Monthly Archives: September 2009

Panini America signs exclusive deal with Basketball Hall of Fame

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This just in Tuesday evening…

ARLINGTON, Texas – Panini America Inc. is thrilled to announce an exclusive, multi-year marketing and licensing agreement with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Panini is already the exclusive trading-card licensee for the NBA and this new relationship with the Hall of Fame expands its global basketball presence.

“We’re excited to have the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame join the Panini family,” Panini America CEO Michael Eisenstein said. “This partnership is yet another building block within Panini’s strategy to encompass all aspects of basketball. It’s an honor to have this opportunity.”

The timing of this partnership coincides with the historic induction of the 50th anniversary Hall of Fame Class of 2009, featuring Michael Jordan, David Robinson, Jerry Sloan, John Stockton and C. Vivian Stringer. Panini representatives will attend this weekend’s events in Springfield, Mass., including Friday’s press conference.

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Box Busters: 2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions baseball cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler, Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they open boxes of 2009 Goodwin Champions baseball cards for this episode of Box Busters.

Goodwin arrives in hobby shops today.

What will they find in their boxes?

Check it out by clicking here

Press Pass announces KISS Tour Edition box set

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Press Pass revealed on Tuesday its plans for a $10 box set of KISS cards to coincide with the release of the legendary band’s new album, Sonic Boom, which arrives exclusively in Walmart stores on Oct. 6.

KISS Tour Edition is a 33-card set that includes three collectible boxes and mini-posters and includes cards with images and information from 35 years of KISS tours.

See more from the set after the jump.

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McFarlane Toys to release limited Kurt Warner figure

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McFarlane Toys announced on Friday that it will create a limited edition SportsPicks figure of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner.

The toy, which will arrive next month, will only be available at the McFarlane store in Glendale, Ariz., and on the company’s website for pre-registered users. It will arrive around the same time as NFL Series 21, which also includes Peyton Manning, Jason WittenAaron RodgersJay Cutler, Thomas Jones (with a New York Titans chase figure), Drew Brees and Joe Flacco.

It’s Warner’s first Cardinals figure and it will be limited to only 2,500 pieces.

For more information and additional images of the toy, click here.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Graded Card Investor. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Preview: 2009-10 Upper Deck SPx Hockey cards

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Upper Deck has released preview images and basic product information for its 2009-10 SPx hockey set which will arrive later this year.

Each 18-pack hobby box will include two Rookie Jersey Cards — one of which will come autographed — as well as one Winning Materials and one Winning Combos card and three SPx Rookies or SPxcitement cards.

Each 14-box case will include one Autographed Rookie Jersey card (numbered to 499), one Shadowbox card, one signed Flashback Fabrics, card, two Flashback Fabrics cards, two Winning Trios Jersey cards and as many as four Spectrum parallel cards.

See more of the cards after the jump.

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Minor League Baseball loses one of its unique stars — Dinger The Home Run Dog

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Dinger “The Home Run Dog,” a yellow lab that delivered baseballs to umpires at minor league baseball games, has died. He was 11 years old.

According to stories published by the Capitol Broadcasting Company (the former team owner) and The Myrtle Beach Sun News, the mascot of the Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Pelicans was besieged by heart and kidney problems in recent months.

In June, we wrote about unusual baseball cards found in minor league team sets where Dinger had his own cardboard. And believe it or not, he wasn’t the lone canine who stars on the diamond and appeared on a trading card.

Dinger is succeeded by Deuce, a 2-year-old yellow lab that handled game-day activities for the team this past season.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Graded Card Investor. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Library of Congress set to host Baseball Americana symposium

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The baseball memorabilia housed by the Library of Congress will be on display and Hall of Famer Ernie Banks will be one of the speakers during a symposium next month in Washington, D.C.

“Baseball Americana” is set for Oct. 2-3 and is sponsored by the American Folklife Center and coincides with the publication of the Library’s new book, Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress.

Also appearing at the event, which is free (with registration), are Larry Dierker and Negro Leagues pitcher Mamie “Peanut” Johnson among others.

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Lenny Dykstra's treasures set to hit auction block

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Lenny Dykstra‘s financial troubles these days have been well documented but now we’re seeing the results in the memorabilia world.

No, not in the values of his 1986 Rookie Cards — those can often be had for less than a buck — but in the fact that his personal memorabilia is hitting the auction block.

And it’s not any memorabilia, either, that went unclaimed from a Beverly Hills, Calif, pawn shop. It’s his 1986 World Series trophy. It’s his World Series ring — and more — which all will be auctioned next month by Heritage Auctions in Dallas.

