Saturday, May 31, 2014

Saturday Game Info - Lee Lacy Signing at Game and Other Stuff!

Tonights game with the Pittsburgh Pirates is 2nd part of the Dodger Stadium Movie Series, and several old-time Dodgers will be in the house to sign free autographs for fans.  Below are the scheduled autograph opportunities and other odds and ends for this upcoming homestand.

Saturday, May 31st at 4:15 PM
LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-2, 3.10) vs. RHP Brandon Cumpton (0-1, 3.38)

This afternoon's game starts at 4:15 PM.  Auto gates open at 1:45 PM, and stadium gates open at 2:15 PM.  This evenings game features a postgame Dodger Stadium Movie Series viewing of the Baseball movie classic, "A League of Their Own." All fans in attendance are welcome to stick around after the game to watch the movie.  Fans seated in the pavilion areas are invited to sit in the outfield to view the game. 

Several actors that starred in “A League of Their Own” will be on hand to throw tomorrow’s ceremonial first pitch: Lori Petty “Kit Keller,” Megan Cavanagh “Marla Hooch,” Tracy Reiner “Betty Spaghetti,”Ann Ramsey “Helen Haley,” Bitty Schram “Evelyn Gardner, ”Patti Pelton “Marbleann Wilkenson” and Anne Cusak “Shirley Baker.” “A League of Their Own” Director Penny Marshall and Writer Kelly Candaele and family will be in attendance. Candaele’s mother Helen Callaghan and her sister Marge Callaghan played for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Former Dodger Lee Lacy (in left-field pavilion plaza) will be signing autographs for fans from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
  • The Veteran of the Game presented by Bank of America is U.S. Army Private First Class Anthony Corsi of Apple Valley. Corsi was drafted in 1943 at the start of World War II. He served with the 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Division serving as a lead scout in combat, providing intel to his superiors. He was deployed to Germany, France and Holland and served in Belgium at the Battle of the Bulge. His accolades include the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

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Blog Kiosk: 5/31/2014 - Dodger Links - Some Dodger Odds and Ends

With Pittsburgh in town it is night to see Russell Martin back in town, pic above featuring Russell and Steve Yeager via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.
Written on a piece of plain paper with a sharpie, it says, “Live together or die alone.”
Utility player Scott Van Slyke put it there. He heard the phrase while watching the second season of, “Lost,” and figured it had some crossover to what the Dodgers are trying to accomplish. 
Wow!  Who would have thought we'd find a connection between Lost and the Dodgers.
  • Mike Petriello at Dodger Digest makes note that,"Three Dodgers Among ESPN’s Top 25 Prospects."
  • Chris Olds at Beckett shares some preview pics from 2014 Topps Update.  It comes out on October 15th.  Check out a couple of Dodger insert cards below: Puig and Kershaw..

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    Friday, May 30, 2014

    2014 Topps Archives Baseball - All the Dodger Base Cards

    Topps officially released this past Wednesday their 2014 Archives Baseball card set, and I got photos of all the Dodger base cards to share with you.  Check them all out below.  Next week, I'll have photos of all of the inserts that are available.

    As you know, this set celebrates the designs of Baseball card past.  They place current and a few vintage Dodgers in cards using designs from 1973, 1980, 1986 and 1989.

    1973 Topps Design

    #5 Carl Crawford                                  #8 Zack Greinke

    1980 Topps Design

    #79 Duke Snider

    1986 Topps Design

    #116 Alex Guerrero

    1989 Topps Design

    #176 Adrian Gonzalez                          #187 Hanley Ramirez

    #193 Matt Kemp

    Base Short Prints Set Checklist

    #210 Clayton Kershaw                       #214 Fernando Valenzuela

     #220 Sandy Koufax                              #221 Hyun-Jin Ryu

    #237 Dusty Baker                                    #250 Yasiel Puig

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    Friday Night Game Info - Tommy Davis Signing!

    This evening is Game two of the Dodgers homestand against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and an old-time Dodger player will be in the house to sign free autographs for fans.  Below are some details and other odds and ends for this upcoming homestand.
    Friday, May 30 at 7:10 PM
    RHP Josh Beckett(3-1, 2.43) vs. RHP Francisco Liriano(0-5, 5.06)

    Tonight's game starts at 7:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 4:30 PM, and stadium gates open at 5:00 PM.  It is Friday Night Fireworks, so fans will be able to go down onto the field after the game.  The fireworks show will have a California theme.

