Basic Information About Bobby Bonilla
|Category||Athletes › Baseball Players|
|Date of birth||1963-02-23 (60 years old)|
|Place of birth||The Bronx|
|Nationality||United States of America|
|Social Media||↗︎ Wikipedia|
Bobby Bonilla: A Baseball Star with a Unique Contract
What is Bobby Bonilla known for? He is a retired American baseball player who had a successful career in Major League Baseball, playing for various teams between 1986 and 2001. With a net worth of $20 million, Bobby Bonilla’s name is synonymous with a unique contract that led to him being paid a substantial sum for many years after his retirement.
Early Life and Education
Bobby Bonilla was born in The Bronx, New York on April 9th, 1963. Growing up, he discovered his passion for baseball and played during his high school years. After graduating in the early 80s, Bonilla went unnoticed during the 1981 Major League Baseball draft. Undeterred, he enrolled at the New York Institute of Technology with hopes of obtaining a computer science degree. However, fate had different plans for him.
During his first semester at the institute, Bobby’s talent on the field caught the attention of the Pittsburgh Pirates. They signed him to their farm system, and he embarked on his journey towards a successful baseball career.
At the start of his professional career, Bonilla faced a setback when he broke his right leg during training in 1985. Despite this setback, he was picked up by the Chicago White Sox in the following year. However, it was the Pittsburgh Pirates who saw his potential and reacquired him later in the year.
While initially starting as a third baseman, some errors led to his transition to right field. Teaming up with renowned players like Barry Bonds and Andy Van Slyke, Bonilla played a crucial role in helping the Pirates achieve success. The team won several National League East Division titles, and Bobby established himself as one of the league’s leading batters.
After becoming a free agent in the early 90s, Bobby Bonilla joined the New York Mets, becoming the highest-paid player in the league with a 5-year, $29 million contract. However, his performance did not live up to expectations, and he faced criticism from fans and the media. He then played for several more teams before ultimately retiring from baseball in 2001.
Bobby Bonilla’s Famous Contract
One of the most intriguing aspects of Bobby Bonilla’s career is his unique contract with the New York Mets. The Mets still owe him $5.9 million on his original contract, but instead of receiving a lump sum payment, they agreed to a deferred payment plan.
Under this arrangement, Bobby will receive nearly $1.2 million per year from the Mets until 2035, starting in 2011. This unusual contract has led to fans dubbing July 1st as “Bobby Bonilla Day” when he receives his annual payment. Additionally, Bonilla receives an extra $250,000 per year from a separate deal struck in 1994.
The decision to defer payment was made partly due to the Mets’ financial involvement with Bernie Madoff’s investment scheme. At the time, the organization anticipated significant returns from their investments with Madoff. Although that anticipated profit never materialized, Bonilla’s deferred payment plan provided an opportunity to recoup some losses, albeit over a long period.
Beyond his unique contract, Bobby Bonilla had an impressive career as a professional baseball player. He showcased his talent in six MLB All-Star Games and won three Silver Slugger Awards. Notably, he won the World Series in 1997 with the Florida Marlins and led the league in extra-base hits during the 199 season.
In his 15-year playing career, Bonilla earned a total of $52 million in salaries from multiple teams. Despite retiring in 2001, his contractual agreement with the Mets enables him to remain one of the highest earners on their payroll. Financial experts predict that he will eventually receive double the initial contract amount, reaching around $25 million, due to the deferred payment scheme.
In addition to his baseball career, Bobby Bonilla made headlines for his real estate ventures. In 1992, he purchased land in the Round Hill Historic District in Greenwich, Connecticut, for $1.9 million. He later built a house on the property but faced challenges when he attempted to sell it in 201. Bonilla eventually accepted an offer for $5 million, significantly lower than his initial asking price of $7.5 million.
Bobby Bonilla’s unique journey, from being an aspiring computer science student to a renowned baseball player with a landmark contract, continues to captivate fans worldwide. While his career had its ups and downs, his financial arrangement with the New York Mets has made him a notable figure not only in the sports world but also in retirement planning discussions.