations across 25 countries. After working for several logistics companies, Crane founded his own business in 2008.

This endeavor proved to be extremely successful. Today, Crane Worldwide Logistics holds a formidable presence in the industry, committed to making a difference through quality service and proven expertise. This demonstrates Crane’s impressive acumen as a businessman, proving that his expertise extends beyond baseball.

5. He Found Success Despite Multiple Corporate Lawsuits

Success wasn’t always a smooth ride for Crane. His journey was marked by multiple corporate lawsuits. His logistics company, EGL Inc., and later Crane Worldwide Logistic, faced racial and sexual discrimination lawsuits. Despite these setbacks and allegations, Crane persevered and carried his businesses to success.

The lawsuits presented significant challenges, but Crane managed to overcome them, proving his resilience in the face of adversity. It shows that his success is the result of not only his business acumen but also his determination and strength.

6. He Was A Controversial Figure in Major League Baseball (MLB)

Entering the world of Major League Baseball wasn’t easy for Crane. When he attempted to buy the Texas Rangers and then the Houston Astros, he faced opposition from the MLB due to the allegations made against his companies.

Despite initial resistance, Crane finally acquired the Astros in 2011. Since then, he has proved his worth as a team owner despite the controversy. However, his journey to ownership has shown that even the most successful figures can meet with significant obstacles.

7. His Purchase of the Houston Astros Resulted in Significant Changes

After purchasing the Astros, Crane made sweeping changes to the team. From the operation to the personnel, he revamped the organization almost entirely. The team even changed leagues, moving from the National League to the American League.

Although initially met with resistance, these changes under Crane’s leadership resulted in the Astros winning the 2017 World Series. His ability to make bold decisions and guide the team to success shows his strategic thinking skills and his vision as a team owner.

8. Crane played an Instrumental Role in the Astros’ Sign-Stealing Scandal

One of the most controversial events during Crane’s ownership of the Astros was the sign-stealing scandal of 2017. The team was found guilty of violating MLB’s rules by using technology to steal signs from its opponents.

Crane fired the team’s manager and general manager as a result of the scandal. However, he himself was not found guilty of any involvement. Yet, the scandal remains a significant moment in the history of the Astros and reflects the challenges and controversies that have marked Crane’s career.

9. He Has Investments Beyond Baseball

While he might be best known as the owner of the Houston Astros, Crane’s investments go beyond baseball. He is involved in several other industries, including the freight industry and the hospitality industry.

Crane also owns a private equity fund and a stake in Western Gas Partners. His varied investments show his skill as a businessman and his ability to find success in a variety of industries.

10. He is a Golf Enthusiast

In addition to baseball, Crane is passionate about golf. He is a low-handicap golfer and owns several golf clubs, including the prestigious Floridian National Golf Club in Palm City, Florida.

Crane’s love for golf is evident not just from his ownership of golf clubs, but also from his active participation in the sport. This displays his love for sports in general, beyond just baseball.

In conclusion, Jim Crane’s life is filled with many fascinating chapters. From his humble beginnings to his controversial but successful career, he stands as a testament to resilience, hard work, and the pursuit of passion.

Check out these useful links below for more information:

Forbes Profile: Jim Crane
Jim Crane and the Sign-Stealing Scandal
Jim Crane’s Diverse Investments