Under the team’s new owner, Steven Cohen, the New York Mets are taking a different approach to “Bobby Bonilla Day.”
On Thursday, the team announced a promotion that will allow fans to book an Airbnb stay for four at Citi Field for $250. This includes the use of Mets’ team gym and shower and throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for the game against Atlanta Braves on July 28.
Joining the Mets for his first stint in 1991, former outfielder Bobby Bonilla was a six-time All-star.
He then joined the Florida Marlins in 1996 and led them to a World Series victory in 1997. He was later traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in May 1998, then traded back to the Mets six months later.
Bonilla and the Mets agreed on a contract buyout in 2000. According to the contract, the Mets were to pay him $1.1 million in annual installments from 2011 to 2025 with a pre-negotiated eight percent interest rate.
Every year on July 1, Bonilla is entitled to receive about $1.19 million from the Mets until he is 72 years old.
Steven Cohen, who bought the team from the Wilpon family last year, suggested that they take a new approach to face the day.
“Let’s take a vote,” Cohen wrote on Twitter. “How about we have a Bobby Bonilla day every year. Hand him an oversized check and drive a lap around the stadium. Could be fun.”
“I think it’s a wonderful thing that Steve and the Mets are doing,” said Bonilla. “Steve reached out to me, which was pretty cool. I’ve known Mr. Cohen for quite a while. We’ve had dinner together in Greenwich, Connecticut. We have a good relationship. We may do the other things at some point in time, but they came up with this idea, which I think is a wonderful promotion. People forget my birthday, but no one forgets July 1. I get more texts and calls that day than any other during the year.”