Society / Featured Parties

Astros Owner Jim Crane Treats His Wife Whitney to Sweetest Rapper Powered Birthday Party Ever

With a Music Mega Star at Mic and Astros Stars Boogying Down, This Bash Turned a Ballpark into Florida's Hottest Nightclub

BY // 03.27.19

Even with millions dedicated to keeping Ryan Pressly, Alex Bregman and Justin Verlander in Houston Astros orange for years to come, there seemed to be more than a bit of pocket change left over for Astros owner Jim Crane to throw an over-the-top birthday bash in West Palm Beach for his wife, Whitney.

And what a party it was.

After the Astros soundly whipped the New York Mets 7-3 in a spring training matchup, it was party time that evening for more than 200 players, family and Houston friends of the Cranes, many of whom jetted in from as far away as California, the birthday girl’s home state.

It was a “hell, yeah” kinda night with three-time Grammy winner Ludacris on stage rapping, “Say hap-py birth-day. Say Whit-ney. Say hell, yeah. I say Luda, you say cris!” And on it went as the star kept guests on their feet for much of his 90-minute performance. Before and after the rap session DJ Ross’ fusion band had a play list that invited guests to the dance floor.

Who knew that either Jim Crane or his trés femme wife were such hipsters? (Actually, the couple booked Bruno Mars several years ago for a special event but the party fell through.)

This baseball-soaked fête coincided with the close of spring training which meant that the Astros were ready to party. Just check out Instagram where Carlos Correa‘s fiancé, Daniella Rodriguez, posted photos and a video of Ludacris rapping his birthday salute. Kara McCullers posted a selfie with her pitcher husband Lance McCullers and Amy Cole, wife of pitcher Gerrit Cole, posted a big thank you for the invitation.

Skipping the expected party venue, Crane opted for the Astros’ training facility at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, transforming the batting cages into a swank nightclub-inspired setting with a flamingo theme. Fans will recall that for the Cranes’ wedding in 2017, swans dominated the decor.

A playful flamingo adorned the birthday cake — and the napkins, plates and the email invitations that went out several weeks earlier. Draped in green satin and with green flooring resembling ballpark turf, there was little evidence of the cages. Thousands of pink and white roses decorated the space that was lush with palm trees and ferns and playful flamingos which served as sentinels at the party entry. Overhead, a profusion of turquoise, white and the occasional gold lanterns swayed overhead.

Players on the scene included Bregman, McCullers, Cole, Correa, Pressly, new catcher Robinson Chirinos and outfielder Jake Marisnick.Front office Astros making the party included president of baseball operations and general manager Jeff Luhnow, president of business operations Reid Ryan and Astros manager A.J. Hinch.

Add actor Luke Wilson, PGA Tour star Brooks Koepka and famed golf instructor Claude Harmon to the headliners.

PC Seen:Whitney Crane’s parents, Lynn Miller and Robert Kreb; Crane family members Jared and Adrienne and Jeanne; plus supermodel Kate Upton (Verlander’s wife), Lynn Wyatt, Cherie and Jim Flores, Elyse Lanier, Elizabeth and Gary Petersen, Marcy and Tom Wessel, Jenny and Brian Lagomarsino with daughter Lane, Courtney Sarofim, Michelle and Frank Hevrdjes, Joanne King Herring, and Courtney and Tim Presutti.

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