THIS DATE IN BASEBALL HISTORY- DECEMBER 2, 1991- BOBBY BONILLA SIGNS 5 YEAR -$29 MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT WITH METS- HIGHEST PAID PLAYER IN BASEBALL HISTORY

Bobby Bonilla day: New York Mets pay him $1.19 million every July 1

This Date In Baseball History- December 2, 1991- Bobby Bonilla signs a 5 year- $29 million dollar contract with the New York Mets making him up to this point in time the highest paid player in baseball history. This was all about timing- Bonilla wasn’t close to being the best player in the game at the time- but he was the best free-agent available in the 1991-1992 off season. Bonilla had been an All-Star the final four seasons he spent with the Pirates. The Mets were paying for his bat- his glove in right field was adequate at best.

Bonilla who grew up in The Bronx- was excited about coming home. His homecoming would be rocky at best. He got off to a bad start in 1992- and the New York press and fans went after him. After three and a half mediocre seasons he was traded in mid-season 1995 to the Baltimore Orioles.

The most fascinating part of this entire deal is what happened later. In 2000 the Mets still owed him 5.9 million dollars. Bonilla’s agent Dennis Gilbert struck a deal with the Mets- Bonilla would receive the money in deferred payments- beginning in 2011. Every July 1st- Bobby Bonilla Day- Bonilla gets paid $1.193 million- these payments go on until 2035. 29,8 million over 25 years.

Bobby Bonilla Day: Why the Mets pay him $1M every July 1

5 responses to “THIS DATE IN BASEBALL HISTORY- DECEMBER 2, 1991- BOBBY BONILLA SIGNS 5 YEAR -$29 MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT WITH METS- HIGHEST PAID PLAYER IN BASEBALL HISTORY

  1. I remember when that happened, how crazy that big a contract seemed.Now… even allowing for inflation, that would maybe be a $12 or $13M a year salary, which would make him a bargain.

  2. It’s so funny in many ways because it happened to the Mets. With the Pirates the guy was really good but as soon as he left them and signed with the Mets…he wasn’t the same.

    • and also with the Pirates-where he had the grumpy unlikable Bonds- Bonilla came across as a ray of sunshine… with the Mets- and the pressure on him- big city- big money- his image kind of changed with his failures.

    • That is right…what a contrast…with the Mets yea…he turned into the grumpy unlikable guy. I cringed when the Dodgers traded for him back in that Piazza deal…they got rid of him pretty quick.

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