Happy Bobby Bonilla Day!

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Hey all – Steve here.

For most of you younger baseball fans, the name Bobby Bonilla might not ring a bell for you. Bobby Bo played from 1986 – 2001 and he played for the White Sox, Pirates, Mets, Orioles, Marlins, Dodgers, Braves and Cardinals. He is a guy who hit for some pop and hit 287 career homeruns and he was also known for being a royal pain in the locker room. He might be most famous for playing cards in the clubhouse with Rickey Henderson during the late innings of Game 6 against the Braves in the 1999 National League Championship Series.

The Mets decided to cut ties with Bonilla before the 2000 series began. There was still $5.9 million left on his contract and this is where Bobby Bonilla Day was born. The agreement between the Mets and Bonilla was that they would defer payments and would include 8% annual interest. The agreement started in 2011 and will end in 2035 and pays him about $1.2 million every July 1st. So far, Bonilla has collected $8.4 million with 18 payments remaining. He and his agent successfully turned $5.9 million in 2000 to $29.8 million when all is said and done in 2035. There is more to this, but I am aggravated enough that this is the case. Fine, I will tell you the rest…

The FIRST time the Mets had Bonilla (yes they made this mistake twice) the same type of thing happened. That time it was both the Mets and Orioles that split the remaining year and a half of his contract and yes, it is also deferred. From that agreement, Bonilla has received $7 million. So that means he has received $15.3 million of his deferred money and he will be receiving $27 million more before all is said and done.

Oh and according to the big sports company with the 4 letter name, he lives in Sarasota, FL, where is no state income tax.

Now every cloud has a silver lining, right? Well here is silver lining to this dandy of a story. When the Mets made this agreement, it enabled them to grab Mike Hampton and Derek Bell – both of whom were instrumental in getting the Mets to the World Series in 2000. When Hampton left for the Rockies, the Mets received a compensatory draft pick. With that pick, the Mets drafted David Wright who went on to become the captain of the team.

The only real memories I have of Bonilla besides the card game is when he was playing for the Pirates and he hit a mammoth homerun against Jeff Innis on Opening Day in 1990 at Shea Stadium and when he strike out on a high fastball from David Cone in a big spot late in a game – also in 1990 and also at Shea Stadium. Here are some other moments in Bobby Bo’s career:

Yup…that is all. Until next July 1st, Happy Bobby Bonilla Day everyone!