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Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins, Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington, MN
July 5, 1961


Introduction

In 1961, Major League Baseball expanded for the first time. After sixty years of two eight-team leagues, the American League added two new teams. Technically, the two 1961 expansion teams were the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators. But there had been an American League team in Washington since 1901; it's just that the 1960 Senators moved to Minnesota. So, the two new franchises in 1961, in terms of location, were the Los Angeles Angels and the Minnesota Twins, the two teams who faced off in this game, on Wednesday, July 5, 1961.

Entering play on July 5th, the Twins and Angels were mired in 8th and 9th place, respectively, with records of 33-46 and 32-48. The Twins were 2 games behind the new Senators, who replaced them in Washington, only 1-1/2 games ahead of the Angels and only 2 games ahead of the last-place Kansas City Athletics.

The pitching matchup for this game was Eli Grba, for the Angels, who entered the game with a record of 5-8 and an ERA of 4.10 versus Jim Kaat, who entered play with a record of 3-7 with a 4.08 ERA.

All signs pointed to a pair of well-matched opponents.

First Inning
Jim Kaat retired the leadoff hitter, Albie Pearson, who was three years removed from being named American League Rookie of the Year while playing for the predecessor of the Minnesota Twins, the original Washington Senators. But the second batter of the game, Joe Koppe singled to center field and took second base on a passed ball. But Kaat coaxed an infield pop-up out of Ken Hunt and he was only one out away from escaping the inning.

Unfortunately for Kaat, the third out came one batter too late: Steve Bilko doubled to right field and the Angels had an early 1-0 lead.

Staked to a lead without having thrown a pitch, Eli Grba retired the Twins in order in the bottom of the first inning.

Second Inning
The second inning was something of a mirror image of the first. Kaat retired the Angels 1-2-3 in the top of the second and the Twins scored a run in the bottom half - in this case, on a solo home run by Jim Lemon. The next batter, Earl Battey reached on an error by Angels third baseman Ed Yost, but Grba settled down and got two groundouts to end the inning.

But the score was tied 1-1 at the end of two.

Third - Fourth Innings
The next three half-innings saw a total of only 10 batters - a one-out single by Pearson in the top of the third inning being the only baserunner.

Harmon Killebrew drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. He got to second as Bob Allison was grounding out and scored on Jim Lemon's single to right field. Earl Battey followed with a single to left field giving the Twins runners on 1st and 2nd with only one out. The next batter, Bill Tuttle, hit a line drive - but right to Angels shortstop Joe Koppe, who caught it and threw to first to double off Battey and end the inning. But the Twins had a 2-1 lead.

Fifth Inning
In the top of the fifth inning, the Angels seemed poised to answer back. Rocky Bridges beat out an infield hit. He was forced by Grba for the second out. But Kaat hit Pearson and walked Koppe to load the bases for Ken Hunt. But Hunt was called out on strikes and the Twins' lead held.

Given that scare, an insurance run or two seemed like a good idea. And back-to-back singles by Jose Valdivielso and Kaat to put runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out seemed like a good start toward building on their lead. But the next two batters both popped out to the second baseman and Killebrew flew out to center field. And the score remained 2-1.

Sixth - Seventh Innings
Nobody reached base for either team in the sixth inning. Ed Yost walked leading off the top of the seventh but got no farther than second base. The Angels pinch hit for Eli Grba this inning. His game finished with six innings pitched in which he allowed two runs on five hits.

The Angels new pitcher in the bottom of the seventh inning was Jim Donohue. Bill Tuttle led off with a single to center field. Valivielso popped out. But Kaat got his second hit of the game and Lenny Green drew a walk, loading the bases with only one out.

Billy Martin - yeah, that one; this was his final season as a player; he'd re-emerge eight years later here in Minnesota as a manager - hit a line drive, but right at Angels' second baseman Rocky Bridges who caught the ball and threw to shortstop Joe Koppe to double Tuttle off second base and end the inning.

Eighth Inning
Through seven innings, Jim Kaat had pitched very well, holding the Angels to one run on only four hits. But Kaat was clinging to a mere 2-1 lead. Could he get those final six outs? Would the Twins give him that much-needed insurance run?

Let's find out.

After pitching so well for seven innings, Jim Kaat just ran out of gas in the eighth. Joe Koppe led off the inning with a single to left field. Ken Hunt doubled to right field and the tying and go-ahead runs were both in scoring position with nobody out. Steve Bilko also doubled to right field and the Angels led, 3-2. And so ended Jim Kaat's day.

