Adding variations to a price guide


I submitted 2 cards to PSA that were variations previously unlisted by Beckett (one baseball card with an alternate color of text in the team name, and one hockey card with different words used in the copyright line than usual), and requested the respective variations be noted on the slab labels. They were returned ungraded after they called me stating that though they agree I had legit variations that should become listed as such, they would not put the variation on the label until they were first published in major price guides as such, and encouraged me to contact Beckett for the inclusion of these cards. I wrote emails to Beckett and provided scans and never got a response after many tries. After calling Beckett and working through the phone tree, they confirmed that I was doing the right thing by sending the messages I had already sent, and that they would reply soon. I never get a reply and it took a few forwards of the same message before I even got them to click the 'return receipt' confirmation from the email to know it was even read. Has anyone else ever had any experience with attempting to add a new variation to the guides? Any advice?
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Comments

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,331 ✭✭✭✭
    I am trying the same thing with no results so far.

    One of my buddies at work has the same advice on problems like this "start drinking heavily"

    Good luck to us both,

    Joe
    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • MrGMrG Posts: 603 ✭✭
    The only way that PSA will recognize a baseball card variation is if it has been included in the Sports Collectors Digest Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards. This is used by both Beckett and PSA (and probably everyone else) to determine the presence of a card and any variations that exist. Bob Lemke (AUPT) on these boards use to edit and publish this book but has since retired. I do not know the name of the new editor, but it could be "by the editors of Krause Publications" as the latest Standard Catalog of Football Cards shows listed.

    To ask PSA to recognize your variations is futile, and furthermore, asking the graders to get the variation correct every time is even more futile unless it is specifically stated on the submission form!

    Good luck in your endeavors!
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for the reply and info. According to their website, the editor's name is Tom Bartsch. I have forwarded my request and scans on to his attention. We'll see what happens from here...
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭
    FYI, followup:

    I already got a reply back from Tom and he seems very receptive to adding the variations.
  • bishopbishop Posts: 2,871 ✭✭✭
    Did not PSA recently add the 1961 Ron Fairly card with varying degrees of errant green ink in the baseball on the back ( a mere print defect of which there are many in every Topps set) to their 1961 Topps master Registry set list and note the "variation" on several graded Fairlys ? I don't think you will find that one in SCD ( don't know about Beckett). Persistence paid off for someone. Those cards are not rare but are showing up on ebay at astronomical prices currently
    Topps Baseball-1948, 1951 to 2017
    Bowman Baseball -1948-1955
    Fleer Baseball-1923, 1959-2007

    Al
  • Good points, bishop. Always a little tough to distinguish a variation from a print defect. My pet peeve is the 1980 Topps Basketball James Silas variation. The name is spelled JAMS and the color is purple in the original card. The corrected card correctly spells it JAMES and uses black ink. It's the only card in the set with the name in black. PSA gave me the response that MrG notes. To PSA, it's the same card. Crazy. But to PSA the 1969 Topps Baseball Ron Perranoski (sp?) with slightly different caps is a valid variation. PSA even has a variation that lists the cap emblem as somehow 'invisible' (cue the spooky music..) Apparently, if something is not visible, it must be invisible. Some of these guides were written by grade school kids. PSA blindly follows these guides and they end up looking foolish sometimes. Have not had time to do the legwork miwlvrn is doing. - Kevin M.
  • MrGMrG Posts: 603 ✭✭
    miwlvrn, Thank you for the new editors name! It may help me get some additional 1973 Topps baseball variations listed!
  • bishopbishop Posts: 2,871 ✭✭✭
    MrG---would be interested in your list...unless it is in part proprietary while you are seeking recognition. I will dig out my list and can send it to you or post it here .

    Cards651---I do not collect basketball so am not familiar with the Silas, but do think the Peranoski is a legitimate variation since Topps made intentional changes in that card ( increased airbrushing) in different print runs. It is not a simple print defect. But I understand your frustration. There are many print defects, such as the Topps 58 Herrer and 57 Bakep, that have gained wide hobby fame, while most are ignored. And there are some true variations that have never been recognized.

