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In the longest outing of his Cardinals career, Bob Gibson set a record that illustrated his consistency, dominance and endurance.

Fifty years ago, on Aug. 12, 1970, Gibson pitched 14 innings for a complete-game win in the Cardinals’ 5-4 victory over the Padres at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis.

In the second inning, Gibson got his 200th strikeout of the season when he fanned Nate Colbert. Gibson, 34, became the first major-league pitcher to strike out 200 batters in a season eight times. Before then, he shared the mark of seven 200-strikeout seasons with Rube Waddell and Walter Johnson.

Gibson’s 14-inning stint versus the Padres surpassed a pair of 13-inning complete games he pitched against the Giants on July 7, 1965, Boxscore and on July 25, 1969. Boxscore

Wobbly warm-up

Before his Wednesday night start against the last-place Padres, Gibson didn’t throw well in the bullpen. “I wouldn’t have given two cents that he’d go nine innings,” manager Red Schoendienst told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Though he lacked command of his pitches, Gibson retired the first nine batters in a row, including four on strikeouts. “I was lucky in the early innings that they were swinging,” Gibson told the Associated Press. “A lot of the strikeout total has to do with the ball club you’re facing.”

The Padres scored a run in the fourth and three in the sixth. Colbert, a St. Louis native, put the Padres ahead, 4-3, in the sixth with a two-run home run that landed 10 rows up in the seats in left.

“I was hitting the corners, but I hung some pitches, too,” Gibson told the Post-Dispatch.

The Cardinals tied the score at 4-4 in the eighth on Richie Allen’s home run versus starter Danny Coombs.

Carrying on

Gibson held the Padres scoreless over the last eight innings.

He worked out of a jam in the 11th. After the Padres loaded the bases with one out, Gibson’s former teammate, Ed Spiezio, batted. With the count 3-and-2, Gibson got Spiezio to ground into a double play.

“Gibson didn’t have his real good stuff, but you could see him reach back for something extra in that spot,” said Padres manager Preston Gomez.

In the 13th, Gibson struck out the side. After pitching the 14th, Gibson was ready to come out if the Cardinals didn’t score in the bottom half of the inning.

“That was my last inning whether we won it then or not,” Gibson said. “Red Schoendienst and I had talked it over and decided the 14th would be it.”

Ron Willis, a former Cardinal, was the Padres’ pitcher in the 14th. Willis had held the Cardinals hitless in the 12th and 13th.

Dal Maxvill, who batted .201 for the season, led off the Cardinals’ half of the 14th with his fourth consecutive hit, a single. Gibson, who hit .303 in 1970, was allowed to bat. He bunted and reached safely on a fielder’s choice, with Maxvill advancing to second. Lou Brock’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, and Leron Lee got an intentional walk, loading the bases.

The next batter, Carl Taylor, worked a walk, scoring Maxvill from third with the decisive run and giving Gibson his hard-earned win. Boxscore

Wins matter most

Gibson gave up 13 hits and struck out 13.

Asked about becoming the first to achieve eight 200-strikeout seasons, Gibson told the Post-Dispatch, “I’m pleased to have the record. It shows I was a consistent pitcher over the years. Winning games is the big thing, though.”

Gibson threw 178 pitches in the marathon against the Padres, but said, “I don’t care about the number of pitches. You can throw 90 pitches and lose.”

The win gave Gibson a 16-5 record for the season. He went on to finish at 23-7 with 274 strikeouts, earning his second National League Cy Young Award. The 23 wins and 274 strikeouts were his single-season career highs. No other Cardinals pitcher has achieved as many strikeouts in a season as Gibson did.

Gibson had a ninth season of 200 strikeouts when he fanned 208 batters in 1972. His 3,117 career strikeouts, as well as his 251 career wins, are most by a Cardinals pitcher.

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After six seasons in the minors, Chris Richard got called up to the Cardinals and, on the first pitch he saw, showed he belonged in the major leagues.

Twenty years ago, on July 17, 2000, at Minneapolis, Richard hit a home run in his first plate appearance in the big leagues. It came on the first pitch of the second inning from Twins starter Mike Lincoln.

