Happy Bobby Bonilla Day! The NY Mets Just Paid 57-Year-Old Bobby Bonilla $1.19 Million

It’s July 1st! If you are in Rwanda, you may be celebrating your country’s independence from Belgium. If you are in Hong Kong, you may mark the 20th anniversary from the time the British ceded control of the city to China. If you are Liv Tyler, Missy Elliot or Dan Aykroyd, happy birthday! If you are Bobby Bonilla, congratulations! You are $ 1.2 million richer because of the New York Mets and a contract you signed decades ago that technically makes you one of the highest paid people on the list. team today.

If you don’t know what we’re talking about, it’s today Bobby Bonilla Day. Thanks to what has been described as “the greatest contract in the history of sport”, it is today that the Mets are contractually bound to send $ 1,193,248.20 to Bobby Bonilla, a man who retired from professional baseball about 15 years ago.

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We have covered this story a bunch over the years, so I don’t want to repeat all the details here. If you are interested in the long version, please read this article:

How Bobby Bonilla negotiated the smartest contract in baseball history

The long story, in short, is that in 1999, the Mets had had enough of Bobby and wanted him out of the team. The only problem was that they still owed him $ 5.9 million. They could have just paid him that money and been done with it, but Bobby came to the team owner Fred Wilpon with a proposal. A proposal that would prove to be brilliant.

Wanting to avoid becoming one of those cliché athletes who goes bankrupt on retirement, Bobby offered to defer his $ 5.9 million for 11 years (until 2011), when the Mets would pay him 29.8 millions of dollars in 25 annual payments (until 2035). ). The Mets would also agree to release Bobby from his current contract which allowed him to play two more seasons in the MLB, earning $ 200,000 more from the Braves and $ 900,000 from the Cardinals.

Team owner Wilpon jumped on the offer because he happened to be one of Bernie Madoff’s biggest investors. Wilpon calculated that if he had simply invested this $ 5.9 million with Madoff, by the time 2035 arrived, it would have reached about $ 70 million. Much more than the $ 29.8 million requested by Bobby.

It was an easy yes from both sides. Unfortunately for Wilpon, Madoff was a fraud. The $ 300 million he thought he had earned by investing with Madoff over the years did not exist, and he would have actually LOST about $ 700 million.

This is how the Bobby Bonilla woke up today richer by 1.2 million dollars. Something that will happen every July 1 for the next 16 years.

Well done Bobby!

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