Altuve, Crane, Milo, kids, fun: Astros CAREavan rolls on and on and on.

Jim Crane’s first introduction to the Corpus Christi Hooks fan base began with a touch of humor that put a recent hot-button issue to bed for good.

“I floated out the idea of a name change,” the new Astros owner said. “And you’d think I’d run over two grandmothers.”

Crane was humorously reflecting on a week-long controversy that began with him casually mentioning to reporters that he would consider changing the name “Astros” to something else when the team moves to the American League in 2013. That sparked an emphatic response from fans all over the city who voiced their opposition — loudly — to the idea. After inviting comments on the club’s Facebook page and sending a survey to season-ticket holders, Crane squashed the idea and promised “the Houston Astros are here to stay.”

The Hooks have been a long-standing partner with the Astros as their Double-A affiliate, and a visit to Corpus has been a staple of the Astros caravan for as long as the two have been affiliated. Crane accompanied the traveling crew to Corpus, a trip that included a stop at Flour Bluff Primary School and a luncheon at the Omni Hotel. The trip concluded in Victoria, where the group — Crane, Milo Hamilton, Jose Altuve, Brian Bogusevic, J.B. Shuck and former pitcher Shane Reynolds — hosted a Baseball and Softball clinic at the Youth Sports Complex and signed autographs at Academy Sports + Outdoors.

The past week was dedicated to the out-of-town portion of the Astros CAREavan and included stops in Austin, San Antonio, Brownsville, Harlingen and McAllen. President and CEO George Postolos toured Austin, followed by his hometown of San Antonio, in what was his first taste of life on the road with the Astros caravan.

Next week, the CAREavan will head to Oklahoma City, home of the Astros’ Triple-A affiliate, but the Astros will also visit the Houston area: Katy, Cypress, The Woodlands and Rosenberg. A full rundown of public appearances can be found at http://www.astros.com/careavan.

Meanwhile, enjoy the collage of photos from most corners of Texas:

Second graders at Flour Bluff Primary School got a kick out of storytime with Milo Hamilton and Jose Altuve. It's quite possible Altuve had more fun than anyone.

Milo and Bogusevic at the Hooks luncheon.

When he pitched for the Astros, Shane Reynolds was a media favorite -- insightful, expressive and cliche-free during postgame interviews. He still knows how to work a crowd.

J.B. Shuck gives instruction at the Baseball and Softball Clinic in Victoria.

Jim Crane addresses the crowd in Corpus.

Kids at the Boys and Girls Club in San Antonio show off their loot -- a ton of signed photo cards from the Astros.

The visit to San Antonio included a stop at the Brooke Army Medical Center. Thank you troops!

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4 Comments

Thank you once again, Alyson, for your efforts. Love the pictures (as always).

We love when you guys come to Victoria. Thank you so much!!!

Without a doubt everyone in the photos was asking ” Where is Pence or Berkman”? “Who in the hell are you guys?” Those are the guys that are Crane’s impression of professional, big league baseball players.

It sure is nice that Mr. Crane took the time to sign a ball for Jose Altuve in that first photo.

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