The Unbelievable Story of Bobby Bonilla’s Million-Dollar Payday
Picture this: You’re a professional baseball player, and you just signed a big contract to play for a team. The deal is worth millions of dollars, but instead of getting paid right away, you’ll get paid in small installments over several years. Sounds like a bummer, right? But here’s the unbelievable part – one former baseball player, Bobby Bonilla, is still getting paid almost $1.2 million every year despite retiring in 2001! How is that possible? Well, let’s dive into the story of Bobby Bonilla’s million-dollar payday.
Bobby Bonilla is a retired Major League Baseball player who spent 16 seasons playing for different teams. His career highlights include being named an All-Star six times, winning three Silver Slugger awards, and even winning a World Series title with the Florida Marlins in 1997. Bonilla was a solid contributor to the teams he played for, but he’s arguably most famous for a decision made by the New York Mets in 1999.
In 1999, the Mets were looking to release Bonilla from his contract, which still had $5.9 million left to pay. But instead of just cutting him loose, the team came up with a unique solution – they agreed to defer his salary for ten years and then pay him back with an 8% interest rate. This means that instead of getting paid his money in 2000, Bonilla would get paid an annual sum of almost $1.2 million for 25 years, starting in 2011.
So, how has Bonilla been enjoying his extra cash over the years? Well, he’s been retired since 2001, so he doesn’t need the money to play baseball anymore. Instead, he’s been using it to invest in various ventures, including a basketball team. Plus, he’ll keep getting paid until 2035, which means he’s set for life. But the real question is, why did the Mets decide to defer Bonilla’s salary like this in the first place?
There are a few factors that may have contributed to the Mets’ decision to defer Bonilla’s salary. For one thing, the team was struggling financially at the time, and this allowed them to save some money in the short term. Additionally, the team’s owners were involved in a scheme run by Bernie Madoff, the infamous financial fraudster. Madoff promised high returns on investments, but it was all a sham, and many people lost money. The Mets were no exception, and some analysts speculate that the deferred salary deal was a way to recoup some losses.
Despite the odd circumstances surrounding the deferred salary deal, it’s become somewhat of a legend in the world of sports. Every July 1st, fans of Bonilla and the Mets celebrate “Bobby Bonilla Day,” also known as “Payday,” to mark the annual event of him receiving his million-dollar payment. Some have even called the deal one of the best in sports history, as Bonilla is essentially getting paid to do nothing.
Q: How much money is Bobby Bonilla getting paid?
A: Bonilla is getting paid almost $1.2 million every year until 2035.
Q: Why did the Mets defer Bonilla’s salary?
A: The team was struggling financially at the time and may have been trying to save money. Additionally, the team’s owners were involved in a financial fraud scheme and may have been trying to recoup some losses.
Q: What has Bonilla been doing with his extra cash?
A: Bonilla has been investing in various ventures, including a basketball team.
Q: Why is the deferred salary deal considered legendary?
A: The deal is considered one of the best in sports history, as Bonilla is getting paid to do nothing.
Q: How long will Bonilla keep getting paid?
A: Bonilla will keep getting paid until 2035.
Q: How much money did the Mets owe Bonilla?
A: The team owed Bonilla $5.9 million at the time of the deal.
Q: Are there any other examples of deferred salary deals in sports?
A: Yes, there have been other examples, including pitcher Max Scherzer and his deferred salary deal with the Washington Nationals.
The story of Bobby Bonilla’s million-dollar payday is certainly unique, and it’s become a part of baseball lore. While the circumstances surrounding the deferred salary deal may be suspect, there’s no denying that it’s worked out well for Bonilla. He’s been able to invest in his future and live comfortably, all thanks to a decision made over 20 years ago. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll see more players signing similar deals and reaping the same rewards. In the meantime, happy Bobby Bonilla Day!