The new Twins pitcher was Danny McDevitt. George Thomas sacrificed Bilko to third and Earl Averill (whose Hall-of-Fame father had three hits in the last random game I wrote about) walked.

This triggered the second pitching change of the inning as Don Lee came in to pitch to Ed Yost. The pitching change worked well. Yost struck out and Averill was thrown out trying steal second base in a strike-'em-out/throw-'em-out double play to end the inning. But not before the Angels had taken a 3-2 lead.

The Twins couldn't answer in the bottom of the eighth, going down 1-2-3 to Donovan.

Ninth Inning
Don Lee had done the job out of the bullpen to end the eighth inning. He was asked to continue to do the job in the top of the ninth: keep the game close and give the Twins a chance to walk it off.

Lee retired the first two batters and all seemed well (or at least as well as things can seem when you're trailing by one run in the ninth inning). But Albie Pearson drew a two-out walk and Joe Koppe singled him to third. This brought Ken Hunt to the plate. Hunt had doubled and scored the go-ahead run the inning before. He did even better this time: a home run to right field to double the Angels' score. The Angels led, 6-2.

Angels reliever Jim Donohue, who was in line for his third win of the season, entered his third inning of pitching. He retired Earl Battey on a groundout to shortstop but he walked the next two batters, prompting a pitching change.

In came Art Fowler. Fowler would later earn some fame as Billy Martin's pitching coach for five different franchises. For now, Fowler was a 39-year-old relief pitcher (he had turned 39 two days earlier). Teams didn't exactly have "closers" in 1961, or even really "firemen". But Fowler was the closest thing the Angels had to one - or, at least, he led the 1961 Angels in saves (which had been invented by this point but were not an official statistic yet).

Fowler struck out the first batter to face him, pinch hitter Hal Naragon. But he walked Lenny Green, loading the bases and bringing the tying run to the plate in the person of Billy Martin - the man for whom Fowler would go on to coach under for 14 seasons over a 20-year period. But that was in the future. In the present, Fowler got Martin to hit a fly ball to right fielder Albie Pearson and the game was over. Angels win, 6 to 2!

Game Summary

The loss dropped Jim Kaat's record to 3-7. He would finish the 1961 season, his first full season (he debuted in 1959), with a record of 9-17. Kaat's career lasted until 1983 when Kaat pitched 24 games (all in relief) at the age of 45 (he was 22 years old in 1961) finishing with a career record of 283-237.

Despite their loss in this game, the Twins managed to finish the season ahead of the Angels, finishing in 7th place, 1/2 game ahead of the Angels and 9-1/2 games ahead of the new Washington Senators, who finished the 1961 season tied with the K.C. A's for last place. Both the Twins and Angels enjoyed dramatic improvements in 1962 as they finished in second and third place, respectively, with 91 and 86 wins. For the Angels, 1962 was something of a fluke season, while for the Twins it was the start of a run which culminated in an American League pennant in 1965.

As measured by Player won-lost records, the star of this game was Angels center fielder Ken Hunt, who scored the go-ahead run in the 8th inning and whose 9th-inning 3-run home run iced the game. The 1961 season would turn out to be the only season in which Ken Hunt was a full-time major-league starter - he played 149 of his 310 career major-league games in 1961 and hit 25 of his 33 career home runs. But on July 5, 1961, Ken Hunt was a star!

Details of the game are shown below. First, I show Player won-lost records for all of the players who participated in the game. Baseball Player won-lost records are constructed so that the players on the winning team earn two pWins and one pLoss in the game while the players on the losing team earn one pWin and two pLosses. I also show expected wins and losses, eWins and eLosses, which are context-neutral. Full play by play details of the game are shown below the won-lost tables. My Player won-lost records are described in more detail in this article and throughout my website.

Retrosheet Box Score and Play-by-Play


Runs by Inning

 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Final
Los Angeles Angels1000000236
Minnesota Twins0101000002


Player Won-Lost Records by Player: Summary

Basic Player Won-Lost Records
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins eWins eLosses Net eWins
 
Los Angeles Angels
Ken L. Hunt0.420.12
0.30
0.230.100.13
Joe Koppe0.280.06
0.22
0.260.070.19
Eli Grba0.410.24
0.17
0.350.37-0.01
Steve Bilko0.210.05
0.17
0.110.060.06
Jim Donohue0.220.10
0.12
0.100.16-0.06
Art Fowler0.070.03
0.04
0.040.030.01
Rocky Bridges0.110.07
0.04
0.120.120.00
Eddie Yost0.140.12
0.02
0.080.14-0.06
Julio Becquer0.020.00
0.02
0.030.000.03
Albie Pearson0.090.08
0.02
0.120.080.04
Ted Kluszewski0.000.00
0.00
0.030.000.03
Lee Thomas0.000.00
0.00
0.000.000.00
Del Rice0.000.03
-0.03
0.000.02-0.02
Earl Averill Jr.0.020.05
-0.03
0.030.09-0.06
George Thomas0.020.06
-0.04
0.010.11-0.10
Team Totals21
1
1.531.360.17
   
