HOUSTON (KXAN) — The Houston Astros have a chance Saturday to win the franchise’s second World Series, and one of the city’s most influential businessmen will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Gallery Furniture founder Jim McIngvale, known affectionately as “Mattress Mack,” is an icon in the Houston community and it was confirmed Friday night that he would indeed throw out the first pitch before Game 6 of the World Series between the Astros and Philadelphia Phillies.
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McIngvale also has a history of placing huge bets on his favorite teams, most notably the Astros. McIngvale in total wagered $10 million on the Astros to win the Fall Classic, and if Houston can close it out this weekend over the Phillies, he’ll win almost $75 million with all his bets combined. He placed a $3 million bet in May with Caesars Sportsbook with the Astros getting 10-to-1 odds, so a win there nets him $30 million and would be the largest winning payout in U.S. sports betting history, the sportsbook said.
“I have no fear in me,” McIngvale said Tuesday, while giving away mattresses in Atlantic City to military personnel, veterans and first responders at Harrah’s casino. “I have a high tolerance for risk. If I lose, there’s always another day.”
While in Philadelphia for Game 3 of the World Series, a video of McIngvale cursing out a heckler following the Phillies’ 7-0 win went viral online. Representatives for McIngvale told KPRC in Houston that the heckler followed him out of the stadium and was shouting at him, so he clapped back.
“A Phillies fan was heckling Mack the whole game and followed him out to the concourse at the end of the game,” the statement said. “The fan continued to shout negative comments about the Astros including they are a bunch of cheaters…Jose Altuve will never make the Hall of Fame… we should take off their jerseys to see if they are wearing buzzers. Mack had enough of the negative comments and responded to the heckler.”
Game 6 of the World Series begins at 7 p.m. Saturday.