    For this weekends homestand the Dodgers have created a special Pittsburgh Dog.  It's an all-beef hot dog topped with cole slaw and shoestring fries, inspired by the traditional Primanti Brothers sandwich. It is available through Sunday at extreme loaded dog concession stands on the Field, Loge and Reserve levels. 

    Former Dodgers Tommy Davis (in left-field pavilion plaza) will be signing autographs for fans from 5:00 PM to 7:10 PM, and in the Stadium Club from 7:30 PM to 8:00 PM.
    • The Veteran of the Game presented by Bank of America is U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Johnny Garcia Jr. of Los Angeles. Garcia enlisted in 2004 and is a Naval Aircrewman with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 41. His responsibilities include search and rescue, crew-chief and door gunner. He also serves as an AWR Weapons Tactics instructor. He has flown more than 1,000 hours of combat missions during his three deployments to the Middle East. Garcia’s accolades include two Navy Commendation Medals and five Navy Achievement Medals. 
    • The Dodgers still have a limited number of $11 Infield Reserve, Preferred Reserve and Left Field Pavilion tickets available for Beckett’s start tomorrow, as part of an offer celebrating the 11th no-hitter in Los Angeles, which can be purchased online at, by calling 866-DODGERS or at Dodger Stadium ticket windows, while supplies last.

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    Blog Kiosk: 5/30/2014 - Dodger Links - Ethier, Billingsley and Dee Gordon

    Andre Ethier is congratulated in the Dodger Dugou after tripling and coming home to score on Puig's double in the 1st inning of last night's game, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.
    • BTW, Andre made a visit to Nightingale Middle School in Cypress Park this morning to celebrate a new partnership between the LA Fund For Public Education (LA Fund) and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) in support of the School Fuel program. The Dodgers have committed $200,000 to fund breakfast for student in LA area schools.  Go here for more information, pic on the right via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers. Click on the photo to embiggen.
    • Via Earl Bloom at, "Billingsley throws sim game at Dodger Stadium."
    "It's been a long process, and I just got to keep working until I get back out there in a game," Billingsley said. "The arm is feeling really good right now, and I'm really happy with the way it has responded."
    He has, frankly, been exposed. He's not a shortstop any longer. The advanced defensive metrics paint an absolutely frightening picture for the Dodgers: Ramirez is -10 in Defensive Runs Saved; -6.9 in UZR. He is the worst shortstop in the major leagues, by a wide margin, according to defensive WAR. 

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    Thursday, May 29, 2014

    Watch Andre Ethier as Johnny Utah

    As you may recall during the Dodgers most recent roadtrip to New York, Andre Ethier was asked to step on the Broadway stage (well... not exactly Broadway) and participate as a guest actor in a play called Point Break Live! 

    Yes, folks!  It's an onstage parody production of the Keanu Reeves classic Point Break, and Andre played the lead part as Reeves' character Johnny Utah.  Check out my original story about this from a couple of weeks ago, here.

    Thanks to the fine folks at the MLB FanCave, you have an opportunity to watch a little bit of his stagecraft right now. Check it out below.  (Hat Tip: Mike Oz at Big League Stew)

    Video Link:

    So, what do you think?  Does Andre have the chops to win a Tony Award someday?

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    A Kazuhisa Ishii Auto'd Card to Call My Own

    Recently, I've been searching high and low for autographed cards of some of my favorite Asian imports.  For some reason players like Nomo, Park, Kuroda and Ishii had not yet found their way into my collection, so I am happy to share with you a recent purchase that changes that situation just a bit.

    Check out a 2002 Topps 206 mini autographed card of Kaz Ishii in this post.  This card came out during his rookie year in America, so I guess it's a rookie card. 

    Ishii did not spend a great deal of time in the Majors.  He played 3 years for the Dodgers and was traded to the Mets for Jason Phillips; where he played a season before being released.  Then, he unceremoniously returned to Japan to pitch in the Pacific League.  From my understanding, he continued to pitch in Japan until retiring last year.

    Via a Japan Times story:
    “I’ve been thinking that the time has come,” said Ishii. “I still want to win and feel like I can still play, but I have become tired of the preparations required to do this,” he said.
    Kasuhisa Ishii won a total of 182 games over a 21-year career in America and Japan. 

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    Blog Kiosk: 5/29/2014 - Dodger Links - Jamie Romak, Trading for a Catcher and Wilson's Bobblehead

    What could be better than a photo featuring Dodger organist Nancy Bea Hefley and slugger Yasiel Puig, via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.
    • Via Scott Miller at, "Determination pays off as Romak gets 'the call'"  BTW, since Jon SooHoo took some new photos of Romak yesterday, I decided to make a new fantasy card for him.  Check it out on the right.
    Romak said he trusted his abilities throughout, and then he said something that is a pretty good lesson in any walk of life.

