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  • Leecemark Knights

    --Each owner should start a team specific thread. Put whatever kind of info you want ino your intro post. As soon as you get it started, I'll copy all the results from your 1961 season there.

  • #2
    1961 Results

    --The Knights were a rousing success in the first season of the CKL, wiining 117 games and coasting to first place in the Ban Johnson. They followed that up with a sweep of the Cannons in the Divisonal Playoffs and a five game victory over the Hard Cider in the Diamond Classic Series.
    --Firstbasman Jim Gentile was a unamimous MVP choice and Camilio Pascual won the Cy Young award. Those two made the All Star games, as did Junior Gilliam, Leo Cardenas, Eddie Mathews, Willie Mays, Bill Stafford and Barney Schultz.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by leecemark; 03-10-2006, 07:15 PM.


    • #3
      Offseason changes

      --Rocky Colavito departed as a free agent, signing a lucrative deal with the Gamblers. We'd have liked to have Rocky back, as he was a big part of our championship season in 1961, but we just couldn't match the Gambler's offer without creating some major payroll issues for the future.
      Frank Funk was traded to the Hard Cider for Roger Maris, in a deal we were only able to pull off due to Mac's looking to reduce salary. Frank was terrific out of the pen for us lastyear, but we have soem depth there and Maris should be a quality replacement for Colavito
      Steve Barber and Bob Skinner went to the Cannons for Bill Henry and a 1964 1st rounder and 1962 third rounder. This was a move for the future. Barber was not easy to part with, but Skinner thought he should be starting and that wasn't going to happen with us.
      --Don Schwall, Jake Wood and Bob Neiman were not offered contracts for 1962.

      3rd round (25th overall): Max Alvis. Alvis will open the season in AA ball, but we feel he can step in and play regularly if Eddie Mathews leaves via free agency or needs to move to 1B one day.
      3rd round (27th overall): Dennis Bennett. The fireballing young lefty has a shot at making the opening day roster or even replacing Barber in the rotation. We definately expect him to make the 1963 rotation.
      4th round (36th overall): Don Rudolph. A 30 year old rookie sleeper who worked in the indie leagues last season. Don will be competing with Bennett for the last rotation spot.

      Free Agents
      The Knights made an offer to Mickey Mantle and made a strong effort to bring back Colavito, but the market for the big hitters last offseason got a little rich for our blood. Our lone signing was Frank Torre who is expected to replace Bob Skinner as the team's PH specialist.
      Last edited by leecemark; 04-05-2006, 10:14 PM.


      • #4
        Spring Training report

        --Smokey Braithwaite gives a state of team report on the eve of the 62 season; "Roger Maris stepped into Colavito's spot and we look to have a big season out of him. The rest of our lineup returns and we'll be disappointed if we don't put another 1,000 runs on the board. We do have some changes on the bench."
        --"Dicky Schofield replaces Jake Wood and gives us a true utility man with a nice glove. He even had a nice spring with the bat. Lee Maye came to camp out of shape and had a dismal spring, losing the 4th OF spot to Lou Johnson. Frank Torre claimed the PHing spot vacated by Skinner. He also looked pretty good at 1B and gives us a solid backup there. Mack Jones also had a nice spring. He'll be starting out at AAA, but would be our first callup if we need another hitter. It was a tough call sendig him down."
        --"We had two rotation spots open when camp opened. Billy Stafford, coming off an outstanding seasonas a swingman, was the favorite for one of them and did nothing to change our mind. Don Rudolph beat out youngsters Ray Washburn and Dennis Bennett for the last slot. The bullpen saw even more turnover, with only Barney Schultz and Chet Nichols returning."
        --"Don Elston had a nice season at AAA last year and an even better spring. The coaching staff expect him to play a key role this season. Hard throwing righthanders Don Nottebart and Bill Daley also impressed and won jobs. Dennis Bennett beat out vets Jack Spring and Bill Henry (sore arm) for the 2nd LHer job. Bobby Bolin we want to start the season in the Squires rotation. We see his future as a starter and he needs to strech out after spending the year in relief last year."
        --Pop Oldfarte chimed in; "I think Smokey has given me an even better team than last year's champs. We got a little younger, but after all my years in the minors I enjoy the kids and we have to give them a shot if we're going to contend in the future."
        Last edited by leecemark; 04-05-2006, 10:43 PM.


