Bobby Bonilla’s famous contract is the gift that keeps on giving. Now, it’s a collectors item.
On Saturday night, an original copy of Bonilla’s long-term pact with the New York Mets sold at a Goldin auction for $180,000 to an anonymous buyer.
The winning bid includes the right to chat with Bonilla and his agent Dennis Gilbert on Zoom calls, a game-used Bonilla bat, a one-of-one NFT, and a day with Bonilla at Citi Field in 2023.
The contract — the copy of which belonged to Gilbert, who brokered the deal — is one of the most unique in baseball history.
- In 2000, the Mets eschewed paying $5.9 million to the player in favor of paying him 25 installments of $1.2 million on July 1 every year.
- Bonilla has received 12 of the 25 payments, which will total $29.8 million in 2035 — when he’s 72.
“It is obvious that certain baseball fans had a true appreciation for the historic nature of the contract,” said Goldin founder Ken Goldin.
Collectibles on the Rise
The collectibles market has seen an explosion of interest — and cash — in recent years.
Goldin told Front Office Sports in January that his platform hosted $27 million in transactions in 2019, $100 million in 2020, and $330 million in 2021. He projects $500 million this year.
He chalks it up to a new generation of investors looking for alternative opportunities to make money — and have fun while doing it.