He hasn't picked up a professional baseball glove in 19 years but he's still picking up a paycheck — and a hefty one at that.
It's July 1, which for New York Mets fans means it's Bobby Bonilla Day.
The former slugger retired in 2001 with the St. Louis Cardinals, but he has been collecting a check of nearly $1.2 million from the Mets every year on July 1 for almost a decade.
The deal is part of a contract negotiated by Bonilla's agent Dennis Gilbert, which will pay Bonilla $1,193,248.20 every year until 2035. Bonilla, a former All-Star who last played with the Mets in 1999, will be 72 when his contract with the team expires.
How was Gilbert able to secure such a sweet deal for his client? They can both thank disgraced financier Bernie Madoff and Mets owner Fred Wilpon.
The Mets wanted to part ways with Bonilla in 1999 but he had $6 million left on his contract. Wilpon believed he was getting a huge return on his investments through Madoff but the Mets owner turned out to be a victim of Madoff's infamous Ponzi scheme
Instead of paying Bonilla outright, Wilpon opted to defer payments so that the money could be unwittingly invested into Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
Gilbert negotiated with the team to defer payments until 2011, with an 8% annual interest rate.
Madoff was the mastermind of the most notorious Ponzi scheme in history. A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud that uses funds from more recent investors to pay profits to earlier investors, leading them to believe that their investments are part of a successful enterprise.
Madoff is serving 150 years in prison for the multibillion-dollar scheme that he ran for decades.
In total, Bonilla will walk away with a $29.8 million payday because of Wilpon's blunder.
Today in sports history, July 1
Video: This Week in Sports History
1938: Don Budge sweeps Wimbledon for 2nd straight year
1951: Indians' Bob Feller throws 3rd career no-hitter
1961: Mickey Wright wins US Women's Open
1977: Britain's Virginia Wade wins Wimbledon on tourney's 100th anniversary
2007: Cristie Kerr wins US Women's Open for 10th career victory
2012: Spain wins 3rd straight major soccer title
2012: Tiger Woods passes Jack Nicklaus with 74th win of career
The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!