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Card Gallery: 2009 Goodwin Champions baseball

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Upper Deck’s latest vintage-style baseball card set, 2009 Goodwin Champions, arrives in hobby shops today with one autograph and two memorabilia cards in every hobby box.

But those inclusions — nor the exotic inserts — aren’t what the base set is all about. The base set is about a little bit of everything in the sports world with a mix of others as well.

Here’s a gallery of a selection of base cards and minis … click for a closer look.

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Collect Call: Q&A with Goodwin Champions developer Grant Sandground

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In this episode of Collect Call, Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler and Chris Olds recently caught up with Upper Deck‘s Grant Sandground to get the Beckett Media alum’s take on Goodwin Champions, which he developed.

Goodwin arrives in hobby shops today, packing some of the most unusual cards ever made.

Learn more about the product in this 20-minute conversation, which you can find here.

And the Oscar goes to …

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Guest column: Junior's exit will mark end of an era

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By Stan Carlberg

As Ken Griffey Jr. likely wraps up his Hall of Fame career this fall, one has to wonder the impact his absence will have on the collecting hobby.  After all, it was Junior’s lightning-in-a-bottle 1989 Upper Deck Rookie Card (#1, currently valued at $40) that launched a new era in card collecting, igniting a spark within the hobby that very few ever have.

While Griffey may not have achieved the expectations unfairly placed on him early in his career, he is without a doubt one of the most accomplished and collected players of this or any other generation.  Injuries may have stopped Junior from reaching Ruthian-like numbers, but let’s get real — 625 home runs (5th all-time), 1,800-plus RBIs (17th), 5,220-plus total bases (13th) and 10 Gold Gloves are nothing to sneeze at.

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Exclusive Sneak Peek: 2009 Playoff Absolute Football

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2009 Playoff Absolute Football promises to pack some of the most in-demand Rookie Cards of the early 2009 football season. And although the product won’t be live for another nine days, the folks at Panini America have provided exclusively for Beckett readers the following sneak-preview images.

Until next week, enjoy the eye candy. And you can get additional Beckett coverage on 2009 Playoff Absolute here.

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Monday Morning Collector: NFL Week 1

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Thankfully, the start of the NFL season is finally here. For the serious football card collectors, it’s the best time of the year. Of course, it also means that it’s time for another year of Beckett’s Monday Morning Collector.

Every week we’ll profile the weekend’s top on-field performances from the perspective of a collector, honoring one rookie, one veteran and one breakout player. Withouth further ado, here are our selections for Week 1.

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Steiner unveils Derek Jeter 2,722nd hit collection

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Steiner Sports Memorabilia revealed on Monday its line of Derek Jeter autographed memorabilia celebrating his record-breaking hit on Friday night.

Jeter became the New York Yankees’ franchise hits leader on Friday, surpassing Lou Gehrig with his 2,722nd hit, a rain-soaked grounder in the third inning off Baltimore’s Chris Tillman.

And with Jeter’s record comes a selection of autographed memorabilia to capture the moment as he will sign baseballs, photos and jerseys with “2,722” and “9/11/09” markings as well as limited-edition bats.

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Michael Vick has been a Philadelphia Eagle before

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The full drama of the NFL season kicks off today, but it will be a few weeks until we know what’s really going on with the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback situation as Michael Vick will return from his suspension and perhaps share time with established star Donovan McNabb.

But one thing’s already certain if you know your 2001 football cards — Michael Vick has been a Philadelphia Eagle before.

And he’s been in McNabb’s shoes before, too … well, at least his No. 5 Eagles jersey as seen on this 2001 Leaf Rookies & Stars Cross Training card.

vick mcnabbEven better, it’s a memorabilia card with a swatch of the jersey embedded into the front of the card. The jersey was worn in an official NFL game by McNabb and then by Vick during the 2001 NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere.

Only 100 copies of the card were made — though one has to wonder where the additional swatches are. Perhaps there could be more to come?

But it’s not the only time the two have shared cardboard, either. According to the Beckett database, the two have appeared together on football cards a whopping 81 times.

And something tells us there are more combo cards to come …

Here are a few more. Click on the images for a closer look.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Graded Card Investor. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Panini kicks off its basketball promotions with videos

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Check out this video from Panini America, which is just the start of its basketball card promotions. The company takes you behind the scenes at the NBA Rookie Photo Shoot.

Topps teases upcoming all-painted National Chicle football card set

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Topps offered up this glimpse of its forthcoming 2009 National Chicle football set on Friday, an all-painted card set that carries the same name and feel as the famed set from the 1930s.

