SABR

This Week in SABR: June 6, 2014

Welcome to "This Week in SABR!" Here's what we've been up to as of June 6, 2014:


SABR 44: Register by Monday to get discounted all-inclusive or early registration rate

Just a reminder that the discounted all-inclusive package for SABR 44 in Houston will expire next week! That means you only have a few days left to get the early registration rate, purchase an Astros game ticket, or pre-order a SABR 44 souvenir shirt at SABR.org/convention. The all-inclusive rate and early registration expires at 8 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 9, 2014.

If you want to attend the SABR 44 ballpark sessions at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, August 2, you must register for the convention AND purchase an Astros game ticket (through our ticket block or on your own.)

Click here for the full schedule of events at SABR 44.

Hope you'll join us July 30-August 3 at the Royal Sonesta Houston for SABR 44. We have an All-Star lineup of guest speakers, panelists and presentations, so register today for a full week of baseball fun.

  • Registration: Click here for complete information on SABR 44 registration rates. Once again, we're offering an all-inclusive rate for the annual SABR convention. SABR members can pay $234 for an all-inclusive package with a Field Box ticket to the Astros game (and access to the special SABR 44 ballpark panels) on Saturday evening or $214 for an all-inclusive package with a Mezzanine Level ticket — each package is a savings of $30 off the regular rate. Non-members can pay $299 (Field Box) or $279 (Mezzanine Level) for the all-inclusive rate. The all-inclusive rate includes 1 full convention registration, 1 ticket to the Awards Luncheon on Friday, and 1 ticket to the Astros game and SABR 44 ballpark panels on Saturday. Please note: The all-inclusive rate and early registration expires at 8 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 9, 2014. The regular registration rate, starting after June 9, is $199 for SABR members or $249 for non-members. It will not include an Astros ticket or an Awards Luncheon ticket; those must be purchased separately.
  • Hotel: Click here to book your room at the Royal Sonesta online. The deadline to book your room at the SABR group rate of $129/night (plus tax) is July 14, 2014, or until our block is full. The Royal Sonesta is at 2222 W Loop S Fwy., Houston, TX 77027, in the heart of the Galleria, just minutes from downtown and Minute Maid Park. If you have any questions about your reservation, please call the hotel at (713) 627-7600.
  • Schedule: Click here for the full schedule of events at SABR 44.
  • Transportation tips: Click here for more information on getting to the Royal Sonesta from Houston's major airports and getting around town.
  • Research presentations: Click here for the schedule of research presentations at SABR 44, including presenter bios and abstracts.
  • Committee meetings: Click here for the schedule of committee meetings at SABR 44.
  • Scholarships: Students ages 18-29, click here to learn more about the Yoseloff Scholarship to attend SABR 44 in Houston. The deadline to apply has been extended to Friday, June 13, 2014.

SABR 44: Introducing the Houston Colt .45s Panel

We're pleased to introduce the featured panelists for the SABR 44 Houston Colt .45s Panel, which is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 31 at the Royal Sonesta Houston.

Visit SABR.org/convention for a complete schedule of panels, research presentations, and committee meetings, as well as registration information and details.

Please note that all speakers are subject to change depending on availability.

Here are the panelists for the Houston Colt .45s Panel:

  • Bob Aspromonte: Bob was an original Colt .45 when major league baseball came to Houston in 1962. He was also the last Brooklyn Dodger active in the major leagues when his career came to an end in 1971 and later he would also become the last of the original Colt .45s to leave the franchise. In his first year with the expansion Colt .45s, Bob set a record for third basemen with a stretch of 57 consecutive games without an error. He scored the first run in Houston major league baseball history when Al Spangler tripled him home in the first inning of the first game ever.
  • Mickey Herskowitz: Mickey is nothing if not prolific as a writer. He has jointly written or ghost-written biographies of people ranging from Dan Rather to Mickey Mantle, from Bette Davis to Nolan Ryan, from Howard Cosell to John Connally. That is not a complete list by a long shot. But Mickey started as a sportswriter in Houston and he covered the Houston Colt .45s when they were born. He was on the inside not just with the players but with the movers and shakers who brought baseball to what is now the nation’s fourth-most populous city. His baseball work was honored with induction into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame. In recent years, Mickey has been teaching the next generation from a pulpit he has set up at Sam Houston State University just a few miles up the road.
  • Hal Smith: Hal is most famous for his game-tying home run in the eighth inning of Game Seven of the 1960 World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates. But he also has a footnote in Houston baseball history. Smith was an original Colt .45 after being selected from the Pirates in the expansion draft. Smith hit the first home run in Houston major league history in 1962. In that first season, Hal did more catching than anyone else. His playing time dwindled the next season and by the end of the 1964 season spent with the Reds, Hal retired at 33 years old. Hal had a solid .267 major league batting average over ten seasons. He now lives in Columbus, Texas, about 70 miles west of Houston.
  • Carl Warwick: Carl was a native Texan, born in Dallas and a graduate of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. He played for the Colt .45s in both 1962 and 1963 between stints with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he had the greatest success during his six-season career. Carl made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1961. With the Colt .45s, he played regularly in the outfield. On May 17, 1963, he homered and had four hits in support of Don Nottebart, who threw the first no-hitter in franchise history against the Philadelphia Phillies.
  • Jimmy Wynn: “The Toy Cannon” was the first power hitter in Houston major league baseball. He was not an original Colt .45, but he got here as fast as he could. He joined the team in the second season, 1963, and was a Colt .45/Astro for 11 seasons from 1963 through 1973. He later had a two-year stop with the Dodgers and parts or all of one seasons with the Braves, Yankees and Brewers. Jimmy hit 223 home runs in his 11 Houston seasons and finished his career with a total of 291. He averaged 25 home runs per season despite playing nine of his prime years in the massive and dead-air Astrodome. Though not a high batting average hitter he crushed 37 home runs in 1967 despite playing half his game in the Astrodome and was edged out for the NL home run title by Hank Aaron who hit 39. His one other 30+ home run year was with the Dodgers in 1974 when he hit 32 to go with a career high 108 RBI.
  • Moderator: Greg Lucas: Greg first saw Colt Stadium as an eyesore resting in the Astrodome parking lot in 1970 while in the Army stationed in San Antonio. But 14 years later, he was announcing his first Astros game from the Astrodome with DeWayne Staats. After a stint in the NBA and in North Texas as a Ranger announcer, he joined Astros telecasts full-time in several roles from 1995 through 2012. Earlier this year, he published Baseball: It's More Than Just A Game. He has also broadcast some home games for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters on ESPN3.

For more information on SABR 44 or to register, visit SABR.org/convention.


SABR 44: Convention schedule now available online

We've got a lot of exciting events in store for SABR 44 that you won't want to miss.

The full convention schedule is now available online:

http://sabr.org/convention/sabr44-schedule

Here's some of what we've got planned for SABR 44, July 30-August 3 at the Royal Sonesta in Houston:

  • All-Star lineup of guest speakers: Guest speakers at SABR 44 are expected to include: Reid Ryan, the Astros' President of Business Operations; Roger Clemens, seven-time Cy Young Award winner and College Baseball Hall of Famer; Jeff Luhnow, General Manager for the Houston Astros; Tal Smith, former Astros President and former SABR Director; Jimmy Wynn, original Colt .45 and Astros legend; Larry Dierker, longtime Astros player, broadcaster and manager; Bill Brown, Astros TV broadcaster; Pam Gardner, former Astros President of Business Operations; Dr. Bobby Brown, former American League President; Buck Martinez, former player and current Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster; Bob Watson, former player and general manager for the Astros; Eddie Robinson, longtime player, general manager and baseball executive; Bob Aspromonte, original Colt .45 and former Brooklyn Dodger; Mickey Herskowitz, noted baseball author and sportswriter; Marie "Red" Mahoney, alumnus of All-American Girls Professional Baseball League; Jim Gilligan, Lamar University baseball coach with more than 1,000 career wins; and many more!
  • Exclusive ballpark session at Minute Maid Park: A special treat is in store for SABR 44 attendees this summer. On Saturday, August 2, SABR convention attendees will have the opportunity to visit Minute Maid Park for an exclusive ballpark session with Houston Astros executives and players. That's also the night of  Before the Astros' 6:05 p.m. game against the Toronto Blue Jays, two SABR 44 panel discussions will take place inside the ballpark's Champions Pavilion, just above center field on the Mezzanine Level at Minute Maid Park. Guest speakers and more details will be announced soon. Please note: You must be registered for the convention AND purchase an Astros game ticket in order to attend the ballpark session at Minute Maid Park.
  • Complimentary Houston baseball book and The National Pastime: All SABR 44 convention attendees will also receive complimentary copies of Houston Baseball: The Early Years 1861-1961, edited by Mike Vance and produced by SABR's Larry Dierker Chapter; and The National Pastime, our annual convention journal focusing on baseball in the Houston area.
  • Sugar Land Skeeters game: We'll visit brand-new Constellation Park, home of the Atlantic League's Sugar Land Skeeters, about 20 miles southwest of downtown Houston for a game between the Skeeters and the Bridgeport Bluefish. Before the game, former Houston Astros president and SABR member Tal Smith will welcome SABR 44 attendees before the game, and an optional all-you-can-eat buffet will be served. And hey, you might even get to see former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady pitch for the Skeeters, too.
  • Historical Ballparks Site Tour: Our tour will include stops at the sites of the three minor league and two former major league ballparks that hosted professional baseball in Houston from the 1870s until 1999. There will also be drive-bys of a few semi-pro baseball locations where former major leaguers stayed in the game after their days in the majors had ended. The tour culminates with a visit to the Astrodome, the most architecturally significant stadium in America. Please note: The tour, limited to 56 people, is now sold out. To be placed on a waiting list in case a spot opens up, please e-mail djayne@sabr.org.
  • Houston City History Walking Tour: Get a taste of Bayou City history. Tour guide Mike Vance, a SABR member and Executive Director of Houston Arts and Media, is one of the top historians and storytellers in Houston. He will have dozens of stories to share along the walk. Participants will see the site of an early capitol of the Republic of Texas, now a historic hotel where JFK stayed the day before he was assassinated. There will be stops to see stellar art deco architecture and gleaming modern skyscrapers mixed in with tales of dueling, Civil War murder and oil barons. Please note: The tour, limited to 56 people, is now sold out. To be placed on a waiting list in case a spot opens up, please e-mail djayne@sabr.org.
  • Research presentations, committee meetings, and the SABR Trivia Contest: No SABR Convention is complete without a full slate of groundbreaking baseball research and a chance to talk baseball all week with the most passionate international community of fans around.

Sign up for SABR 44 today! You can register online for SABR 44 at SABR.org/convention or by phone at (602) 343-6450. Contact Deb Jayne at djayne@sabr.org if you have any questions.

  • And don't forget to donate! Did you know that anyone who donates $100 or more to SABR gets admitted to a special Donors Breakfast at the annual convention? Membership dues allow SABR to survive; it is donations from people like you that help us thrive. (A donation of $200 or more entitles the donor to one additional ticket.)

We look forward to seeing you in Houston this summer!


SABR 44 Yoseloff Scholarship deadline extended to June 13

With generous funding from The Anthony A. Yoseloff Foundation, Inc., SABR will award up to four scholarships to high school or college students to attend SABR 44 on July 30-August 3, 2014, in Houston, Texas. This scholarship will pay for registration, transportation and lodging up to a total value of $1,250.

The objective of this scholarship fund is to encourage high school and college-level student engagement with baseball research and to engender an active interest in baseball and SABR. The Yoseloff scholarship is to assist young researchers who want to attend SABR's annual convention and to introduce them to fellow SABR members. Through this fund, SABR hopes to inspire future baseball research, expose students to high-quality research and build the research capability of interested students.

Students must be currently enrolled in a high school, college undergraduate or graduate program, and be between 18 and 29 years of age at the time of the conference. All applications must be postmarked or e-mailed to Jeff Schatzki at jschatzki@sabr.org no later than FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2014.

For more information on the SABR 44 Yoseloff Scholarships, along with eligibility requirements, click here.