A left-handed batter who played first base and the outfield, Richard, 26, lasted two weeks with the Cardinals, but went on to play in the majors for five seasons.

Prospect with power

Richard was at Oklahoma State University when he was chosen by the Cardinals in the 19th round of the June 1995 amateur baseball draft. Multiple injuries, including a left shoulder tear requiring rotator cuff surgery, slowed his progress in the Cardinals’ system.

In 1999, Richard was injury-free for the first time in nearly two years and produced a successful season. At Arkansas, he led the club in home runs (29) and RBI (94) and batted .294.

With Memphis in 2000, Richard had 16 home runs and 75 RBI before he was called up to the Cardinals in July to fill in for outfielder J.D. Drew, who went on the disabled list because of a severely sprained left ankle.

Sweet swing

On the day Richard joined the Cardinals at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, manager Tony La Russa put him in the starting lineup as the left fielder, batting seventh.

After the Cardinals sent six batters to the plate in the first inning, Richard got his first chance to bat as the leadoff man in the second.

The first pitch to him was a fastball in the middle of the strike zone and Richard drove it to right-center. Twins center fielder Jacque Jones raced back in pursuit and reached over the short fence.

“I thought he was going to get it,” Richard told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Instead, the ball cleared the fence just before Jones tried to grab it with his glove. As the umpires signaled a home run, “I think I was just floating,” Richard said. “It was just unreal.” Video

Retired Twins outfielder Kirby Puckett later approached Richard and needled him. “If I had been playing center field, you’d have been 0-for-1,” Puckett said. Boxscore

Dream come true

Richard became the fourth Cardinals player, and the second in two weeks, to hit a home run in his first plate appearance in the majors. Catcher Keith McDonald achieved the feat on July, 4, 2000.

Since then, several others have done it for the Cardinals. The complete list:

_ Eddie Morgan, pinch-hitter, April 14, 1936, vs. Cubs.

_ Wally Moon, center fielder, April 13, 1954, vs. Cubs.

_ Keith McDonald, pinch-hitter, July 4, 2000, vs. Reds.

_ Chris Richard, left fielder, July 17, 2000, vs. Twins.

_ Gene Stechschulte, pinch-hitter, April 17, 2001, vs. Diamondbacks.

_ Hector Luna, second baseman, April 8, 2004, vs. Brewers.

_ Adam Wainwright, pitcher, May 24, 2006, vs. Giants.

_ Mark Worrell, pitcher, June 5, 2008, vs. Nationals.

_ Paul DeJong, pinch-hitter, May 28, 2017, vs. Rockies.

_ Lane Thomas, pinch-hitter, April 19, 2019, vs. Mets.

“You dream about that kind of stuff, but for it to happen, it’s unbelievable,” Richard said.

Name game

Richard had two hits and two walks in 18 plate appearances for the Cardinals before Drew came off the disabled list. Richard was assigned to Memphis when on July 29, 2000, the Cardinals traded him and pitcher Mark Nussbeck to the Orioles for reliever Mike Timlin.

The Orioles projected Richard as a player to help them rebuild. “We really hate to give him up,” Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty told the Post-Dispatch.

Viewing the trade as an opportunity to stick in the majors, Richard said to the Baltimore Sun, “I’ll have the chance to get some at-bats and get into some games. This team is going through a transition and it’s an atmosphere where we can kind of grow as a team.”

Orioles manager Mike Hargrove welcomed Richard, but told the Sun he was struggling to remember the newcomer’s name: “I told him, ‘I’m going to keep calling you Keith Richards for a while. Don’t get upset when it happens. I’m not even a fan of the Rolling Stones.”

Richard soon made a name for himself with the Orioles, hitting 13 home runs and batting .276 in 56 games in 2000. The next year, he led the Orioles in doubles (31) and tied for the club lead in home runs (15).

Besides the Cardinals and Orioles, Richard also played for the Rockies and Rays.

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Outfielder Bob Nieman, who made an unprecedented debut with the Browns, returned to St. Louis as an accomplished hitter with the Cardinals.

