Gallery Furniture owner and Houston Astros superfan Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale argued that he was defending a player of his beloved team when he was caught in a verbal altercation with Phillies fans during Game 3 of the World Series.
A video showed McIngvale in Astros apparel directing some choice words at Philadelphia Phillies fans. Other individuals are seen in the video attempting to keep McIngvale under control.
“We were walking out, and some drunk old man said to pull the jerseys off all the Astros and show their buzzers,” McIngvale told the Houston Chronicle.
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McIngvale went on to claim that his was simply defending an Astros player.
“And then he said, ‘Jose Altuve will never make the Hall of Fame because he is the biggest cheater ever,' and that's when I lost it,” he said.
The well-known Houston-based businessman also noted that several team members from his furniture stores who were at the game with him helped restrain him as they exited.
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Tensions also flared before weather postponed Game 3 of the World Series. Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander was caught flipping the bird back to a Phillies fan as the team bus pulled into the ballpark in Philadelphia.
The fan made the obscene gesture at Verlander, and he returned the favor. Verlander was seen smiling during the exchange. He later confirmed that his gesture was all in good fun.
“All the context Darren… Whole interaction was in jest as all the fans around you were just saying hello in their native tongue,” Verlander wrote in a social media post.
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On Tuesday before the rescheduled Game 3, the same fan went back to the same spot where the bus pulled into Citizens Bank Park to do the exact same thing.
However, this time Verlander walked over to the fan to meet her and take a photo together.
“Yesterday, when the Astros’ bus was pulling into Citizens Bank Park, I was playing around, giving the finger to the whole bus, and JV just happened to be the one to see it, so he played along and gave it back to me,” Phillies fan Stephanie Di Ianni told Fox News Digital. “Then, it happened all over again when he got off the bus. I called his name, waved, then gave him the bird again.”
“So, today, I went to the same place at the same time, and he immediately recognized me from the bus window and started laughing. Then, when he got off the bus, he had a huge smile on his face and he came right up to me and signed a ball for me and posed for a few pictures. He was super cool about it; he was the one that initiated the photos, too, and he had a great sense of humor with it.”
The Phillies used the long ball to earn a 7-0 win over the Astros and take a 2-1 lead in the World Series on Tuesday night.
Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. allowed six hits, five of which were home runs.
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Game 4 begins Wednesday night at 8:04 p.m. ET with Aaron Nola starting for Philadelphia and Cristian Javier taking the bump for Houston.