        • #5
          1962 results

          --1962 was another fine season for the Knights. They cruised to their 2nd Johnson divison title and swept the Skipjacks in the divisional series (Eddie Mathews MVP) before losing to a great Hard Cider ballclub in the Diamond Classic Series.
          --1962 All Stars were Mays, Mathews, Gentile, Gilliam, Pascual and Schultz (all repeat selections), plus Romano and Elston (first timers). Don Rudolph won the Rookie of the Year award.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by leecemark; 06-14-2006, 07:42 PM.


          • #6
            1963 Preview

            --As we break from Spring Traing, Pop Oldfarte takes a look at the 1963 Knights;
            --"This may be the best edition of the Knights yet. Our pitching is stronger and deeper than either of the past two season. Pascaul, Simmons and Broglio are all back and healthy. They all looked very sharp this spring too. Rookie Gary Peters looks like he is ready to contribute right away too. He may have the best stuff on the staff and he was blowing hitters away this spring. With the injuries to Stafford and Rudolph we were concerned about rounding out the rotation, but Don Nottebart had a great sprign and we feel good about him as the 5th starter."
            --"The Bullpen also looks tough. Barney Schultz hasn't been able to find the touch on his knuckler and he will be staying behind for some extended spring training, but Don Elston is coming off a great year and will take over the closer role. Bill Dailey had an awesome spring and he'll move into Elston's set up role. Gary Bell seems to have worked out the problems he had last year and we expect alot of strong relief innings from him this year. Dennis Bennett looks great as our #1 LHP out of the pen. His command is much better than his 62 rookie campaign. Joe Gibbon won the 2nd lefty spot, but vets Jack Spring and Bill Henry both looked good too. Bobby Bolin won the last spot in the pen, but Don Larsen was a very tough cut. Pitching depth is a real strength this year."
            --"The lineup looks to be another blockbuster. For the second year in a row we lost a slugging RFer to free agency and for the second year in a row Smokey landed a top notch replacement. Daddy Wags is a proven hitter and his swing is tailor made for our stadium. Earl Battey takes over at catcher. he should be able to replace the offense we lost in Romano and is an upgrade defensively. Willie Mays, Eddie Mathews, Jim Gentile and Junior Gilliam all return and we expect them to be as good as they were last season. Lee Thomas' shoulder injury may prevent him from contributing this year, but youngsters Lee Maye and Mike Hershberger had good springs and should be able to hold down LF. They are both very good defenders, as well as promising hitters. Dick McAuliffe had a great spring (and Leo Cardenas did not) and will get alot more time at SS. We'll open with a platoon there."
            --"The bench should be significantly better this season too. We were convinced Tim McCarver was ready to start at catcher when we traded Romano, but with the signing of Earl Battey he will make a top reserve instead. Jesse Gonder was our best hitter all spring and also makes the team as 3rd catcher/pinch hitter. Woody Held will back up 2B/3B and can also play SS and corner OF. He also adds some RH pop to the bench. Rookie Vic Davalillo adds speed and defense to the outfield and made solid contact all spring."
            --"Its a pretty good ballclub and we expect to contend for the division title again and think to make it back to the Diamond Classic where we hope to reclaim the championsip. Expectations are always high here in Motown."


            • #7
              1963 results

              --The Knights recorded another fine year in 1963. We put up the league's best record, recording our third consecutive Johnson Division title. The season did end on a sour note as the Knights were bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the wild card Cannons.
              --Willie Mays, Eddie Mathews, Jim Gentile and Camilio Pascaul all made their 3rd straight All Star game, joined by Bob Friend, Gary Peters , Curt Simmons and Leon Wagner. The Knights were bridesmaids in all the major awards votings, with Mays #2 in MVP, Pascaul #2 in YTA and Peters #2 in ROY.
              Attached Files
              Last edited by leecemark; 06-12-2007, 05:26 AM.