    "I didn't put much emphasis on where I wasn't," Romak said. "I worried about where I was."

    Chris Withrow underwent an examination by Dr. ElAttrache on May 23rd to evaluate pain in his right elbow. Dr. Elattrache diagnosed his problem as a tear of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament and recommended Tommy John surgery. He was subsequently placed on the Major League disabled list. Withrow is seeking a second opinion next week and will proceed with further treatment.
    • Oh, come on... Really?  I officially disown this guy as a Kings fan.  You Don't belong!  Don't be a wussy!  Via Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy, "Corey Crawford allegedly sprays Kings fan, who files police report: TMZ." 

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    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

    Go Kings Go!

    The Kings are up 3 games to 1 in their Western Conference Championship series against the 'Hawks, and I am nervous in anticipation.

    I'm not worried about a epic meltdown, although Chicago is good enough to force that, it's just that I know that winning the fourth game of a series is a tough mountain to climb.  Fortunately, the Kings are running on all cylinders and have nearly every facet of their game clicking like a well-oiled machine.

    Better yet, I came across this tidbit of information that warms me up inside, via a tweet from John Buccigross:

    Even though Quick has not been exactly Quick-like this postseason, I still know that he's likely to play his best game tonight.  Like the Kings as a whole in these playoffs, Jonathan Quick appears to have gotten better as each game and series has gone by.

    I'll be sitting at my sister's home baby-sitting/watching the game with my 3 nephews.  They are all fairly young and relative newbies to the game, so I plan on schooling them on the basics - cheering, chanting and taunting.  Everything else will come with experience.

    BTW, here's a cool fact (at least it's cool to me), the Kings have a player with a name similar to each of my nephews.  The Kings player names are defensive forward stud Trevor Lewis, speedy rookie Tanner Pearson and rookie phenom Tyler Toffoli.

    Anyway, to get yourself amped up for tonight's game why not check out this great mashup video using highlights from Game 4 made by John Bain on youtube:

    Video Link:

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    Welcome to the Blue, Jamie Romak!

    As you may know, the Dodger have an open spot on the Major League roster due to Carl Crawford's unfortunate ankle injury, so fanatic fans have been wondering who would be brought up in his place.  Some folks hoped that a star prospect would get a cup of coffee with the Dodgers.  Instead, a ballplayer who has fought and persevered through the trenches of Minor League Baseball finally has an opportunity to call himself a Major Leaguer.

    Jamie Romak, a 12 year professional, will be in Dodger Blue this evening. He can play the infield corner positions and the outfield, and has put up some decent numbers in Albuquerque this season.  Jamie bats right-handed and has been primarily a 3rd baseman for the Isotopes.  Romak is batting .272 and OPS'ing an impressive .932.  In 206 plate appearances he has slugged 13 home runs for the Isotopes.  So, he has some power.

    Romak did not come up through the Dodger farm system.  He was originally drafted by the Braves in the 4th round of the 2003 draft out of London, Ontario.  He has played for the Canadian National Baseball team; having won a Bronze Medal during the 2011 Pan American Games.  Jamie Romak came to the Dodgers in November of 2013 as a free agent.

    UPDATE:  Isotopes beat writer Chris Jackson shared this about him on twitter:

    I love that the Dodgers are giving Romak a chance to roam a Major League field. I suspect he'll get a chance to start at 3rd base since neither Turner or Figgins are best suited as everyday players.  I don't know if we should expect him to stick around for very long, but sometimes magic strikes.

    Via a story by Alexis Brudnicki at the Canadian Baseball Network:
    “If you are ever just happy to be in affiliated ball, you won’t be there long,” Romak said. “I’m extremely grateful but Triple-A isn’t my big leagues. There’s no time line on my career. That’s up to God. Baseball is my career and if the big leagues doesn’t happen for me, I will pursue other avenues like playing in Asia to continue to make a living [from it].”
    Well, Jamie, you just got the call!  Over the next few days I'll raise up a pint in his honor and wish him the best.  Welcome to the Dodgers, Jamie Romak!

    In celebration of Romak officially becoming a Dodger today, I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photo grabbed from I-70 Baseball blog from several years back and the 1987 Topps Baseball card design.  If you can't tell, I did a little bit of photoshopping to add the LA Dodger logo on his helmet.