On Dec. 2, 1959, the Cardinals acquired Nieman from the Orioles for outfielder-catcher Gene Green, plus catcher Chuck Staniland.

Eight years earlier, Nieman became the first player to hit home runs in his first two major-league at-bats. Since then, the only other player to do it is the Cardinals’ Keith McDonald.

A right-handed batter, Nieman appealed to the Cardinals because he hit left-handers well and “southpaws have been a constant plague” to them, The Sporting News reported.

Marty Marion, the former Cardinals shortstop who was Nieman’s teammate with the Browns, said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “He’s only a mediocre outfielder and he’s a hypochondriac, but, man, he can whale that ball.”

Overcoming hurdles

Nieman was born in Cincinnati and began going to Reds games when he was 3 with his father, a semipro catcher.

Nieman developed into a baseball catcher and football fullback in high school. After graduation, he joined the Army, was stationed in France and got pneumonia. The drugs used to treat him damaged his kidneys and he developed nephritis. Given a medical discharge, Nieman returned home, recovered, married his high school sweetheart and tried out with the Reds.

After Nieman signed a minor-league contract with the Reds, a tumor was discovered in his right arm and he underwent surgery. When he healed, the Reds converted him from catcher to outfielder. In 1948, his first minor-league season, Nieman hit .367.

During his off-seasons in the minors, Nieman pursued a college education at Kent State. Nieman was studying journalism in the hope of being a sports reporter and his wife, Patricia, was majoring in advertising.

“Next to actual participation, I can think of no life more enjoyable than watching games and being paid to do so,” Nieman said.

In June 1951, the Reds determined they had a surplus of outfielders in the minors and placed Neiman on waivers. He was claimed by Oklahoma City, an unaffiliated team in the Texas League. Nieman led the league in hitting (.324) and his contract was purchased by the Browns.

Boston fireworks

Nieman, 24, joined the Browns in Boston. Manager Zack Taylor didn’t plan to play him, but changed his mind when the Red Sox started a left-hander, Mickey McDermott. Nieman played left field and batted fifth in the Friday afternoon game on Sept. 14, 1951, at Fenway Park.

When he came to bat for the first time as a big-leaguer in the second inning, Nieman hit a solo home run. In his second at-bat in the third, he hit a two-run home run. According to the Post-Dispatch, those were the only pitches he swung at in those at-bats.

“This is really the day of my life,” Nieman said.

He almost got upstaged in the eighth when Satchel Paige, 45, relieved for the Browns and faced Ted Williams. With the count 0-and-2, Williams moved up in the batter’s box, expecting an off-speed pitch. Paige fired a fastball and Williams swung and missed, striking out.

When Williams got to the dugout, he “smashed his bat into pieces,” the Boston Globe reported. “He first whacked it against the railing leading to the dressing room. When that didn’t suffice, Williams flung the bat toward the rack. He still wasn’t satisfied, so he smashed it on the floor of the dugout. That ended the bat’s worth for good.”

Watching from the mound, Paige “was laughing his head off,” the Globe noted.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in the big leagues,” Paige said. “He was sore because I crossed him up.”

Asked about Nieman’s performance, Paige said the burly rookie “is just a lot of boy. Leans into that ball pretty good and hits the pitch where it is.” Boxscore

Designated hitter

Nieman hit .372 in 12 games for the 1951 Browns. The next year, he led the 1952 Browns in batting average (.289), home runs (18) and RBI (74), but they traded him to the Tigers after the season. Nieman played for the Tigers (1953-54), White Sox (1955-56) and Orioles (1956-59). He batted .322 for the Orioles in 1956 and .325 in 1958.

In 1959, when Nieman hit .292 with 21 home runs for the Orioles, The Sporting News described him as “a terror at the bat but sometimes frightful in the field.” Bob Broeg of the Post-Dispatch suggested Nieman “thought defense was the time to rest.”

The Cardinals got Nieman for his hitting, not his fielding. He batted .287 in 81 games in 1960 and had an on-base percentage of .372.