              • #8
                1964 Preview

                --The past offseason was the most eventfull in the Knights brief history. Half the starting lineup and 2 rotation spots, plus 40% of total roster turned over.
                --Starting catcher Earl Battey was lost to the expansion draft. Young Tim McCarver steps in as #1 catcher. Del Crandell was signed to provide some experience in the backup role. Jim Gentile had some injury problems and struggled against LHP in 1963. Former MVP Ernie Banks was picked up from the Redbirds to share the job. Junior Gilliam also had some injury problems that required offseason surgery and will keep him off the Opening Day roster. Dick McAuliffe makes the shift to 2B. Slick fielding young Dick Green was picked up from the Skipjacks as defensive insurance.
                --The biggest defection was future Hall of Fame thirdbaseman Eddie Mathews, who left via free agency. All Star 3B Ken Boyer was picked up from the Redbirds to fill the hole. Another slick fielding young infielder, Don Wert, was picked up from the Shoeless Joes in a move to ensure the future of the position. Leo Cardenas returns at shortstop.
                --Lee Maye shared the leftfield job in 63 and is expected to take charge there in 64. Willie Mays, of course, returns to his customary CF spot. In a surprise Spring Training deal young slugger Billy Williams was picked up in a deal with the rebuilding Redbirds. Vetern Jimmie Piersall was signed as the 4the outfielder and Lee Thomas rejoins the squad after missing 1963 to injury.
                --Camilio Pascual, the winningest pitcher in CKL history, was traded to the Redbirds in the Boyer deal. Last year's 5th starter, Don Nottebart, came down with a sore arm and won't be available creating a second opening in the rotation. Gary Peters, Bob Friend and Curt Simmons all return after fine 1963 campaigns. Bob Bruce, the Knights minor league pitcher of the year in 1963, won one of the jobs with an outstanding spring. Vern Law, coming off 3 years of rehab, won the 5th starter job. Bob Bolin will return as spot satrt/longman. First round draft pick Sonny Seibert may be in the mix before the season is over as well. The youngster has the best fastball in the organization and looked like he was ready to face in big boys this spring.
                --Barney Schultz reclaimed the closer job after spending 1963 back in he minors. Bill Henry also returns as the lefty stopper after 2 years of arm trouble. Don Larsen made the shift to full time reliever at Kalamazoo last year and looked great in that role this spring. Long time minor league reliever Arnie Earley won the 2nd lefty job. John Wyatt was picked up in a trade with the Pirates to add some depth, beating out free agent Ryne Duren for the last spot in the pen.
                --The Knights look to defend the three year reign as Johnson division champs. We're trying to rebuild on the fly and this may not be quite as dominating as some of our past editions, but it should be a fine team and contend right to the end.


                • #9
                  1964 wrapup

                  --The Knights recorded their 4th straight 100 win season and 4th straight Johnson Division title. The season ended in disappointment, however, as they were swept by the Hard Cider in the openig round of the playoffs.
                  --The club did enjoy some individual honors. Willie Mays won the MVP. Gary Peters finished 3rd in the CY Young voting. Mays (for the 4th time), Peters and Don Larsen made the All Star team.
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    1965 Preview