Among the artists doing work for the project are: Ken Branch, Jason Davies, Brett Farr, Chris Henderson, Don Higgins, Dave Hobrecht, Brian Kong, Mike Kupka, Paul Lempa and Monty Sheldon.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Graded Card Investor. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Amar'e Stoudemire: NBA Superstar, Beckett Editor

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The September/October 2009 issue of Beckett Basketball, on newsstands everywhere now, features the budding editorial skills of none other than Phoenix Suns superstar Amar’e Stoudemire.

Let’s face it, when a man who stands 6-10 and weighs 249 pounds says he wants to guest edit your magazine, you let him. So we did. We think you’ll find the results to be nothing short of spectacular.

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Upper Deck reveals new football card website

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With the NFL season kicking off tonight, Upper Deck has teed up a section of its website just for football fans.

The company plans to generate interest among football fans via contests, giving fans a place to track their Upper Deck Rookie Cards and discuss all things pigskin.

“Rookies are the key driver for football cards each year so we felt it was important to come up with a platform that allows collectors to interact with the cards like never before,” said Kerri Kauffman, Upper Deck’s director of marketing, in a release. “To allow our customers to look at match-ups for the week and make an educated guess as to which rookie will have the best performance is something that hasn’t been done before, and we think it will be a big hit.”

For example, collectors who enter codes from the backs of 2009 Upper Deck RCs for the first-year player who has the best performance each week, will be entered into a drawing to win a box of 2009 Upper Deck football cards.

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Preview gallery: 2009 Bowman Chrome baseball cards

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We’ve gotten our hands on a pair of 2009 Bowman Chrome hobby boxes from Topps about a week before they arrive in hobby shops and we wanted to share some of the contents with you.

The first box met its demise at the hands of Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer – some of the cards you’ll see here — and the second one is going to be dissected for an episode of Box Busters to come here soon.

What will they find? Well, at least one prospect autograph in the box.

Here are a few highlights from the first box… as well as the final packed-out prospect autograph checklist…

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Exclusive: New Upper Deck Prominent Cuts Images Revealed

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Upper Deck officials on Thursday afternoon released several exclusive images from the company’s new Prominent Cuts product, due out next month.

The images — ranging in scope from former presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton to Ultimate Fighting Championship superstars Anderson Silva and Randy Couture to actor Jeremy Piven to India-born pitching prospect Rinku Singh — offer additional insight into the eclectic makeup of Prominent Cuts’ base set.

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Shonn Greene, Ramses Barden Shine During Autograph Appearance

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Big Apple-based hobby shop American Legends on Tuesday hosted 2009 NFL rookies Shonn Greene (Jets) and Ramses Barden (Giants) during a free one-hour signing in Scarsdale, N.Y.

Green and Barden interacted with more than 150 American Legends customers, signing footballs, photos, mini helmets and gladly posing for photo opportunities.

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The Bambino, Bing and Bob… now that's a round of golf

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An autographed scorecard from a legendary golf foursome from a round in 1942 has hit the auction block but it’s got little to do with any stars of the links you might know.

Instead, the scorecard is signed by New York Yankees legend Babe Ruth, comedy legend Bob Hope, entertainment legend Bing Crosby and then-California governor Culbert Olson, and it shows their scores on the Sacramento Municipal Golf Course.

The scorecard will be sold on Oct. 1 by Heritage Auction Galleries where it’s expected to sell for  as much as $4,000.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Graded Card Investor. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Upper Deck lands Roger Maris deal for 2010

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Upper Deck revealed on Thursday that it has reached a deal with the estate of Roger Maris to include the legendary New York Yankees slugger in its 2010 products.

The company will include game-used memorabilia and cut signature cards of the deceased home-run hero in six of its 2010 sets.

“Maris was an amazing player who lived in the shadows of other legends until that special season in 1961,” said Gabriel Garcia, Upper Deck’s baseball brand manager, in a news release. “His achievements cannot be disputed and as a storied member of the Bronx Bombers, he remains in high demand with collectors. In particular, we’re excited about some combo opportunities with Roger Maris and Joe DiMaggio together on the same card.”

Topps Honors Kennedy Brothers with 'Camelot' Card

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Topps on Thursday morning announced that it will be adding a special “Camelot” memorabilia card honoring John, Robert and Ted Kennedy into packs of 2009 Triple Threads Baseball, due out in October.

The card, limited to just five copies, includes a piece of sweater worn by JFK as well as pieces of floor taken from the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

For more information on 2009 Topps Triple Threads Baseball, click here.

— Tracy Hackler

Is This The Greatest Football Insert Ever?

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Some hardcore product purists are deriding it as an affront to the very hobby it’s meant to help rejuvenate. Others are calling it a welcomed addition to even the most exciting pack of football cards.