Among his highlights:

_ A home run against Sandy Koufax in a 2-0 triumph over the Dodgers on Aug. 21. Boxscore

_ A double, triple and home run for four RBI against Dick Ellsworth in a 4-3 victory versus the Cubs on Sept. 4. Boxscore

_ A ninth-inning home run against Johnny Podres to force extra innings against the Dodgers on Sept. 21. Boxscore

In 1961, Nieman, 34, was hitting .471 (8-for-17) when the Cardinals traded him to the Indians on May 10. The Cardinals made the deal because they wanted to give more playing time to Charlie James, 23, who they were grooming to replace Stan Musial in left.

“At least Nieman has the consolation of being one of the few .471 hitters ever traded,” the Post-Dispatch concluded.

Nieman said, “I certainly hate to leave this club. I mean it when I say this is the finest outfit I’ve ever been associated with.”

As he departed, Nieman wrote a message on the blackboard in the Cardinals’ clubhouse: “Good luck, boys, see you in the World Series.”

The Cardinals didn’t reach the World Series in 1961, but Nieman did a year later. After hitting .354 in 39 games for the Indians in 1961, they traded him to the Giants the next year and Nieman appeared in the 1962 World Series.

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With a chance to achieve an unprecedented feat, Garry Templeton did what was necessary to make it happen.

Forty years ago, on Sept. 28, 1979, Templeton became the first major-league player to get 100 hits from each side of the plate in one season.

The switch-hitting shortstop produced 211 hits _ 111 while batting from the left side and 100 while batting from the right side _ for the 1979 Cardinals.

Going all in

From Opening Day through Sept. 22, Templeton batted left-handed against right-handed pitching and right-handed versus left-handers.

With nine games left in the regular season, Templeton had 91 hits as a right-handed batter. He already had the 111 hits from the left side. To give himself the best shot at getting 100 from the right side, Templeton decided to bat exclusively right-handed the remainder of the season, regardless of whether he was facing a right-hander or a left-hander.

Some purists criticized the decision as selfish, saying Templeton would have a better chance of getting hits and helping his team by continuing to bat from the left side versus right-handers, but Templeton determined he likely would face more right-handers than left-handers and wanted to give himself a chance for the record.

“I wouldn’t be doing it if I wasn’t going for 100 hits,” Templeton said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Besides, Templeton was a natural right-hander and he hit for a higher average from that side of the plate. He became a switch-hitter at the Cardinals’ request when he was in the minors.

Of the nine hits Templeton produced after making the decision to bat exclusively right-handed, five came against right-handers and four versus left-handers.

“I thought I did all right,” Templeton said. “I hit a lot of breaking balls for hits.”

Making his move

After playing 18 innings in a doubleheader on Sept. 22, 1979, Templeton was kept out of the lineup by manager Ken Boyer in the next day’s game against the Mets at New York.

Templeton’s first game as an exclusively right-handed batter was Sept. 24, 1979, versus the Phillies at Philadelphia. He got a double and a single against left-handed starter Randy Lerch, giving him 93 hits for the season as a right-handed batter. Boxscore

The next night, Sept. 25, 1979, Templeton batted right-handed against a right-handed pitcher, starter Dan Larson, a former Cardinals prospect, and slugged a home run and a triple, moving his total to 95 hits as a right-handed batter. Boxscore

Templeton went 0-for-3 against the Phillies’ ace left-hander, Steve Carlton, in the series finale on Sept. 26, 1979.

The Cardinals went to Pittsburgh for their final road game on Sept. 27, 1979, and Templeton got a single off right-hander Don Robinson and a double against right-hander Kent Tekulve, bringing his total as a right-handed batter to 97. Boxscore

The Cardinals went from Pittsburgh to St. Louis to finish the season with four games against the Mets.

Getting it done

The Mets and Cardinals had a Friday night doubleheader on Sept. 28, 1979, at Busch Memorial Stadium.

In Game 1, Templeton singled against right-hander Juan Berenguer for his 98th hit as a right-handed batter. Boxscore

The Mets started left-hander Pete Falcone, Templeton’s former Cardinals teammate, in Game 2.