SABR 44: Transportation tips

SABR 44 will be held July 30-August 3, 2014, at the Royal Sonesta Houston, in the heart of the Galleria, just minutes from downtown and Minute Maid Park.

We hope you'll join us for what promises to be a spectacular SABR 44 convention in the summer of 2014.

Members of the host Larry Dierker Chapter have compiled a list of transportation tips to help visitors and convention attendees enjoy their stay in the Bayou City, including directions to the hotel from both of Houston's major airports (IAH and Hobby), along with a special SABR 44 SuperShuttle discount.

If you have any questions during your stay, please don't hesitate to ask a friendly SABR 44 volunteer for assistance.

To view the SABR 44 Transportation Tips page, click here.


SABR 44: Houston City History Tour and Historical Ballparks Site Tour sold out

We've had a fantastic response for the SABR 44 Houston City History Tour on Wednesday, July 30 and the Historical Ballparks Site Tour on Sunday, August 3.

Please note: Both of those tours are now sold out. To be placed on a waiting list in case a spot opens up, please e-mail djayne@sabr.org.

On Wednesday, the combination bus/walking City History Tour will leave from the Royal Sonesta and head to Minute Maid Park, where we'll walk around Downtown Houston and give tour-goers a taste of Bayou City history. Tour guide Mike Vance, a SABR member and Executive Director of Houston Arts and Media, is one of the top historians and storytellers in Houston. He will have dozens of stories to share along the walk. Participants will see the site of an early capitol of the Republic of Texas, now a historic hotel where JFK stayed the day before he was assassinated. There will be stops to see stellar art deco architecture and gleaming modern skyscrapers mixed in with tales of dueling, Civil War murder and oil barons.

On Sunday, the Historical Ballparks Site bus tour will include stops at the sites of the three minor league and two former major league ballparks that hosted professional baseball in Houston from the 1870s until 1999. There will also be drive-bys of a few semi-pro baseball locations where former major leaguers stayed in the game after their days in the majors had ended. The tour culminates with a visit to the Astrodome, the most architecturally significant stadium in America.

For more information on SABR 44, visit SABR.org/convention.


2014 McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award winners announced

The 2014 winners of the McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award, which honors the best articles on baseball history or biography completed during the preceding calendar year, are:

All three are SABR members and all three are winning the McFarland-SABR award for the first time.

The selection committee passed along the following comments about the winners:

  • On Costello's "Olympic Stadium": "Thoroughly researched, logically structured, engagingly written. ... A thoughtful, encyclopedic type article that covers a recent piece of history that might be overlooked otherwise."
  • On Schmidt's "Explaining the Baseball Revolution": "Meticulously researched and argued. Takes a legal topic and makes it relatively interesting. ... Well researched, well written, while disparaging the legal events surrounding Flood, he shows how they 'set the table' for change."
  • On Shieber's "The Pride of the Seeknay": "Interesting and fun. ... Baseball research is supposed to be FUN — it is a game after all — and this article is a pleasure to read."

The awards will be presented at the 44th annual SABR convention, July 30-August 3, 2014, at the Royal Sonesta Houston in Houston, Texas.

The selection committee consists of: Len Levin (chair), Phil Bergen, Jan Finkel, Chuck Hilty and Bill Humber. To submit a nomination for the 2015 awards, please send the work's title, author and publisher information (if applicable) to Len Levin.

For a complete list of winners of the McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award, click here.


Vote to select SABR's 2014 Overlooked 19th Century Base Ball Legend

Each year, SABR's Nineteenth Century Research Committee selects its Overlooked 19th Century Base Ball Legend — a 19th century player, manager, executive or other baseball personality not yet inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

In the past, only members of the committee voted for this award. Last summer, the project committee leaders decided that all SABR members should join in the fun.

Past winners of the award are Pete Browning (2009), Hall of Fame electee Deacon White (2010), Harry Stovey (2011), Bill Dahlen (2012), and Ross Barnes (2013).

