HOUSTON -- Astros general manager Ed Wade arrived at Minute Maid Park about an hour before first pitch Saturday after traveling with prospective team owner Jim Crane to Cary, N.C., for the Division II College World Series.
Crane, who on May 16 signed a sales purchase agreement as the lead investor to buy the club from Drayton McLane, invited Wade to travel on his private plane to watch Crane's alma mater, Central Missouri, play in the national tournament. Crane's team lost to Winona State, 4-3, in the first round.
"It was a chance for us to get to know one another and talk about the club and the future of the club and what we're trying to do, and flesh out some things regarding the Draft," Wade said. "We had a meeting early in the week to go over the Draft itself, and afterwards he told Drayton he was going to his game and wanted to know if it would be alright for me to come along and get to know each other."
Crane, who has been invited by McLane to participate in next month's First-Year Player Draft, received a bachelor of science degree in industrial safety from Central Missouri, where he was an accomplished pitcher from 1973-76. He still holds the school record with 18 strikeouts in a 1974 game against Ohio Northern.
If Major League Baseball approves his bid, Crane is expected to take ownership of the Astros in July.