    I could always count on Bob Lemke at SCD to give consideration to any variant cards I sent him for possible inclusion in SCD, and his view of what constituted a variation evolved over time as improving ebay scans resulted in an explosion in the discovery of card variants, be they print defects or true variations. With Bob's retirement I am not optimistic there is a good place to vet "new" variations, and PSA's designation of the Fairly does not cause me to view them as an independent authority
    Topps Baseball-1948, 1951 to 2017
    Bowman Baseball -1948-1955
    Fleer Baseball-1923, 1959-2007

    Al
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭
    It is an interesting topic differentiating between print defects vs. true variations. For example, I'd have thought a while back that the 1973 Buddy Bell gap/no gap was a print defect, not a variation. I am actually surprised that the baseball card variation I'm hoping to have published as such has not made it into guides years ago.
  • bishopbishop Posts: 2,871 ✭✭✭
    The Bell is a good example of how Bob Lemke's view on variations seemed to evolve. It and several other gap variations were once listed in SCD. In the latest editions I think he removed them after literally hundreds of similar gap defects showed up for virtually every Topps set, particularly in the 70s sets. They are common print defects...as ebay and it's scans have helped demonstrate
    Topps Baseball-1948, 1951 to 2017
    Bowman Baseball -1948-1955
    Fleer Baseball-1923, 1959-2007

    Al
  • I think that a key issue on this topic is the number of 'plates' (not sure if this is the correct word). In many cases, there were two or more plates which technically would make the card a variation. Some of these are very obvious such as the Peranoski cap emblem. Others are subtle. The 1969 Dock Ellis card (#286) has a blue dash on the upper right border in many instances. However, there are many Ellis cards that are missing the blue dash. These cards were most likely printed from two different plates and from a printing standpoint are just as much a variation as the Peranoski. The Peranoski is just easier to notice. I don't really have a solution. From a collecting standpoint, I try to stay away from variations because there is no solid basis for the designation. This may be why PSA hesitates to classify variations on their own.

    bishop - I don't really disagree with the cap emblem variations. I just think 'invisible' is a stupid way to name it and this should be corrected. It must be the latent English teacher in me....

    miwlvrn - Great topic.

    bishop (again) - The Silas is an obvious variation and somewhat limited. I've just been lazy contacting the 'powers that be' in the hobby and not many people care about basketball anyway. Will try to post a scan. I'm bad with Photobucket...
  • bishopbishop Posts: 2,871 ✭✭✭
    3 different Campos cards...variations or just print defects ?

    image

    Are both Herrers print defects

    image

    What about these

    image

    image

    Variations to 68 set, or just Milton Bradley game cards ?

    image

    Print defect or variation ?

    image

    image

    image


    image

    Variation or gimmick ?

    image

    An endless debate

    image
    Topps Baseball-1948, 1951 to 2017
    Bowman Baseball -1948-1955
    Fleer Baseball-1923, 1959-2007

    Al
  • thehallmarkthehallmark Posts: 1,010 ✭✭
    Hey miwlvrn, turn on your Private Messages please, thx.
  • My two cents -

    The Herrer and Herrera are variations due to two different plates.

    Pascual Perez is a variation due to two different plates.

    The '69 Pirates is a variation for same reason.

    Frank Thomas as well.

    That's about as far as I can get at this time of night. For me, the key is if there was a second plate that printed the card. If so, it's a variation.

    The Milton Bradley cards are a different set although they use the same picture. A little bit like Topps and O-Pee-Chee for hockey.

    Too late....



