Cheech Marin tosses out ceremonial first pitch

Cheech Marin tosses out ceremonial first pitch

HOUSTON -- Fans at Minute Maid Park got an unexpected surprise Wednesday when actor and comedian Cheech Marin threw out the ceremonial first pitch while wearing a 1980s-era Astros rainbow jersey.

"They asked me throw out the first pitch, and they paid enough money so here I am," he joked. Primarily known as an actor, director and performer, Marin has developed the finest private collection of Chicano art in the United States. He was in town for the second annual Houston Fine Art Fair this weekend.

"I'm a collector, but I also love baseball," said Marin, who grew up as a Dodger fan in Los Angeles but had no problems wearing an Astros jersey. "When in Rome do as the Romans do. I love the Astros."

Marin said Houston was a popular tour stop in his "Cheech and Chong" comedy days, but not for the reasons you might imagine.

"It has the best combination of good-looking girls and barbecue in the world," he said.