Advertisement

Happy Bobby Bonilla Day

New York Mets outfielders Bobby Bonilla, left, and Rickey Henderson joke around at spring training Tuesday, Feb. 23, 1999 in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Bonilla played in 1998 for the Florida Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers. Henderson was with the Oakland A's. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
New York Mets outfielders Bobby Bonilla, left, and Rickey Henderson joke around at spring training Tuesday, Feb. 23, 1999 in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Bonilla played in 1998 for the Florida Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers. Henderson was with the Oakland A's. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)(ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 12:18 PM CDT
Email this link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - It’s that time of the year again when the New York Mets and sports fans everywhere wish each other a Happy Bobby Bonilla Day.

Today, 56-year-old Bobby Bonilla who hasn’t set foot on a major league diamond since 2001 will collect a check for $1,193,248.20 from the New York Mets, as he has and will every July 1 from 2011 through 2035.

New York Mets Bobby Bonilla busts out of his hitting slump with this swing, to gave him a grand slam against the San Francisco Giants in the second inning, June 1, 1992 at New York’s Shea Stadium. Bonilla, who wore earplugs during game on Saturday with Atlanta to block out the boos of unhappy fans, was given a long and loud standing ovation after his grand slam and ended the game with a career-high six RBIs as the Mets won 14-1. (AP Photo/Osamu Honda)
New York Mets Bobby Bonilla busts out of his hitting slump with this swing, to gave him a grand slam against the San Francisco Giants in the second inning, June 1, 1992 at New York’s Shea Stadium. Bonilla, who wore earplugs during game on Saturday with Atlanta to block out the boos of unhappy fans, was given a long and loud standing ovation after his grand slam and ended the game with a career-high six RBIs as the Mets won 14-1. (AP Photo/Osamu Honda)(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

How did this happen?

In 2000, the Mets agreed to buy out the remaining $5.9 million on Bonilla's contract.

However, instead of paying Bonilla the $5.9 million at the time, Bonilla and his agent pulled off one of the biggest finesse moves in sports history. The Mets and him agreed to annual payments of nearly $1.2 million for 25 years starting July 1, 2011, including a negotiated 8% interest.

At the time, Mets ownership was involved with a Bernie Madoff account that promised double-digit returns over the course of the deal. They were counting on being able to finance Bonilla’s deferred payments through investments they had made with Bernie Madoff, which turned out to be one of the biggest Ponzi schemes. Instead of paying dividends to Mets ownership, Madoff left them on the hook for a multimillion-dollar settlement.

That, above all else, maybe the lesson of Bobby Bonilla Day. Sports aren’t just at a game. It’s business too and Bonilla made sure baseball would take care of him past his playing days.

Copyright 2020 WTOK. All rights reserved.

Latest News

Latest News