Mattress Mack Banned from Throwing ALDS 1st Pitch
Posted on: October 7, 2023, 05:18h.
Last updated on: October 11, 2023, 11:29h.
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, the legend of sports betting and mattress marketing, was all set to throw out the first pitch in Game 1 of Saturday’s American League Division Series. Then a second call came from the Houston Astros, who face the Minnesota Twins at Minute Maid Park, canceling McIngvale’s appearance. But why?
McIngvale’s post-season pitching skills are proven. Last year, he threw out the first pitch before Game 6 of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
And nobody alive has shown more support for the Astros — at least monetarily. A $3 million bet at 10-to-1 odds on his hometown Houston Astros to win the World Series, placed on May 13, 2022, made him the largest winner of a single sports wager ($30 million) in US history.
Why Mattress Mike Was Put to Bed
According to a video McIngvale posted to Twitter on Saturday, a competing mattress retailer complained. It seems they had an official sponsorship with Major League Baseball, and McIngvale’s Gallery Furniture didn’t.
I got a call from the Astros a couple of minutes ago saying that Mattress Firm is a national sponsor of Major League Baseball, which is fine good for them, and they said that they weren’t going to let me throw out the first pitch,” McIngvale said in the video.
According to McIngvale, the ballclub called him on Thursday, asking their biggest fan to do the honor.
Even better, yesterday, Reggie Jackson — who’s a consultant to the Astros and Mr. October, (and) a great friend of mine — called me and said I’m going to need to get there early and warm up so I wouldn’t bounce the ball and embarrass myself, and I said, ‘Good idea, Reggie,'” McIngvale continued.
But the Astros took back their offer on Saturday, a few hours before McIngvale was slated to take the mound.
Not the First Time
This is the second time the same mattress company supposedly put the kibosh on a McIngvale promotional appearance. Last year, he was ousted from a judge seat at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo by a complaint from the same company.
McIngvale had a direct message for his antagonist at the end of his video.
“There’s plenty of business out there for all of us,” he said. “What we need to do is promote better sleep, not snipe at our competitors. I’m sure that my endless advertising has sold lots of mattresses for Mattress Firm, and all I gotta say is let’s all be better than that and Go ‘Stros.”
In a statement issued about the controversy on Oct. 10 by Major League Baseball, chief revenue officer Noah Garden absolved Mattress Firm of all blame.
“Promotional opportunities, like sponsor first pitches, during the post-season are reserved for national partners,” Garden said in the statement. “As a result, MLB independently requested a change to the first pitch. Mattress Firm was not involved in that decision and did not ask for the communication between MLB and the Club.”
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