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Why is Bobby Bonilla trending on Twitter? It’s almost Bobby Bonilla Day, an occasion New York Mets fans are celebrating like Christmas.
For New York Mets fans, it’s almost one of the best days of the year.
Thursday, July 31, is Bobby Bonilla Day when the Mets will pay $1,193,248.20 to retired player Bobby Bonilla.
The funny part? Bonilla finished his baseball career in 2001. New York will continue paying him that amount every year until 2035.
The celebrations just got started a bit early this year.
Here’s why Bobby Bonilla is trending on Twitter
The Mets caused a stir when they mentioned Bobby Bonilla Day on Twitter while teasing something “BIG.”
Speculation about what the announcement might be was immediate.
Fans were already way ahead of the team celebrating what amounts to Bobby Bonilla Eve.
There’s just something about Bonilla’s payday that captures the imagination and tickles the funny bone of baseball fans.
What is Bobby Bonilla Day?
So why are the Mets paying more than a million dollars to a player who hasn’t played for them since 1999?
Bonilla played for the team from 1992-95 before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles. The team brought the 36-year-old back for the 1999 season via a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He played just 60 games and was considered a huge disappointment while batting .160/.277/.303.
New York wanted rid of him but still owed him $5.9 million on his contract. Bonilla’s agent, Dannis Gilbert, and the Mets negotiated a deal to benefit both sides. Bonilla agreed to defer the payment for 10 years while accruing eight percent interest. New York wouldn’t have to worry about the $5.9 for a decade, using that money to sign other players, while Bonilla would net $29.8 million for his patience.
According to Darren Rovell of ESPN, the Mets owners had invested with Bernie Madoff and figured they’d make more money in their returns from financier than the interest they’d be paying Bonilla. That plan fell apart when Madoff was found out as a fraud, but Bonilla was still owed his money.
So, beginning on July 1, 2011, the Mets cut Bonilla the first of 25 yearly checks for nearly $1.2 million. The 2021 check is their 11th and they’re obligated to do so every July 1 until 2035.