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Everyone by now knows that July 1 is Bobby Bonilla Day, when the underachieving two-time Met, receives a check for $1.193 million from the Mets. It’s what Bonilla is best remembered for in his hometown.
Bonilla actually gets that check every July 1 for 25 total years, through 2035, the result of either a very smart move by his agents at Beverly Hills Sports Council or a very foolish one by Mets higher-ups who agreed to defer his payments at an exorbitant interest rate — 8 percent — because they thought they were such savvy investors they would earn nearly double that. As it turned out, it’s become a windfall for Bonilla and funny footnote to a Mets era.
“From the first day Bobby became a client all our conversations revolved around saving money for the future,” Dennis Gilbert, a minor league player before becoming an insurance agent and legendary baseball agent, said about the famous contract. “A lot of my friends [from the minors] who went to the big leagues were retired and broke. It’s just taking money out of the bank of today and putting it into the bank of tomorrow.”
Now two of Bonilla’s old agents at BHSC, Rick Thurman and Gilbert, are celebrating perhaps the most famous contract in baseball history and capitalizing on it to offer original NFTs to commemorate the semi-historic occasion. With the aid of Orion’s technology and Simple NFT Co., headed by ex-agent Josh Kusnick, they are making two offerings to fans (of Bonilla, or more likely the contract). According to the flyer, it’s “an NFT project celebrating Bobby Bonilla Day!”
They are selling 1,193 NFTs (note the number) for $85 apiece, with one fan of the 1,193 winning a drawing to attend a Mets game next year on the day that will forever be known as Bobby Bonilla Day (assuming it is a home game). In a separate offering, they are putting up for bid the actual contract along with a unique NFT and a second day with Bonilla on BBD at the game that will be auctioned off by Golden Auctions in Atlantic City.
Thurman and Gilbert, the founders of BHSC — are capitalizing on the contract’s fame. Or infamy, depending on which side you are on, and also the NFT craze. What was already a cash cow for Bonilla will bring him more Benjamins.
Bonilla is a native New Yorker who once offered an esteemed writer to “show you The Bronx,” and who played much better elsewhere. But he certainly can’t regret his two stays in Queens, as they made him a very rich man in perpetuity — thanks to a couple very wise agents or his Mets bosses, who were overconfident in their investing abilities.