If you're retired baseball player Bobby Bonilla, July 1 is your personal national holiday.
For the rest of us, it’s just Bobby Bonilla Day -- the annual fan celebration that the New York Mets are still (somewhat amazingly) on the hook to pay their one-time star who left the Big Apple before the 2000 MLB season, with the team still owing him millions of dollars.
Here’s an inside look at the most famous deferred contract sports and how it has influenced Chicago athletes over the years.
Is Bobby Bonilla still getting paid?
Bonilla, a six-time All-Star who played in the majors from 1986 to 2001, still collects roughly $1.19 million every July 1. Few people in the United States look forward to the calendar flipping from June to July more than the former Met third baseman.
When does the Bobby Bonilla contract end?
Bonilla’s contract will continue paying him until 2035. Pretty nice, right?
Why is Bobby Bonilla still getting paid?
Instead of paying Bonilla $5.9 million in 2000, the Mets opted for a deferred salary arrangement that set the team up to make annual payments of nearly $1.2 million for 25 years starting July 1, 2011. The deal included a negotiated 8% interest.
Has a Chicago sports team ever agreed to pay a Bobby Bonilla contract?
Chicago has benefitted from other franchise’s chasing MLB All-Stars -- like Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Albert Pujols -- with exuberant contracts.
However, one of the city’s most famous home-grown talents did exit his sport with a pretty hefty price tag. That’s right, we’re talking about Kevin Garnett, who is still getting paid by the Boston Celtics through 2024. KG, who retired in 2016, is set to make $35 million over seven years in deferred salary.