   
Minnesota Twins
Jim Lemon0.140.07
0.07
0.210.060.15
Earl Battey0.110.06
0.04
0.160.090.07
Julio Becquer0.020.00
0.02
0.030.000.03
Danny McDevitt0.000.02
-0.02
0.000.03-0.03
Jose Valdivielso0.080.10
-0.02
0.120.090.03
Lenny Green0.090.10
-0.02
0.090.10-0.01
Hal Naragon0.000.03
-0.03
0.000.02-0.02
Bill Tuttle0.050.14
-0.09
0.100.090.01
Jim Kaat0.390.50
-0.11
0.480.310.17
Harmon Killebrew0.050.16
-0.11
0.060.09-0.03
Don Lee0.050.19
-0.14
0.070.23-0.16
Billy Martin0.010.29
-0.28
0.010.19-0.18
Bob Allison0.020.34
-0.32
0.030.20-0.17
Team Totals12
-1
1.361.49-0.14


Player Won-Lost Records by Player: Detail

Player Won-Lost Records: Batting
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins eWins eLosses Net eWins
 
Los Angeles Angels
Ken L. Hunt0.370.09
0.27
0.190.070.13
Steve Bilko0.210.04
0.17
0.110.050.07
Joe Koppe0.200.03
0.17
0.160.030.13
Julio Becquer0.020.00
0.02
0.030.000.03
Albie Pearson0.070.05
0.01
0.100.050.05
Ted Kluszewski0.000.00
0.00
0.030.000.03
Rocky Bridges0.040.05
-0.01
0.040.10-0.06
Jim Donohue0.000.01
-0.01
0.000.02-0.02
Eddie Yost0.080.08
-0.01
0.030.08-0.05
Earl Averill Jr.0.010.03
-0.02
0.030.07-0.04
Eli Grba0.020.05
-0.03
0.020.07-0.04
Del Rice0.000.03
-0.03
0.000.02-0.02
George Thomas0.000.05
-0.05
0.000.10-0.10
Team Totals1.030.52
0.51
0.760.660.10
   
   
Minnesota Twins
Jim Lemon0.130.05
0.07
0.190.050.14
Jim Kaat0.060.04
0.02
0.090.030.06
Julio Becquer0.020.00
0.02
0.030.000.03
Earl Battey0.050.04
0.01
0.090.060.03
Lenny Green0.070.09
-0.02
0.060.08-0.02
Hal Naragon0.000.03
-0.03
0.000.02-0.02
Jose Valdivielso0.020.06
-0.04
0.040.05-0.01
Bill Tuttle0.040.11
-0.08
0.080.080.00
Harmon Killebrew0.030.12
-0.09
0.030.07-0.04
Bob Allison0.010.14
-0.14
0.010.11-0.10
Billy Martin0.000.25
-0.25
0.000.14-0.14
Team Totals0.420.93
-0.51
0.630.69-0.06


Player Won-Lost Records: Baserunning
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins eWins eLosses Net eWins
 
Los Angeles Angels
Joe Koppe0.020.00
0.01
0.020.010.01
Eddie Yost0.000.00
0.00
0.000.000.00
Rocky Bridges0.000.00
0.00
0.000.000.00
Albie Pearson0.000.00
0.00
0.010.000.00
Lee Thomas0.000.00
0.00
0.000.000.00
Julio Becquer0.000.00
-0.00
0.000.00-0.00
Ted Kluszewski0.000.00
-0.00
0.000.00-0.00
Ken L. Hunt0.000.00
-0.00
0.000.00-0.00
Eli Grba0.000.00
-0.00
0.000.00-0.00
Steve Bilko0.000.00
-0.00
0.000.00-0.00
Earl Averill Jr.0.000.02
-0.02
0.000.01-0.01
Team Totals0.030.03
0.00
0.040.030.00
   
