Another July 1 has arrived and with that comes another $1,193,248.20 pay day for the 58-year-old Bobby Bonilla.
Today, which has comically become known as Bobby Bonilla day remains infamous in Mets history as each year on July 1, they will cut the former Major Leaguer a check for 1.19 million dollars until 2035.
Bobby Bonilla and his agent were able to secure one of the most memorable and ingenious contract deals in history in January of 2000. When Bonilla was released from the team in 2000 the Mets still owed the slugger 5.9 million dollars left of his contract.
At the time, Bonilla and his agent offered the Mets ownership a deal, in which he would defer payment for a decade and beginning July 1, 2011 he would begin collecting 1.19 million dollars over the course of 24 years. Mets owner at the time, Fred Wilpon, was deeply invested with Bernie Madoff and thought that his “ten percent returns” he believed he was making, would negate the interest rate on Bonilla’s offer and accepted the deal.
As we all know, Madoff’s ploy fell apart and became the biggest ponzi scheme in history and, in turn, swelled Bonilla’s contract from 5.9 million to 29.8 million dollars that will pay Bonilla until the age of 72.
The Mets, while still under Wilpon ownership, were never able to embrace Bobby Bonilla day like the rest of the baseball world did. But now under the new ownership of Steve Cohen, will begin to celebrate Bobby Bonilla Day and Bonilla himself announced a contest in honor of the day on the Mets social media account today.
Happy Bobby Bonilla Day, Mets fans!