  • bishopbishop Posts: 2,871 ✭✭✭
    I have collected deviant cards for a long time, whether print defects or variations. For my purposes variations are only those cards the manufacturer changed intentionally. For example the trade/option variations in the 59 set, or the Spahn changes in DOB that same year. The Pasqual may be a corrected error. I think the Thomas and Herrer, the Bakep and maybe the Campos Black Star are print defects, where no change was made in the plates, but rather something got on the plates or interfered with ink distribution in the printing process...unintentionally. That happens in almost every Topps set at least through 1991 when I stopped tracking them.

    I have a set of 1982 Topps Blackless cards. SCD lists it separately as a variant set, but they are just cards from print runs where the black ink ran out. Cards from that same year can be found in blueless and redless form as well, but the blackless are more prized because they made it into pack distribution.

    No argument intended. People should collect what they like and define what they collect how they like. But what gives any deviant card value is hobby recognition, which can occur with inclusion in SCD or Becketts or in the PSA registry master list. Today you can find print defects much more prominent than the Herrer or Bakep or Black Star, but their historical recognition in the hobby as variations make them valuable. So if you can get PSA to recognize some defect, even as insubstantial as the Fairly green smudge, it is worth the effort. For myself, I stopped trying when Bob Lemke retired. But I have many variations/deviations, listed and not, in all my Topps sets from 51 to 91, after which I quite tracking them for the most part . There are also apparently variations in the Topps 1948 Magic Photo baseball subset, but I have not pursued them
    Topps Baseball-1948, 1951 to 2017
    Bowman Baseball -1948-1955
    Fleer Baseball-1923, 1959-2007

    Al
  • Thanks, Bishop. Interesting topic. The intention issue is a good point. That would clearly result in a variation. The second plate being slightly different would not be a 'true' variation under that definition. Makes sense. At some point, I will try to do a little more legwork on the JAMS variation. - Kevin M.
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭

    PM turned on now, sorry, didn't realize it wasn't on by default upon original signup.
  • In my oppinion I think that most cards (if not all) have different print plates. So in theory if you look closely there could be a variant of most cards. I think that different print plates don't make a variant (unless it's an official change...like traded or not).
  • bishopbishop Posts: 2,871 ✭✭✭
    Then what about differences on the same print sheet and plate ?. SCD ran an article not long back on differences in double print cards in the 1963 set. One bottom row of cards ( 13 or so ) had noticeable front cropping differences than the same card above them. Also some clear back differences. Variations ?

    http://www.oldbaseball.com/refs/1963_New_Variations.pdf
    Topps Baseball-1948, 1951 to 2017
    Bowman Baseball -1948-1955
    Fleer Baseball-1923, 1959-2007

    Al
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭
    I think there are different categories or tiers in my mind:

    The first group would have items such as 1969 no. 151 Dalrymple (orioles profile vs. phillies catching photos), or the 1974 Washington vs. San Diego varieties.

    Below that would be things like alternate color text like so many in the 1958's and 1969's.

    The lower group of variations are the ones that seem more like minor print errors, that would include things like the 1973 Bell gap/no gap or the 1961 Fairly green.

    I wonder if things like the 1958 & 1969 text color differences corresponded to print order, same as how the 1979 OPC Gretzky had the blue lines on the first print run, and then they fixed it for the subsequent runs?
  • bishopbishop Posts: 2,871 ✭✭✭
    What about changes that are not intentional, but accidental ?. Take the Topps 1962 set.. All of the cards in the second series can be found with two distinct printing variations, due to Topps using a second printing company for some runs of the 2nd series. Within the 2 versions, different pose variations were used on some cards, eg., the Moon portrait or with bat. These are clear intentional variations. But what about the green tints. They are certainly different, but they were not intentional....just poor workmanship. Some might view them as just print defects, others as variations

    No one definition works in all cases...IMO
    Topps Baseball-1948, 1951 to 2017
    Bowman Baseball -1948-1955
    Fleer Baseball-1923, 1959-2007

