Once J.J. Watt had tossed out the ceremonial first pitch in Minute Maid Park and after Lyle Lovett had sung the national anthem, the two stars of two very different worlds made their way to the upper level of the baseball stadium to join Astros owner Jim Crane and wife Franci in the family suite for the MLB season opener.
While the VIPs and Astros partners hung in the suite for the game, the Cranes made a drive-by, spending most of the night in their Diamond Club seats with Mayor Annise Parker. They were joined in their front-row thrones by Andre Johnson and Watt, who arrived after a round of photos and autographs upstairs in the family suite.
Spirits ran high in the suite where Astros partners Janet Gurwitch, John Eddie Williams, Michael Gamson and Mike Plank had gathered. Plank and other partners will be playing today in the owners softball game — Rangers vs. Astros — at Minute Maid. Before the competition, the owners of both teams will be treated to lunch in the River Oaks home of Terri and John Havens (another partner), the lunch co-hosted by the Rangers' Amy and Neil Leibman.
Back in the suite the entire Plank family wore their bright orange personalized Astros jerseys, a gift to each of the partners. Not all partners were into the jersey thing but the ladies carried their orange Hermés handbags or displayed other color-appropriate accessories.
Dining on hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, brownies and ice cream sundaes were guests that included former Mayor Bill White, Andrea White, Sheridan Williams, Ron Franklin, Houston Parks director Joe Turner, Roz and Alan Pactor, Susan Cooley and Sara and Bill Morgan.