    BTW, Jamie has received some encouraging words, via twitter:

    Below are Romak's minor league career stats, via Baseball Reference:

    UPDATE:  Via a Dodgers press release:
    The Los Angeles Dodgers today placed outfielder Carl Crawford on the 15-day disabled list (left ankle sprain) and selected the contract of corner infielder/outfielder Jamie Romak (#35) from Triple-A Albuquerque.

    The 28-year-old Romak, who will be making his Major League debut, leads the Pacific Coast League with 10 home runs this month and was batting .303 (27-for-89) with six doubles, a triple and 18 RBI in 25 May games. Overall, Romak hit .272 with 13 homers and 30 RBI in 48 games with the Isotopes and showed his versatility by appearing in 27 games at third base, 10 at first base and eight in the outfield. The London, Ontario, Canada native was originally selected by the Braves in the fourth round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft and was signed by the Dodgers as a free agent on Nov. 19, 2013.

    Crawford was batting .267 with four home runs and 18 RBI in 44 games this season.

    The Dodgers now have 40 players on their 40-man roster.

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    Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Lenny "Nails" Dykstra

    Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.

    The Lenny Dykstra signing is the only event I am aware of for this weekend.  If there is something else, please let me know.  BTW, there will likely be some Dodger signers for the upcoming weekend homestand against the Pirates, and I will pass that information along when it is available.

    UPDATE:  According to Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy, Jerry Reuss is signing at a US Bank location in Panorama City tomorrow.  Go here for more information.


    Lenny Dykstra will be signing autographs at the OC Dugout in Anaheim on Saturday, May 31st from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  Get more infromation here.
    The OC Dugout
    1238 S. Beach Blvd., Ste. K
    Anaheim, CA 92804

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    Blog Kiosk: 5/28/2014 - Dodger Links - Puig, Ryu, Crawford Injured and Aerials of Dodger Stadium

    What a great aerial view of Dodger Stadium.  Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo took a ride on the Goodyear Blimp last night to capture some views of the Dodger home from the heavens.  Go here to check them all out.
    We’re talking about a guy who, through this point in his career, has been a better hitter than almost all of the greatest hitters of all-time. And he seems to be getting better. The story of Puig’s rookie year focused heavily on the parts of his game that reminded everyone of Manny Ramirez. Perhaps we shouldn’t miss out on the fact that he’s hitting like an in-his-prime Manny Ramirez as well.
    "It's tough when you come up and have instant success after everybody has been pumping you up and telling you how great you're going to be," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. "People anointed Dee as the Dodger shortstop for the next 15 years and then he stumbled, and it's hard to pull yourself out of that. What's impressed me is his humility and drive and knowing how this could all be taken away in a moment's notice. He's not going to let that happen again."
    "We still go back to him being 100 percent," manager Don Mattingly said. "We don't feel like he's moving like he did a couple of years ago. We still feel like maybe physically he's back because he's not on the medical report, but you see his steps sometimes where he doesn't really want to stop hard and maybe it's just getting over that, still a little fear of the ankle and where it'€™s at."
    • And the DL parade just doesn't want to stop.  Via Earl Bloom at, "Crawford headed to DL with left ankle sprain."  And, it was such an innocuous play.  Crawford was just quietly going to the corner to pick up a ball hit down the line.  He wasn't running full speed, and he didn't need to rush.  He just stepped awkwardly and bent his ankle.  It was really bad luck.
    "It doesn't look good," manager Don Mattingly said after the game. "The video didn't look good."
    • In light of this past weekends tragedy in Isla Vista and the ensuing media frezy that always seems to pop up, I thought the below video is worth watching.

    Video Link:

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    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

    2014 Panini Prizm Baseball - The Dodger Autographed Cards

    Here is a final look at the Panini's 2014 Prizm Baseball set.  This time I take a look at all of the Dodger autographed cards that are available.  Go here to see all of my past post on this set.

    In addition to the below Clayton Kershaw Mojo Prizm card there are Gold and Black Prizm parallel cards available.  The Gold Prizm card is numbered to just 10 copies, and the Black Prizm card is a "1 of 1" card. 