The voting is simple:

  1. Before voting, please review the ballot to learn more about the 10 finalists who are not yet in the Hall of Fame: Doc Adams, Bob Caruthers, Jim Creighton, Jack Glasscock, Paul Hines, Dummy Hoy, Bobby Mathews, Tony Mullane, Al Reach, and George Van Haltren. Click here to download a PDF with bios for the 10 finalists
  2. Go online to vote in the election: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2014-overlooked-19c-legend
  3. Rank your top 5.

Here's the fine print:

  • All ballots must be cast by 11:59 p.m. PDT on Tuesday, June 17, 2014.
  • You may only vote once.
  • You MUST vote for five candidates or your ballot will not count.

Results will be announced on Thursday, July 31, 2014 during the annual business meeting of the Nineteenth Century Committee to be held during SABR 44 in Houston, Texas.

Thank you for participating!

The Overlooked 19th Century Base Ball Legends Project Committee consists of: Joe Williams, Chair; Adam Darowski; Charles Faber; Bob Gregory; and Ralph Peluso.


SABR Negro League Baseball Grave Marker Project to honor William Binga on June 28

The SABR Negro League Baseball Grave Marker Project will honor the life and baseball career of William Binga with a grave marker dedication ceremony at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 28, 2014, at Crystal Lake Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Prior to the integration of baseball, William Binga was a great third baseman for some of segregated baseball’s greatest teams, including the Page Fence Giants, Philadelphia Giants, Chicago Leland Giants, St. Paul Colored Gophers, and Minneapolis Keystones. Had the color line not existed, William Binga might have been a star in Major League Baseball. 

Funeral services for William Binga were performed on October 17, 1950, and he was interred at Crystal Lake Cemetery without any marker to identify his final resting place.

The Negro League Baseball Grave Marker Project (NLBGMP), along with The David Winfield Foundation and The Donaldson Network, has collaborated to right a nearly 65-year wrong. By identifying, procuring, and installing a grave marker for Binga, we will return the spotlight to one of baseball’s greatest forgotten stars.

Together, we will remember the great baseball career of William Binga and show the world we have not forgotten his contributions to the national game. 

The color line stripped Binga of his opportunity to develop a lasting legacy. It is important today that we not apply the same standard to how Binga is remembered. We must not take part in robbing him of his legacy again.

Related links:


Register now for 2014 Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference

The 2014 Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference will be held August 14-16, 2014, at the Marriott Courtyard Downtown (333 E. Jefferson Avenue) in Detroit, Michigan. The conference is open to all baseball, history and sports fans of all ages.

The conference theme is "Turkey Stearnes and Black Baseball in Michigan." Black baseball has a long history in Michigan, especially centered in the Motor City. Among the original entrants to the Negro National League in 1920 was Tenny Blount’s Detroit Stars, managed by Pete Hill and anchored by Big Bill Gatewood on the mound. The Detroit Wolves and Motor City Giants also played in Mack Park and Hamtramck stadium. In addition to the well-known Turkey Stearnes other star players included catcher Bruce Petway, the speedy Jimmie Lyons and the powerful Edgar Wesley.

The 17th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference will celebrate this rich baseball history. In addition to two days of research presentations and player/author panels, attendees will also enjoy special presentations about local parks as well as a Tigers game against the Seattle Mariners.

To learn more, visit SABR.org/malloy.


6 new biographies published by the SABR BioProject

Six new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 2,833 published biographies. Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here: http://sabr.org/bioproj/recent

You can find the SABR BioProject at SABR.org/BioProject.

Bios on more than just ballplayers: The ambitious goal of the SABR Baseball Biography Project is to publish a full-life biography of every major league player in history. But SABR members write about a lot more than just ballplayers. In addition, we have pages for Ballparks, Broadcasters, Executives, Games, Managers, Scouts, Spouses, Umpires and a lot more on the BioProject website. You can browse all of these categories at http://sabr.org/bioproj/browse. So if you've ever thought, "Hey, that person (or ballpark) should get the full BioProject treatment" — write the story and we'll publish it!

