$75 Million Man Mattress Mack Floored by First Pitch Moment, Unbothered by National Media Ridicule Over World Series Choice

Houston Gets What the New York Times Cannot

BY Chris Baldwin // 11.05.22

Walking off the field after throwing out the first pitch before Game 6 of the World Series — basically at the demand of all of Houston — Mattress Mack is still buzzing. Beyond pumped. Feeling like he’s living his best Houston dream ever.

“It was thrilling,” Mattress Mack tells PaperCity in the tunnel right after his low throw to Lance McCullers Jr. finds the pitcher’s glove. “The people of Houston are so supportive of the Astros. Being able to throw out that first pitch is one of the biggest honors of my life.

“If not the biggest honor of my life.”

It says Jim McIngvale on Mattress Mack’s driver’s license, but he’s simply a real-life humble hero to Houstonians for several acts that won’t ever be forgotten in this city. Including opening up all his furniture stores 24-7 to anyone who needed a safe place to go in the wake of the overwhelming devastation Hurricane Harvey brought. Something that more nationally famous Houstonians and religious leaders like Joel Osteen failed to do with so many hurting and in need.

The New York Times and its Athletic offshoot might not get it, with both publications dissing the idea of having Mattress Mack throw out the first pitch. The Phillies Athletic beat writer Matt Gelb is definitely not down with the Houston legend of Mattress Mack, dismissing McIngvale as a “local mattress salesman.”

And Gelb is hardly the only one in the national media who took to Twitter to ridicule the choice. Which really was the only appropriate choice for this World Series winning Game 6 to anyone who knows anything about Houston.

For his part McIngvale isn’t letting any of it take away from the moment. Mattress Mack already memorably sparred with Phillie fan hecklers after that Game 3 Astros loss, unleashing a torrent of F-Bombs to defend Jose Altuve in what quickly became a viral moment.

Mattress Mack to McCullers

Getting to throw that ceremonial World Series pitch to McCullers, one of the five Core Astros still left from that 2017 Harvey year championship team, made it even more special to McIngvale.

“Absolutely,” he tells PaperCity. “He’s a great guy. And I didn’t bounce it. That was the best part.”

The 71-year-0ld McIngvale, whose stark white hair sometimes makes him seem even older, won $75 million on his $10 million in bets on the team whenJose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Co. finished the job against the Phillies at Minute Maid Park after his first pitch.

But the Gallery Furniture tycoon is anything but hurting for money — and this prolific gambler swears the potential big payday isn’t really the important thing in this case.

“I just want to see the Astros win,” Mattress Mack says, still clutching that first pitch baseball. “That’s what we’re hoping and praying for. The whole stadium’s going to be joyous. The whole city’s going to be joyous.

“And this city deserves that.”

Spoken like someone that only Houston can really understand. Mattress Mack isn’t a national phenomenon. He’s a Houston phenomenon. And that’s all he’s ever needed to be.

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