Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale is betting big on his Houston Astros, and he wants local veterans to be there when they win the World Series.
McIngvale, with more than $8.25 million on the line, contingent on the Astros clinching the series before game 6, invited 110 veterans to Game 1 of the World Series.
“These are great veterans who have given their all for us. I went out the other day to give a speech there and was totally inspired,” McIngvale told Click2Houston.
McIngvale met the veterans at Camp Hope in northwest Houston, where war-wounded veterans and their families are provided with interim housing.
“They have 83 vets that live on the site full time. They have depression issues, PTSD Issues, and Camp Hope helps them get back into normal life, helps them find jobs, find careers,” McIngvale said.
“For a lot of our guys it’ll be their very first baseball game they’ve been to, and due to the generosity of a tremendous legend here in Houston,” director of the PTSD Foundation of America, David Maulsby told FOX 5 DC.
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“I never served but I’ve seen the trauma that these guys have been through,” Mack said. “Camp Hope is one of many places in Houston that takes care of our veterans with PTSD and it just gives all of us at Gallery Furniture great joy to help these veterans who have done so much while I did so little.”
Before the game, McIngvale and the veterans had dinner at Papas BBQ.
“I’ve been an Astros fan since I was a little kid. My dad took me to Astros games and we were stuck there with cheap tickets,” veteran Zack Alexander told the station between bites of BBQ. “Now, I get to take my son to his first Astros game.”
Many of the veterans invited suffer from PTSD and anger issues. A loud and crowded and ballpark is likely not the ideal place to find relaxation for those individuals.
Not to worry, Mack had it covered.
“We would never do that except that he gets us all a nice area together, and he takes care of us,” said Army veteran Ronnie Bennett. “He knows what he is doing, and we get there together and we get to all experience a ball game.”
Unfortunately for the Astros, and likely putting a little sweat on McIngvale’s brow, the Washington Nationals stopped Houston’s late game rally and won 5-4. That means the Astros need to win 4 of the next 5 games for McIngvale’s bets to pay off, for which he stands to make about $15 million.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.