Get involved! If you'd like to help contribute to the SABR BioProject, visit our BioProject Resources page or read the FAQs section to get started. We're also looking to expand the BioProject to include all "encyclopedic" articles on baseball-related subjects from past SABR publications or committee newsletters. If you come across an article you think should be included in the SABR "baseball repository" at the BioProject, send a copy or link to markarmour04@gmail.com or jpomrenke@sabr.org.


In Memoriam: Gary Land

We are saddened to pass along the news that SABR member Gary Land, 69, of Berrien Center, Michigan, passed away peacefully with family by his side after a long battle with cancer on April 26, 2014.

Gary Gene Land was born in 1944 to longshoreman Elliott Booth and Virginia (Bradley) Booth in San Francisco and thusly became a die-hard Giants fan when the team moved there in 1958. A history professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, from 1970 to 2010, he joined SABR in the early 1990s and attended conventions annually until health issues interfered.

He presented several papers at both SABR and other baseball meetings, wrote essays on baseball history and literature, edited Growing Up with Baseball: How We Loved and Played the Game (Nebraska, 2004), and co-taught a course in baseball literature with fellow SABR member Gary Gray, as well as developed a large collection of baseball books.

In addition to history and his deep love of baseball, he also enjoyed music, books & literature, stamp collecting, fine-scale modeling and thought provoking conversations with good friends.

He is survived by his wife, Edi Land, of Berrien Center, Michigan; and children Jeffery and his wife Cassandra Land of Bellevue, Washington; and Jessamyn Land of North Hollywood, California.


ICYMI: Highlights from last week's This Week in SABR

We've heard your feedback: Some of you have said you look forward to "This Week in SABR" every Friday, but sometimes there are just too many compelling articles and announcements to read every week. We're not complaining — hey, keep up the great work! — but we know the feeling. So in an effort to make the length of this newsletter more manageable to read, we'll summarize some of the repeating/recurring announcements in a special "In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)" section of "This Week in SABR".

Here are some major headlines from recent weeks that we don't want you to miss:

All previous editions of This Week in SABR can be found here: http://sabr.org/content/this-week-in-sabr-archives.


Welcome, new members!

We'd like to welcome all of our new SABR members who have joined this week. You can find all Members-Only resources at members.sabr.org and the New Member Handbook can be downloaded here.

Please give these new members a warm welcome and help them make the most of their membership by giving them the opportunity to get involved in their local chapter or a research committee.

Name Hometown     Name Hometown
Robert Arthur Chicago, IL     Bobby Harrington Quincy, MA
Larry Barr Warren, PA     Jim McDonald Phoenix, AZ
John Barrett Valley Stream, NY     Zack Murphy Folsom, CA
Thomas Boone Cambridge, MA     Tim Padgett Jonesboro, AR
Dallas Brewton Albuquerque, NM     Dean Patino Aurora, IL
Richard Coiner Miami, OK     Steve Perry Round Rock, TX
Brad DeLauder Jarrettsville, MD     Patrick Redmond Hilliard, OH
Robert DelRossi Las Vegas, NV     Jeff Robinson Birmingham, AL
Tony Draves Fond Du Lac, WI     Steve Rudman Kirkland, WA
Michael Dunn Arlington, VA     Alex Schaaf Houston, TX
Paul Edwards Hyde Park, MA     Mark Schrutt Toronto, ON
Jerry Fickes Newark, DE     David Yamada Jamaica Plain, MA
Jordan Gumm Mount Pleasant, MI        

 


Research Committee news

There were no new SABR research committee newsletters published this week.

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at SABR.org/research.


Regional Chapter news

Here are the new chapter meeting recaps published this week:

Visit SABR.org/chapters for more information on SABR regional chapters.


SABR Events Calendar

Here is a list of upcoming SABR events:

All SABR meetings and events are open to the public. Feel free to bring a baseball-loving friend ... and make many new ones! Check out the SABR Events Calendar at SABR.org/events.


Around the Web

Here are some recent articles published by and about SABR members:

Read these articles and more at SABR.org/latest.


This Week in SABR is compiled by Jacob Pomrenke. If you would like us to include an upcoming event, article or any other information in "This Week in SABR," e-mail jpomrenke@sabr.org.

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This page was last updated June 6, 2014 at 3:04 pm MST.

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