                    --Smokey Braithwaite and Pop Oldfarte met with the press at the close of Spring Training to discuss the outlook for 1965. Braithwaite was pleased with his new acquistions; "We are very happy to have Camilio Pascaul back on board. Trading him away last season proved to be one of my worst moves since the start up of the franchise. I know there is alot of talk about us overpaying for Gene Oliver, but he is a very good young slugger who ought to help with our problems vs LHP the past couple seasons. That he can help out a catcher makes him all the more valuable. Young Willie Horton also looks like he is going to add some serious punch to the lineup. He will start right away. Lindy McDaniel is going to make an impact in the bullpen as well. I think we've got all the pieces in place to get the ring which has eluded us the last 3 seasons."
                    --Pop was equally enthusistic about the lineup; "this may be the best team we put on the field since the 61 champions. Tim Mccarver and Don Paveltich should be better with a year of experience. Pavlo has been crushing the ball this spring. Gentile is back at 1B with OLiver as his new and improved platoon partner. Junior Gilliam is healthier than he has been in a couple years, looking great and winning the secondbase job back this spring. Dick Green will also get some time there. Don Wert is back at 3B after winning the job from Boyer at mid-season last year. McAuliffe has an ailing back which is giving him a hard time in the field, but he is swing the bat well and will open the season as a pinch hitter. Willie Horton looks like a star in the making in LF, but Lee Thomas also swung the bat very well and it was a tough decision on who should get the job. Willie will again be an MVP candidate in CF and Billy Williams should have a big season for us in RF,"
                    --"We do have some pitching questions. Gary Peters will not be coming north with us due to arm problems. Bob Bruce gets the Opening Day start based on his performance last season, but he didn't have avery good spring. Vern Law looks sharp and healthy, but he hasn't spent a full season in the rotation since 1960. Sonny Seibert and Bobby Bolin are very talented young pitchers, but neither has proven they are up to the grind of 200+ innings. We are happy to have Camilio back, but the concerns about his arm that led us to deal him last year weren't lessened by another year of heavy duty. We do have some other options in youngsters Boswell, Dierker, McGlothlin and McGraw but none of them seem quite ready for the show. Mike McCormick also appears to be healthy for the first time in several years. The bullpen is a little unsettled too. Barney Shultz has gone from closer to the minors for the second time in 3 years. Bill Henry and Don Larsen both experienced some arm issues this spring following their stellar 1964 campaigns. John Wyatt did have a good spring and opens the season as closer. Arnie Early also looked pretty good and rookie Jack Aker won an opening day job. The big additon, of course, is Lindy McDaniel who I'll be looking for alot of innings from this year."
                    --We are going to have a very good team this year. If our pitchers stay healthy and the young guys step up it could be a great one."


                    • #11
                      1965 Recap

                      --The Knights struggled early this season. The pitching was a huge problem early on. Opening Day starter Bob Bruce ended up spending most of the season in the minors, as did closer John Wyatt. Long time pitching coach Johnny Morgan was fired and replaced by Johnny Sain. Two months into the season the team was barely over .500 and in a dog fight for the division.
                      --We did come together and ended up running away with the division and recording our 5th straight 100 win campaign. After two years of being bounced in the first round, the Knights handled the Cannons 3-1 in the Divisional playoffs this year. That led to a third matchup with the Hard Cider in the 1965 Diamond Classic Series. Mac won the first three games, but our boys came back to win the next 3, setting up a dramatic game 7. Unfortunately, the season ended with a loss again and that second championship continues to elude us.
                      --There were some individual honors for the Knights. Willie Mays won his second consecutive MVP award. Willie Horton finish third in the RoY voting. Mays and Vern Law made the All Star team.
                      --Knights manager Clarence "Pop" Oldfarte announced his retirement effective at the end of the season. Thanks for 5 great years Pop:applaud: .
                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        1966 Recap

                        --New manager Walt Alston led the Knights to a 6th consecutive Johnson Division title and the league's best regular season record. For the second straight season the team struggled early, but a trade for pitcher Juan Marichal lead to an upturn in team fortunes, as the Domincan Dandy tossd shutouts in 4 of his first 5 starts and the Knights never looked back.
                        --Marichal finished 2nd in the CY Young balloting, while infielder Dick McAuliffe had a break out season and finished 2nd in the MVP voting. Marichal, McAuliffe, Gary Peters, Jack Aker and, of course, Willie Mays (for the 6th consecutive season) made the All Star team. Rookies Tommy Agee and Adolpho Phillips made strong contributions to the 1966 club, which was the Knights youngest and fastest team so far.
                        --Once again the season ended with a loss. The Knights were bounced in the first round of the playoffs for the 3rd time in 4 years.
                        Attached Files