    Al
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭
    Right. I think all the unintentional changes like you mention, such as the '62 green tints, would fall under the same category IMO as the Bell gap and the Fairly green. The different poses you mention are a separate issue, and would be intentional variations like when a team was switched like the Dalrymple card or when the name was changed like Wash. vs. SD.
  • marinermariner Posts: 2,235 ✭✭✭
    BTW, PSA has added a set to the registry....1962 Topps Super Set.....it has all the green tints in it. They did not add them to the Master Set but created a separate master-like set to include them. They are grading them as variations now.
    Don

    Collect primarily 1959-1963 Topps Baseball
    set registry id Don Johnson Collection
    ebay id truecollector14
  • bishopbishop Posts: 2,871 ✭✭✭
    Great Don---now we can discuss the differences between a master set and a super set :-)
    Topps Baseball-1948, 1951 to 2017
    Bowman Baseball -1948-1955
    Fleer Baseball-1923, 1959-2007

    Al
  • saucywombatsaucywombat Posts: 1,070 ✭✭✭
    To answer your question, Beckett is an absolute dead end.

    Get in touch with Bob Lemke, AUPT, on these boards.

    He actually cares about these things, but his interest in updating and editing the SCD Catalog in the era of rapidly developing threads on message boards seems to have waned. Last I heard he was wanting to limit the SCD Catalog to vintage cards to limit the scope of his work.

    If its vintage and you have several examples, he should be of help.

    When I started to build the 1994 Finest Baseball Refractor set, I soon realized that despite "Mark Gardner" being listed as a card in the set by every publication, he is not included. The card that corresponds with that number is actually Dave Staton (former Padre top prospect) who appears on another card in that Finest set as well. Went through every avenue of communication possible with Beckett to no avail. Communicated with Bob about the 1990 Topps NNOF Blackless cards and as an offshoot of that conversation he got the checklist for 1994 changed in the SCD Catalog. Only then would PSA allow me to add the card to the set registry, despite the fact that they had already graded and slabbed a Dave Staton with that number! The Beckett Catalog checklist for 1994 Finest remains incorrect to this day.
    Always looking for 1993-1999 Baseball Finest Refractors and1994 Football Finest Refractors.
    [email protected]
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the reply. Yup, both the hockey and baseball variations I'm trying to have added to publication are vintage (1971). I'll try to find the guy you mention on these boards and send him the info I have.
  • bishopbishop Posts: 2,871 ✭✭✭
    The 2012 SCD Standard Catalog stops at 1980. The 2011 and prior editions did have post 1980 cards, but the book had become huge. Bob has retired and it is not clear if there will be a 2013 Catalog, at least in book form. Bob still maintains his great blog and does occasionally discuss card oddities, but not so much post 1980 cards.
    Topps Baseball-1948, 1951 to 2017
    Bowman Baseball -1948-1955
    Fleer Baseball-1923, 1959-2007

    Al
  • does misprint count as variations. i have a 63 koufax on front and haddix on back. i was thinking for many years sending it to psa, should i?


  • << <i>does misprint count as variations. i have a 63 koufax on front and haddix on back. i was thinking for many years sending it to psa, should i? >>



    PSA does not grade wrong backs
    I am actively buying MIKE SCHMIDT gem mint baseball cards. Also looking for any 19th century cabinets of Philadephia Nationals. Please PM with additional details.
  • LittletweedLittletweed Posts: 620 ✭✭✭


    << <i>Good points, bishop. Always a little tough to distinguish a variation from a print defect. My pet peeve is the 1980 Topps Basketball James Silas variation. The name is spelled JAMS and the color is purple in the original card. The corrected card correctly spells it JAMES and uses black ink. It's the only card in the set with the name in black. PSA gave me the response that MrG notes. To PSA, it's the same card. Crazy. But to PSA the 1969 Topps Baseball Ron Perranoski (sp?) with slightly different caps is a valid variation. PSA even has a variation that lists the cap emblem as somehow 'invisible' (cue the spooky music..) Apparently, if something is not visible, it must be invisible. Some of these guides were written by grade school kids. PSA blindly follows these guides and they end up looking foolish sometimes. Have not had time to do the legwork miwlvrn is doing. - Kevin M. >>