    Autographs Mojo Prizms Set Checklist

    #24 Clayton Kershaw (/75)

    Five Dodger players are a part of the Signature Prizm subset.  Unfortunately, I have to see either a Steve Sax or Scott Van Slyke card.  Below is a complete checklist:
    • #9 Rick Monday
    • #12 Steve Sax 
    • #26 Scott Van Slyke
    • #39 Chris Perez
    • #41 Chad Billingsley

    Signature Prizms Set Checklist

    #9 Rick Monday                                     #39 Chris Perez  
    #41 Chad Billingsley

    USA Baseball Signatures Prizms Set Checklist

    #9 Clayton Kershaw (Gold Prizm Parallel)

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    Blog Kiosk: 5/27/2014 - Dodger Links - Dodger Odds and Ends

    It was almost a perfect memorial Day for the Dodgers yesterday as Hyun-Jin Ryu took a perfect game into the 8th inning last night, pic above vie the Dodger tumblr site.  Via Earl Bloom at, "Dodgers hang on after Ryu loses perfecto bid."  BTW, go here to see Jon SooHoo's pic from the game.
    • Are you kidding me?  As you likely know by now, AJ Ellis has been placed back on the 15-Day DL, and Tim Federowicz has been recalled.  Via Mike Axisa  at CBSSports, "A.J. Ellis suffers severe ankle sprain during no-hitter celebration."
    • Eric Stephen at True Blue LA, "Dodgers minor league report May 26: Brandon Dixon, Darnell Sweeney keep hitting."
    • Via Stuart Wallace at The Gammons Daily, "Simplified approach key to Brandon League’s newfound consistency and success."
    Despite three pitches, Leagues has excelled as of late with a simple approach, throwing his sinker nearly 80% of the time, with a smattering of sliders (2.3%) to go along with an increased use of his split-finger fastball (17.2%). 

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    Monday, May 26, 2014

    Go Kings Go!

    It's Memorial Day at the Staples Center.  Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals between the Kings and the Chicago 'Hawks will be played tonight to a raucous, cheering and raucous crowd. I'll be headed over to my usual location in Section 315, and I promise to be loud.

    I am confident the Kings have the right game plan in mind and the right players to execute it.  The Kings have been able to roll out 4 strong forward lines to the consternation of a Chicago team that has been unable, so far, to counter.  With a strong defensive scheme that includes a neutral zone trap, a strong forecheck and a willingness to sacrifice the body to block shots, the offense has been able to find the room to make plays and find the back of the net.

    I can't say enough about the work of the two youngsters who have recently been awash with praise - Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli.  They, along with veteran centerman Jeff Carter, have evolved into a serious scoring threat.  With the 'Hawks keyed in on the Kings top line centered by Kopitar, the emergence of this line, since dubbed "That 70's Line" due to their player numbers, has barrelled through the Chicago defense like they don't exist.

    Of course, I don't want to come off as too overconfident.  Chicago is clearly one of the best teams in the league, so we shouldn't take anything for granted.  They also have the ability to explode on the scoresheet.  Hopefully, the Kings can continue to stymie the other 'Hawks players not named Toews; since, it's becoming more clear that we only find ourselves in the lead due to our ability to stop his co-stars on the ice.

    In a photoshop stupor that formed as a result of Josh Beckett's no-hitter last night and in anticipation of tonight's game, I created a bunch of Kings fantasy Baseball cards - with a Dodgers theme.  Check them out below.

    Most of the photos where grabbed from Juan Ocampo/LA Dodgers 2014 night at a Kings game earlier this year.  Go here to check out some Kings players in Dodger Blue.  Below is Kings mascot Bailey with former Dodger/current broadcaster Jerry Hairston.

    The below card uses a pic from the @LA Kings twitter account.

    Here's another @LAKings twitter photo - this time of star defenseman Drew Doughty.

    Here are some more fantasy cards using photos from the @Dodgers twitter account.  On the left is centerman Anze Kopitar, and Captain Dustin Brown is on the right.

    On the left is centerman Mike Richards, and on the right is goalie Jonathan Quick.

    BTW, you should check out this great montage video featuring highlights from Game 3 created by John Bain on YouTube.

    Video Link:

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    Some More Josh Beckett Fantasy Baseball Cards from his No-Hitter

    With the excitement of Josh Beckett's no-no still fresh in my mind, I couldn't help going a little photoshop crazy yesterday evening.  Thankfully, a slew of great photos were available online to help me out.  These first four fantasy cards use pics taken by Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.  Check out those photographs here

    My favorite has to be the one above.  I love how Beckett is framed with the games line score.

    The next three fantasy cards used photos taken by the MLB Authenticator on Twitter.  Directly below is the game-used pitching rubber Josh Beckett used to get his no-hitter.  They have pulled it from the mound and authenticated it.  No doubt it'll be headed to a museum near you.

    To the left below is the official lineup card used by Don Mattingly for the game, and to the right is the last out game ball from the no-no.  I love how the game ball has splotches of red Gatorade all over it - from the post-win celebration.

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