                        • #13
                          1967 Preview

                          --It was a very active offseason for the Knights. After their collapse in the playoffs, rookie manager walt Alston was let go and young Earl Weaver gets the job. Last year's big free agent signee. Bob Allison, was unhappy with the way things worked out and demanded a trade. He was moved to the Diablos for a 2nd round pick in 1969. The money freed up by that move allowed the Knights to make their biggest free agent signing ever in Jim Fregosi. The former Skipjacks SS becomes the highest paid player in Knights historyand was briefly the highest paid player in CKL history.
                          --The Knights traded up in this year's rookie draft to land exciting catching prospect Manny Sanguillen. He was overshadowed somewhat by uberprospect Johnny Bench, but Knights scouts think he was not just the 2nd best catcher in this draft, but the 2nd best young catcher to come along since the CKL was formed. We also made a move to secure the Badgers #1 pick in the 1968 draft. The Knights sent their 1965 first rounder, Cesar Tovar, plus youngsters Horace Clarke and Woody Fryman to the Badgers. In addition to the pick, former Knights ace Camilio Pascual returned in the deal for his third stint with Leecemark.
                          --Other than Fregosi the Knights lineup will look much the same as the 1966 outfit. McCarver is back at catcher, Parker at firstbase, Wert at 3b, Williams in LF and, of course, Willie Mays in CF. Adolpho Phillips gets the full time job in RF after an outstandign rookie season as the 4th outfielder last season. Dick McAuliffe shifts from SS to 2B this season.
                          --Paveltich returns as #2 catcher. Pagan and Cardenas will back up the IF. Agee and Maye are the reserve outfielders and rookie 1B Mike Epstein joins the squad as backup 1B/PH.
                          --The rotation will look very different. Bolin and Dierker suffered arm problems and won't go north with the team. Bolin, at least, is expected to miss the entire season. Marichal, Peters and Seibert return, joined by rookies Jim McGlothlin and Mel Queen. McGlothlin was the Knights minor league pitcher of the year in 66, but Queen is a bit of a surprise. Queen is a converted outfielder with electric stuff who dominated in spring training.
                          --Lindy McDaniel , Hank Aguirre, John Wyatt and Casey Cox return in the bullpen. 1966 All Star Jack Aker is yet another ailing pitcher and lefty Woody Fryman was traded. Their spots are taken by converted starters Don Nottebart and Jerry Arrigo.
                          --Hopes are high for the Knights 7th straight Johnson Division title and perhaps a return to championship honors. The division does look quite a bit tougher than last year's cakewalk though. New owner Kyle has been very active with the Gambers. The Redbirds rebuilding project looks to be coming along and the Gold Sox also look to be developing from their expansion roots into a team with a future.


                          • #14
                            1967 Recap

                            --The Knights entered 1967 with a new look. Walter Alston had been dismissed after only one year at the helm by young Earl Weaver. The Knights signed SS Jim Fregosi away from the Skipjacks for a record (briefly league and team by a wide margin) 22M/3 year deal. Weaver shook the team up, putting rookies Mel Queen and JIm McGlothlin into the rotation and giving 2nd year man Adolpho Phillips the full time job in RF.
                            --The new look Knights stumbled out of the gate. Queen had his struggled, McGlothlin proved not quite ready and a bad back had ace Juan Marichal getting the ball up in the zone - and all to often flying into the bleachers. The bullpen also had problems and Weaver tried moving Queen and Sonny Seibert into the fireman role to try and get the pitching straightened out. The offense was solid, but franchise player Willie Mays was showing his age and nobody was really stepping up to fill the void. Big free agent signee Jim Fregosi got off to a slow start and the boo birds were on him.
                            --The Knights trailed the Gamblers at the All Star break and the Motown press was calling for Weaver's head. The popular opinion was that the Knights had turned the team over to a too inexerperienced manager and that the dynasty was crumbling. Gary Peters was the teams only All Star and almost single handedly held the staff together.
                            --Slowly the team began to gel. The ace of the early Knights teams, Camilio Pascaul, returned for a third stint with the team and proved an upgrade over McGlothlin. Young Dave Baldwin was picked up from the Legends at the All Star break to shore up the bullpen and Seibert and Queen went back to the rotation fulltime. Fregosi recovered from his bad start and by season's end looked like the league's best SS. By August the Knights moved past the Gamblers, although they didn't clinch the division util the final week.
                            --The Knights had a rematch with last year's first round nemisis Skipjacks in the Divisional playoffs. Fregosi's change of teams proved to be the difference as he was MVP of the series win over his former team. Leecemark met long time rival Mac's Hard Cider in the Diamond Classic - the 4th meeting in 7 seasons for the 2 ballclubs. Willie Mays bounced back from his worst season to win the MVP of this series. Cy Young Gary Peters won a pair of games and the bullpen that had been such a problem early in the season dominated here - giving up only 2 runs in 15 2/3 IP in the 4-1 triumph over the Hard Cider. Rookie manager Earl Weaver delivered a championhship, breaking a run of 5 years of postseason disappointment!
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by leecemark; 01-17-2008, 10:41 AM.