   
Minnesota Twins
Harmon Killebrew0.010.00
0.01
0.020.000.02
Jose Valdivielso0.010.00
0.01
0.010.000.00
Jim Lemon0.000.00
0.00
0.000.00-0.00
Julio Becquer0.000.00
-0.00
0.000.00-0.00
Lenny Green0.000.00
-0.00
0.000.00-0.00
Jim Kaat0.000.00
-0.00
0.000.01-0.01
Earl Battey0.000.01
-0.01
0.010.01-0.00
Bill Tuttle0.000.01
-0.01
0.000.01-0.01
Team Totals0.030.03
0.00
0.070.07-0.00


Player Won-Lost Records: Pitching
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins eWins eLosses Net eWins
 
Los Angeles Angels
Eli Grba0.390.19
0.20
0.330.300.03
Jim Donohue0.220.09
0.13
0.100.14-0.04
Art Fowler0.070.03
0.04
0.040.030.01
Team Totals0.680.31
0.37
0.540.54-0.00
   
   
Minnesota Twins
Danny McDevitt0.000.02
-0.02
0.000.03-0.03
Jim Kaat0.330.46
-0.13
0.390.270.13
Don Lee0.050.19
-0.14
0.070.23-0.16
Team Totals0.380.67
-0.29
0.470.53-0.06


Player Won-Lost Records: Fielding
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins eWins eLosses Net eWins
 
Los Angeles Angels
Rocky Bridges0.070.02
0.04
0.080.020.06
Joe Koppe0.060.03
0.03
0.080.030.05
Ken L. Hunt0.060.03
0.03
0.040.030.00
Eddie Yost0.060.03
0.03
0.040.06-0.02
George Thomas0.010.01
0.01
0.010.01-0.00
Earl Averill Jr.0.000.00
0.00
0.000.000.00
Albie Pearson0.020.02
0.00
0.010.03-0.02
Steve Bilko0.000.01
-0.00
0.000.01-0.01
Team Totals0.280.14
0.14
0.260.190.07
   
   
Minnesota Twins
Earl Battey0.050.01
0.04
0.060.010.04
Jose Valdivielso0.050.04
0.02
0.080.040.04
Lenny Green0.020.02
0.00
0.020.020.01
Bill Tuttle0.010.01
-0.00
0.020.010.01
Jim Lemon0.010.01
-0.01
0.010.010.01
Harmon Killebrew0.010.04
-0.03
0.010.02-0.01
Billy Martin0.000.04
-0.04
0.010.05-0.04
Bob Allison0.010.19
-0.18
0.020.09-0.07
Team Totals0.170.37
-0.20
0.230.23-0.01




Play-by-Play Summary

Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 1st Inning
63peara102kaatj101010.00000.01380.00000.0235
S8koppj101kaatj101110.02440.00130.03680.0031
PB.1-2huntk102kaatj101koppj101110.01490.00000.01600.0003
4/Phuntk102kaatj101koppj101120.00020.01650.00040.0218
D9.2-Hbilks101kaatj101koppj101220.06810.00000.05630.0003
WP.2-3thomg102kaatj101bilks101220.00000.00080.00000.0003
63thomg102kaatj101bilks101230.00000.01830.00000.0242
Total Runs Scored:1
 
