We'll remember August 4th as the day on which Alex Rodriguez hit his 500th and 600th home runs. But before A-Rod was born and, coincidentally, as Roger Clemens celebrated his second birthday, the Giants made some baseball history of their own on August 4th, 1964.
That was when they signed Bobby Bonds, a future All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, as an amateur free agent. That's right, they signed Bonds, then a powerful 18-year-old outfield prospect, as a free agent. One year later, Major League Baseball implemented the amateur draft, but in 1964 teams could still sign amateur players without drafting them.
Four years later, Bonds debuted for the Giants and he soon became a fixture in their outfield. From 1968-74, Bonds hit .273/.356/.478 and averaged 27 homers and 38 steals per season. He was never the offensive force that his son would become two decades later, but Bonds was well on his way to posting career totals of 332 homers and 461 steals.
San Francisco traded him to the Yankees for Bobby Murcer after the 1974 season, but the Giants certainly got their money's worth when they made Bonds one of the last great pre-draft era signings 46 years ago today.