    This is clearly an error, but not yet recognized by any book or grading company.

    image
    Matt

  • Thanks Littletweed. That's the one. It just rubs me the wrong way that PSA says this is the same card. They review the pointy corners and the overall centering. They encase it in plastic and provide a 'professional' grade. But they can't go out on a limb and indicate that the black JAMES card somehow differs from the purple JAMS card? Does not make sense to me. - Kevin M.
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭
    Update: All's good with review of my proposed variations for publication. Word to be sent to PSA by Mr. Bartsch soon, informing them of upcoming additions to the new edition(s) due out in August. I've been told that a note from him to PSA detailing new variations will suffice for grading with notation of variation on the flip label, and I don't have to wait until it is officially out in physical printed pages.
  • bishopbishop Posts: 2,871 ✭✭✭
    Persistence can still pay off. Congratulations
    Topps Baseball-1948, 1951 to 2017
    Bowman Baseball -1948-1955
    Fleer Baseball-1923, 1959-2007

    Al
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭
    Thanks. It has so far. I don't mean to be cryptic about what exactly the variations are, but I do want to try to track down any others there might be before it becomes more common knowledge that they exist image Now it would be fun to have sales of the cards reach the initial sales of the 1961 Fairly green when it was brand new in a holder w/ the variation distinction before it became more common as others popped up...
  • bishopbishop Posts: 2,871 ✭✭✭
    I have collected variations/errors/oddities/variants for a long time and enjoy them. But if PSA is going to start adding minor printing defects like the Fairly to the variation and master set checklist ( and I have one), they are headed down the slippery slope. There are many recurring print defects more prominent than the Fairly in virtually every Topps set, and the defect on that card can be found on many other 61 cards. Here is one example, not very prominent, but as prominent as some of the graded Fairlys I have seen on ebay:

    image

    This trend is good intentions run amok
    Topps Baseball-1948, 1951 to 2017
    Bowman Baseball -1948-1955
    Fleer Baseball-1923, 1959-2007

    Al
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭
    I definitely agree with you about the Fairly green issue as you mention above.

    The ones I submitted for publication are variations rather than print defects, which is probably why they were well received by SCD (one is alternate color for team lettering on front; the other is an example of alternate text as in different words printed, not different font)
  • fkwfkw Posts: 1,777
    of all the cards pictured, there is ONLY one true variation... that basketball card JAMES/JAMS

    all the others are just print freaks or misprints.... even that overhyped '58 Herrer(a) (that can be found with various degrees of the "A" showing or not)
    now if the Herrer(a) card had the name centered in the blue background it would also be a variation, but its not, so it isnt (dirty plate misprints)

    also the argument about multiple plates is BS too, a good % of uncut sheets over the years have multiples of the same card all over the sheet, ie some Topps sets, same with T206 and many other sets.... many small sets had multiple sets printed on the same sheet, ie Johnston cookies etc.

    the key is "man made" ie misspelled and then corrected, cropped images, completely different design ie 1969 Nettles, flipped negatives, changed teams, wrong logo, wrong photo, wrong card #, altered bio/description, etc.
    PreWar baseball "type card" collector
  • bishopbishop Posts: 2,871 ✭✭✭
    Look again, there is at least one other true variation above, even under your definition.

    And, in terms of what gives cards value, it does not matter what you think ( unless you are the new SCD editor...I hope you are), or what I think ( I mostly agree with you), the Fairly is a good example of that fact. ...and the Herrer, Bakep and Campos, which I am glad I have because they are part of pre internet hobby lore. And what about the 58 YLs or 69 whites ?...you think they were intentional ? The 62 Geeenies ? Any definition comes up short for somebody. Every print defect is "man made", but some not "intentional".

