Bobby Bonilla last played for the New York Mets in 1999 and will continue to be paid until 2035

By Jason Duaine Hahn
July 01, 2020 04:46 PM
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Collecting a multimillion-dollar paycheck long after you left your job almost sounds too good to be true, but Bobby Bonilla has one such deal.

The retired MLB player is set to receive nearly $1.2 million from the New York Mets on Wednesday, even though he last played for the team in 1999, ESPN reported. It was during that year that the Mets, seeking a buyout of Bonilla, offered to pay him the remaining $5.9 million left on his contract.

But instead of paying Bonilla the money in one lump sum, the Mets agreed to pay him nearly $1.2 million every year for 25 years starting July 1, 2011, according to the outlet. The amount would also include 8 percent interest.

According to CNN, Mets owner Fred Wilpon believed he was making a sound financial decision because he was instead going to use the money owed to Bonilla to invest with Bernie Madoff — who later was revealed to be running a Ponzi scheme. The Mets did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment.

Bobby Bonilla
Ronald C. Modra/Getty

CNN estimates 57-year-old Bonilla will earn $29.8 million by the time the Mets finish paying him in 2035 when he's 72.

The Mets' annual July 1 payment to Bonilla have led to baseball fans jokingly referring to the date as "Bobby Bonilla Day."

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"Happy Bobby Bonilla Day. Hope you’re all celebrating with your friends and family!" one Twitter user wrote.

"Imagine not going to your job for almost 20 years and they pay you 1.19 million every July 1st till 2035," added another user. "Happy Bobby Bonilla Day, Mets."