New York Mets owner Steve Cohen had some fun on the day where former player Bobby Bonilla gets a paycheck.
July 1 is an important day for New York Mets fans. On this day, every year, the Mets pay former player Bobby Bonilla $1.19 million until the year 2035 after they agreed to buy out his contract back in 2000. Yet, the deferred payment plan did not begin until 2011.
This occurred under the team’s former ownership in the Wilpon family. New owner Steve Cohen is having some fun with it, as he wished Mets fans a happy Bobby Bonilla Day, which he calls his “favorite day of the year.”
What is Bobby Bonilla Day?
Back in 1991, the Mets signed Bonilla to a five-year, $29 million contract after spending the previous six seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His tenure lasted three seasons, as he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in 1995. He was reacquired by the Mets in 1999.
His contract was bought out in 1999, where he was owed $5.9 million. Instead of paying it outright, the Mets decided to pay Bonilla in increments over 10 years that included eight-percent interest. That was because they invested in an account run by financier Bernie Madoff and felt they would make a huge profit. The thing is, Madoff was running one of the largest private Ponzi schemes in history.
Through his tenure with the Mets, Bonilla slashed .270/.356/.495 while recording 95 home runs, 295 RBI, and 481 hits.
Only 13 more payments to go before the Mets’ deal with Bonilla is officially done.