Either way, the 15-card Topps Cheerleaders insert (seeded one in nine hobby packs of 2009 Topps and one in eight packs of the just-released 2009 Topps Chrome) is an utterly compelling conversation piece.

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Beckett’s 2009 NFL Season Preview: Card-Investment Style

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Sure, we could go the played-out predictions route in honor of the 2009 NFL season kicking off Thursday (it’s about time!); you know, sit here and tell you who we think will win the Super Bowl and Rookie of the Year and MVP and (yawn) . . .

 

Or, we could do something a little more suited to our audience, which is why we’re giving you $1,000 to spend on football cards. (Hey, don’t go crazy, it’s imaginary money).

 

Here’s the deal: With your fake bankroll, “purchase” at least five football cards right now (based on current Beckett prices) that you think will appreciate the most in value during the 2009 season.

 

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Sneak peek: Wheels Main Event autographs

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While the 2009 Wheels Main Event NASCAR set is still a few weeks away from its green flag, Press Pass offered up a new glimpse on Wednesday at some of the autographs that will be found in the poker-themed product.

MEAutos2There are four different levels of autograph cards for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart (as well as other drivers) as seen here. The club, diamond (limited to 10 or 50), heart (numbered to 5 or 10) and spade cards, which are 1/1s.

Each hobby box will include one autograph and two memorabilia cards while some hobby boxes will also include a professional poker player autograph or a race-used spark plug pulled from the engine of a top Sprint Cup driver.

For more on the product, click here.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Upper Deck set to host LLWS winners

Photo Courtesy of Upper Deck

Photo Courtesy of Upper Deck

Upper Deck is set to host a championship team on Thursday — the Park View All-Stars (aka the Little League World Series champions) — where they will get to tour the company’s headquarters.

And then they’ll appear on their own baseball cards.

They won’t appear in any Upper Deck packs, but instead the cards will be given to the players.

We just thought the prospectors should know. After all, the Andy Rios cards — 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored in the title game — should be in high demand.

Blowout takes 9-9-09 promotion to the nines

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Newsflash: Today is Sept. 9, 2009.

Bet you didn’t know that, huh?

But in case you hadn’t heard — and you’re a card collector — Thomas Fish of Blowoutcards.com wants you to know all about it and he’s offering some ridiculous deals for those dedicated collectors who want a deal — and he’s not settling for a five-star kind of deal, either.

And for a guy who moves as much wax in the industry as Blowout does, it takes something. At 7 a.m. — two hours before his promotions kicked off at 9 a.m., there were 200 visitors on the site. Little over two hours into the promotion, the site had more than 14,000 hits and a thread discussing the deals was pushing 100 pages of comments.

(Oh, and they crashed the site once, Fish said … but we won’t officially mention that since it’s up and running again.)

“I thought it was going to be good, but this is nuts,” said Fish, “I’m glad people are enjoying it. We came up with the idea two days ago.”

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Upper Deck aims to floor Michael Jordan collectors

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Upper Deck Authenticated unveiled on Tuesday its Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Floor Collection, a product line that celebrates His Airness and also benefits the CharitaBulls Chicago Bulls youth organization.

As Jordan counts down the days until his enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the line launches with pieces of the United Center floor where Jordan helped etch his legendary credentials up for grabs.

The Bulls won three of their six NBA titles at the United Center and nearly every square inch of its famous hardwood is available — even entire Bulls logos from the court.

Here’s a rundown of the items:

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First Look: 2009 SP Authentic Football

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Upper Deck on Friday afternoon revealed preliminary product information and images for one of the most decorated and anticipated brands in the sports card universe: 2009 SP Authentic Football.

A product known for delivering some of the most sought after and valuable Rookie Cards on the market will arrive in early January packing an expanded base set (370 cards with 100 base-set short prints) and promising one autographed memorabilia card and two additional autographs per 24-pack box.

The company has confirmed that all autographs will be on-card. 

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Box Busters: 2009 Upper Deck Football cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler and Dan Hitt as they bust a box of 2009 Upper Deck Football cards and show off two of Beckett Media’s latest publications…

What will they find inside the box?

Click here to find out…

Beckett's Fantasy . . . My Reality

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Look, I know none of us really care about someone else’s fantasy football team. Heck, by about Week 6 many of us won’t care about our own.

So while everyone is still rapt in the warmth that only Draft Day can provide, I wanted to let you know that the cast of spares comprising the Beckett Failed Fantasy Football League conducted its 19th annual player selection process yesterday at, of all places, Hooters (seriously, we only go there because of the wings).

The highlight of this year’s draft – aside from the fact that I had the No. 1 pick (Adrian Peterson, who else?) – was the unveiling of a brand new championship trophy compliments of ad sales guru Brett Robertson, owner of The Other White Meat.

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