                            • #15
                              1968 preseason report

                              --The Knights had a few problems to deal with this past offseason. Reigning CYA winner Gary Peters and outstanding rookie pitcher Mel Queen both underwent offseason arm surgery, as did reliever Don Nottebart. For Queen and Nottebart the injuries are career threatening. Peters arm problems are a reoccurence of the issues that caused him to be shut down for 1965 season. The Knights other big problem was financial. The expenditures of the 1967 campaign and raises due to veteran stars put the team over the salary cap. Unfortunately that meant Peters hefty contract was a luxury Leecemark could afford and he had to be non-tendered. The "good news" is the injury scared off anyone else from signing Peters and he is back on a minor league deal to rehab. The bad news is we are not counting on him to contribute this season.
                              --With two big holes in the rotation and the first pick in the rookie draft the Knights selected Andy Messersmith. The Angels immediately made us an offer we couldn't refuse though - 2nd overall pick Bobby Bonds plus 2 picks in the 69 draft (or one an an option to move up in the 1st round). We entered Spring Training with big questions about of pitching. Larry Deirker appears healthy after missing the 67 campaign and won one of the spots. The options for the other opening did not impress though and a deal was struck to acquire Legends lefthander Tommy John to fill the spot. John is coming off a strong 1967 season and we hope he can build on that.
                              --Summing up the rotation; Juan Marichal looks healthy after struggling with back problems in 1967. He are counting on him to return to ace status. Sonny Seibert mves up to the 2nd slot and we are hoping he can turn his flashes of brillance into a dominant season. Camilio Pascaul has lost a little zip off the fastball since his glory days, but he knows how to get the job done and we are counting on him to build off his comeback season last year. Larry Deirker is healthy and were are hoping he can step forward in his 4th year with the organization. John has a sore elbow and will open as the 5th starter, but has the talent to deliver a big season.
                              --The bullpen also has a new look. Former starter Bobby Bolin returns from a lost 67 season and looked very sharp (and pain free!) this spring. Veteran Lindy McDaniel was sent to Legends in the John deal, but promising youngster Eddie watt came over that deal and should play a key role for the Knights this year. Casey Cox is another pitcher down with injuries, but John Purdin had a big spring to win a job. Lefties Hank Aguirre and Jim Roland return, as does righthander Fred Lasher.
                              --The lineup returns mostly intact. Don Wert is not fully recovered from his injuries in the Diamond Classic and was let go as part of our salary purge. 1966 first overall pick Sal Bando steps in as our starting 3B. He may have even had Wert remained healthy. This kid is too good to stay down on the farm! Rightfielder Aldolpho Phillips celebrated his breakout season a little too much, showin gup for camp 20 lbs overweight. Young Bobby Bonds took advantage of the opportunity, dazzling everyone this spring and moving ahead of Phillips on the depth chart. The rest of the lineup remains the same. McCarver at catcher, Parker and Epstein sharing 1B, McAuliffe at 2B, Fregosi at SS, Williams in LF and, of course, franchise player Willie Mays in CF.
                              --Elston Howard showed up to camp in great shape and wonthe backup catching gig, pushing Paveltich into mostly a PHing role. Minor league FA Gary Sutherland won a utility IF job. Backup outfielder Lee Maye returns and his hot spring will get him some playing time to start the season.
                              --Manger Earl Weaver says he expects the team to repeat and Johnson Division champs. "We've been on top for 7 years running and we expect to stay there. We do have a few more questions than past seasons. Injuries have thinned our pitiching and several key players are getting to the age where they eithe need more rest and/or are in danger of decline. Our cap issues prevented us from doing as much as we'd have liked in adding depth, but if we can avoid major injury we'll be fine. The two kids, Bando and Bonds, bring fresh legs and energy and both should be stars although maybe not this year. I feel alot better about our pitching after picking up John and Watt. This was a great deal by Mr Braithwaite, acquiring that kid of talent with our cap situation. It won't be easy. The Gold Sox have put together a terrific team this year and the Redbirds youth movement appears to be paying off. If the Gamblers hadn't suffered even more injury problems and lost Gaylord Perry to free agency we'd really have our hands full. Anything but another pennant is a failed season though and we don't plan on this being the year we come up short."


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