Bobby Bonilla finally reached that circled day on his calendar, July 1st. It’s his annual payday!
Since 2011 Bonilla, a retired major leaguer, has been bringing in millions from his former team, the New York Mets. A decade after being removed from the game.
1999 was a tumultuous season with the Mets and the club was ready to do anything to part ways with him. The entire season he fought whole heartedly with his coach for more playing time, while his performance fell well below everyone’s expectations.
He was owed a 5.9 million dollar buyout for the 2000 season. However, after the owner (Fred Wilpon) was involved in a huge investment in the Bernard Maddoff’s Ponzi scheme, the Mets elected to work out a different deal. They would begin to pay Bobby 1.2 million starting on July 1st, 2011 and ending in 2035. Because of the perceived investment that Wilpon would eventually make (Maddoff), he took the Bonilla deal to be small fries. Of course, the Maddoff investment ended up ruining the Mets financially.
The delayed payments to Bonilla allowed the Mets to add some key players to their 2000 campaign that would push them into the World Series for the first time in 14 years.
The move seemed right for the Mets at the time, but they certainly got the short end of the stick in the long run. Bonilla, now 52 has the best retirement plan around! Without stepping a foot on the field in 13 years, he is making more than a lot of the fresh players currently in the sport.
Bonilla continued to play two more years after the deal for the Braves and Cardinals before retiring from a lack of playing time and the strain on his aging body.
He was a 3 time silver slugger award winner, a perennial All Star (for 6 seasons), and a part of the 1997 world champion Marlins.
And now, every July 1st he heads to the bank to cash in on the Mets misfortune.