Bottom of 1st Inning
43greel101grbae101010.00000.02290.00000.0231
63martb105grbae101120.00000.01560.00000.0235
Kkillh102grbae101230.00000.00870.00000.0219
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 2nd Inning
53avere102kaatj101010.00000.01240.00000.0228
63yoste101kaatj101120.00000.00910.00000.0235
9bridr101kaatj101230.00000.00630.00000.0262
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 2nd Inning
K/Callib103grbae101010.00000.02290.00000.0219
HR/7Dlemoj101grbae101110.07100.00000.13560.0000
E5batte101grbae101110.02210.00620.04980.0098
53.1-2tuttb101grbae101batte101120.00720.03490.01880.0403
13valdj102grbae101batte101230.00000.03140.00040.0229
Total Runs Scored:1
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 3rd Inning
3/FLgrbae101kaatj101010.00000.01480.00000.0211
S8peara102kaatj101110.02790.00160.03680.0031
2/FLkoppj101kaatj101peara102120.00200.01730.00110.0209
4/Phuntk102kaatj101peara102230.00000.01350.00020.0218
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 3rd Inning
8kaatj101grbae101010.00000.02580.00000.0245
6/Lgreel101grbae101120.00000.01750.00000.0245
63martb105grbae101230.00000.01090.00000.0235
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 4th Inning
13bilks101kaatj101010.00000.01660.00000.0226
63thomg102kaatj101120.00000.01180.00000.0235
8avere102kaatj101230.00000.00760.00000.0245
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 4th Inning
Wkillh102grbae101000.02900.00000.03140.0000
53.1-2allib103grbae101killh102010.01320.05590.01890.0403
S9.2-Hlemoj101grbae101killh102110.06090.01090.06340.0049
S7.1-2batte101grbae101lemoj101110.02650.01280.04470.0100
6(B)3(1)/LDPtuttb101grbae101batte101lemoj101130.00910.08690.00030.0454
Total Runs Scored:1
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 5th Inning
63yoste101kaatj101010.00000.02000.00000.0235
S6bridr101kaatj101110.03440.00020.03450.0016
64(1)/FOgrbae101kaatj101bridr101120.02230.03400.02810.0480
HP.1-2peara102kaatj101grbae101220.02970.00020.03150.0003
W.2-3;1-2koppj101kaatj101peara102grbae101220.06660.00040.03150.0006
K/Chuntk102kaatj101koppj101peara102grbae101230.00000.06450.00000.0235
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 5th Inning
S8valdj102grbae101000.02110.00230.03680.0031
S8.1-3kaatj101grbae101valdj102000.04430.00470.05150.0029
4/Pgreel101grbae101kaatj101valdj102010.00210.04610.00040.0381
4/Pmartb105grbae101kaatj101valdj102120.00350.06440.00060.0381
8killh102grbae101kaatj101valdj102230.00000.04630.00030.0258
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 6th Inning
8bilks101kaatj101010.00000.02400.00000.0245
63thomg102kaatj101120.00000.01570.00000.0235
7avere102kaatj101230.00000.01070.00000.0269
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 6th Inning
43allib103grbae101010.00000.02150.00000.0231
13lemoj101grbae101120.00000.01500.00000.0226
3/FLbatte101grbae101230.00000.00940.00000.0211
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 7th Inning
Wyoste101kaatj101000.07540.00000.03140.0000
24/SH.1-2bridr101kaatj101yoste101010.01010.02830.00890.0478
Kriced101kaatj101yoste101120.00020.03080.00020.0222
8peara102kaatj101yoste101230.00010.03930.00050.0248
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 7th Inning
S8tuttb101donoj103000.01880.00230.03680.0031
6/Pvaldj102donoj103tuttb101010.00060.02720.00060.0219
S8.1-2kaatj101donoj103tuttb101110.02600.01640.04380.0111
W.2-3;1-2greel101donoj103kaatj101tuttb101110.03280.00120.03140.0010
4(B)6(2)/LDPmartb105donoj103greel101kaatj101tuttb101130.00290.10430.00060.0389
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 8th Inning
S7koppj101kaatj101000.08960.00570.04100.0053
D9.1-3huntk102kaatj101koppj101000.20130.00490.06100.0079
D9.3-H;2-Hbilks101kaatj101huntk102koppj101000.14620.00070.05630.0010
3/G/SH.2-3thomg102mcded101thoml103010.00540.00610.00500.0087
Wavere102mcded101thoml103110.01520.00020.03170.0007
2(B)4(1)/DPyoste101lee-d102avere102thoml103130.00120.07400.00080.0484
Total Runs Scored:2
 
Bottom of 8th Inning
8killh102donoj103010.00000.06610.00000.0245
53allib103donoj103120.00000.04340.00000.0228
Klemoj101donoj103230.00000.02700.00000.0219
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 9th Inning
53bridr101lee-d102010.00000.01060.00000.0228
3/FLdonoj103lee-d102120.00000.00780.00000.0211
Wpeara102lee-d102220.01120.00000.03140.0000
S9.1-3koppj101lee-d102peara102220.02300.00480.05480.0050
HR/9D.3-H;1-Hhuntk102lee-d102koppj101peara102220.16880.00080.13560.0012
Wklust101lee-d102220.00120.00000.03140.0000
2/FLthomg102lee-d102klust101230.00000.00110.00050.0209
Total Runs Scored:3
 
Bottom of 9th Inning
63batte101donoj103010.00000.01290.00000.0235
Wtuttb101donoj103110.00860.00000.03140.0000
W.1-2becqj101donoj103tuttb101110.02160.00000.03180.0003
Knarah101fowla101becqj101tuttb101120.00010.02920.00020.0224
W.2-3;1-2greel101fowla101becqj101tuttb101220.03160.00010.03150.0006
9martb105fowla101greel101becqj101tuttb101230.00020.05740.00300.0274
Total Runs Scored:0
 

Traditional Box Score and Play-by-Play

Article last updated: March 26, 2020



All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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