    Personally I like collecting oddities however you or anyone else classifies them. Would love to share info off line if you care too. I have collected all the sets as well ...Topps and Fleer
    Topps Baseball-1948, 1951 to 2017
    Bowman Baseball -1948-1955
    Fleer Baseball-1923, 1959-2007

    Al
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭
    Here's another follow-up on how my process has been going as far as adding a variation to the SCD as well as under PSA's grading, in case others out there would like to go through the same efforts:

    After going through having my variation be reviewed by SCD, they eventually progressed to this latest email from SCD, slightly edited to remove some information...:

    From: (SCD)
    Sent: ...
    To: (PSA)
    Cc: ...
    Subject: Addition to the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards

    Hi (PSA),
    Thank you for taking the time to speak to me today. As mentioned, from time to time I have collectors who contact me with card variations that are not listed in the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards. They want these slabbed by PSA, but the company wants verification first from the editors of the Standard Catalog and word from us that the new information will indeed be published as such in coming editions.

    So I have one we will be running in the next edition, due out later this summer. It involves:

    (card)
    Normal issue: (standard version description)
    Variation: (variation description)

    So we will be publishing as follows:
    (card #)a (Standard)
    (card #)b (Variation)

    Thank you, and in the coming weeks, I will be forwarded some other for inclusion. Any questions please let me know.

    Also looking forward to working together on other projects in the future.

    (Name)
    Sports Collectors Digest


    And then, the reply from PSA, and again, edited to remove some info:

    From: (PSA)
    Sent: ...
    To: (SCD)
    Cc: ...
    Subject: RE: Addition to the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards

    (SCD) – these have been provided to our spec department internally and will be included in our records. Please keep any additional updates coming to my attention.

    Thank you!

    (PSA)

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,331 ✭✭✭✭
    Would you please give us the email address of the person to contact at SCD?

    Joe
    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭
    PM'd.
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,331 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for the info!

    I emailed him today with scans and links to articles stating my case. PSA has gotten impossibly stubborn when it comes to adding items to the registry sets that aren't "documented". Sometimes you just need to look at an item to know that it belongs!

    Thanks also for starting this thread. We are going to have to be proactive if we want things done better!

    Joe
    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭
    Good luck on your venture down this road; hope it works out as well and as easily as it did for me. Only bummer so far is that SCD can only help me out w/ the baseball variation I wanted published, as they no longer publish hockey, and Beckett is no help at all w/ the hockey card variation so far. Too bad, since it would have been a sure-thing if SCD still did hockey.
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,331 ✭✭✭✭
    Great news! Mr Bartsch replied to my E mail in a positive way.

    Fortunately for me I am only trying to add Baseball variations. Too bad about Hockey.

    Joe
    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • fkwfkw Posts: 1,777
    <<<<Look again, there is at least one other true variation above, even under your definition.>>>>>

    I agree I think I missed one other one, the 1969 Pirates Rookie card that is missing the black outline in caption... the card looks to be designed that way on one plate, as it seems to have all its black color... man made design flaw like the Nettles Rookie (extra loop) in same set
    PreWar baseball "type card" collector
  • bishopbishop Posts: 2,871 ✭✭✭
    fwk --does not the 68 3d Maloney also meet your test
    Topps Baseball-1948, 1951 to 2017
    Bowman Baseball -1948-1955
    Fleer Baseball-1923, 1959-2007

    Al
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭
    Banzai, did Bartsch pass on the info to PSA for you so that you can have your card(s) graded w/ variation on the label?
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,331 ✭✭✭✭
    Mr Bartsch replied to me that if "all rings true" with my claim (it should, I have a Bob Lemke blog stating they should all be variations) he will pass along the information to PSA.

    Haven't heard anything lately.

    Joe
    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭
    Cards submitted to PSA with email between PSA & SCD attached/enclosed. I had been assured that the variation would be noted on the flip based on this, but I'm curious to see whether that will be true or if they decide it must wait until August publication.
  • miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭
    Joe, any updates on your efforts, while I wait for a grading result on mine?
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