Mets, under new owner Steve Cohen, to celebrate Bobby Bonilla Day
NEW YORK – The New York Mets led by new owner Steven Cohen embrace Bobby Bonilla Day, an annual memento of a notoriously unsuccessful contract.
A promotion announced Thursday allows a fan to book an Airbnb stay for four at Citi Field for $ 250 that includes use of the team’s gym and shower. The promotion includes a chance to throw the first ceremonial pitch before the Mets play in Atlanta on July 28.
Bonilla, a former Pittsburgh pirate, was released by the Mets in January 2000 after reaching .160 with four homers and 18 RBIs the previous season, when a knee injury had limited him to 119 at-bat. He had two seasons left on his $ 5.9 million contract, and the Mets agreed to defer his salary to 8% interest and make 25 equal payments of $ 1,193,248.20 each July 1, 2011-35 , for a total of $ 29,831,205.
Fans have since criticized the move as madness.
“It’s Bobby Bonilla Day – and for the first time the New York Mets are inviting fans to join in the excitement of July 1,” the team announced Thursday. “Today, Bobby is back at work, this time hosting a stay at Citi Field like never before, available on Airbnb. Bobby and the Mets invite four lucky Mets fans to experience a night out at the stadium that will leave them with that ninth home run feeling.
The team, purchased by Cohen last fall from the Wilpon and Katz families, said fans can request the reservation from noon on July 8.
Now 58, Bonilla was a six-time All-Star from 1986 to 2001. He touched .279 with 287 home runs and 1,173 RBI. He spent 1986-91 with the Pirates, winning four of those All-Star appearances.
“As a born and raised New Yorker and longtime player in the city, there is a special place in my heart for Mets fans, and it’s wonderful to see the faithful return to green seats in the city. Queens, ”Bonilla said. “This year I’m joining in the fun, trying on a new glove as an Airbnb host and hopefully giving a few people the night of their lives at Citi Field.”