Templeton led off the first inning with a double to left, moving him within a hit of reaching his goal.

In his next at-bat, leading off the third, Templeton bunted down the third-base line and streaked to first for a single, his 100th hit of the season from the right side. His mission accomplished, Templeton was removed from the game for a pinch-runner, Mike Phillips. Boxscore

Asked about bunting for the record-setting hit, Templeton said, “I’d been wanting to bunt all the time.”

Templeton didn’t play the next day and he went 0-for-2 in the season finale on Sept. 30, 1979.

His 211 hits for the season led the National League and were one more than the 210 achieved by his teammate, left-handed batter Keith Hernandez. Templeton also led the league in triples (19) and his batting average was .314.

Elite group

Templeton, 23, joined Frankie Frisch and Pete Rose as switch-hitters who got 200 hits in a season two or more times. Templeton had 200 hits for the Cardinals in 1977. Rose did it 10 times (nine with the Reds and once with the Phillies) and Frisch did it three times (twice with the Giants and once with the Cardinals in 1927).

Templeton went on to play 16 years in the big leagues and produced 2,096 career hits, including 911 with the Cardinals.

In 1980, Willie Wilson of the Royals became the only other switch-hitter to get 100 hits from each side of the plate in one season. Wilson produced 230 total hits _ 130 from the left side and 100 from the right side _ for the 1980 Royals.

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In a span of less than 24 hours, Lou Brock got the last stolen base of his career, established a major-league record and met with the president of the United States.

Forty years ago, on Sept. 23, 1979, Brock, 40, made his last steal in his final appearance in New York as a player. The swipe of second base came during a Cardinals game against the Mets at Shea Stadium.

The steal was the 938th for Brock as a big-leaguer and put him ahead of Billy Hamilton as the all-time leader. Hamilton played in the majors from 1888-1901, under different and easier scoring rules, and held the stolen base mark of 937.

Years after Brock set the record of 938, Hamilton’s total was revised. Some sources show it as 914 and others as 912.

Brock’s mark eventually was broken by Rickey Henderson.

The top six career leaders in stolen bases are Henderson (1,406), Brock (938), Hamilton (914 or 912), Ty Cobb (897 or 892), Tim Raines (808) and Vince Coleman (752).

Top thief

Brock had said 1979 would be his final season as a player and he made it a memorable one. He hit for average, got named to the National League all-star team and achieved his 3,000th career hit.

After breaking the stolen base mark which had been in place for nearly 80 years, Brock told The Sporting News, “That will be the final act of my career.”

Brock’s bravado theft occurred in the fifth inning. With one out and the bases empty, Brock drew a walk from Mets starter Juan Berenguer. On Berenguer’s first pitch to the next batter, Keith Hernandez, Brock broke for second and swiped the base.

The throw from catcher John Stearns was high and sailed into center field. Brock advanced to third on the error and continued to the plate, scoring easily, when center fielder Joel Youngblood bobbled the ball.

Brock was presented with the base he stole to set the record.

When he batted again in the seventh, the public-address announcer informed the crowd Brock was playing in New York for the last time and they responded with a standing ovation. Brock reached on an error by third baseman Richie Hebner, loading the bases, and was removed between innings by manager Ken Boyer. Boxscore

National treasure

Brock headed to Washington, D.C., where he had a personal meeting scheduled the next morning, Sept. 24, 1979, with President Jimmy Carter at the White House.

Carter invited Brock to the Oval Office in order to honor him for getting 3,000 hits. The stolen base record gave them more to celebrate.

“I think this is a unique achievement of his to be this kind of a baserunner and a clean sportsman at the same time,” Carter said.

Carter said Brock “represents the finest in American sports.”

Brock told Carter he was “deeply honored” and “very much impressed” by the visit. He presented Carter with an autographed bat and a pair of red cleats.

Fine finish

After meeting with Carter, Brock immediately headed to Philadelphia, where the Cardinals had a night game with the Phillies.

Boyer let him rest and didn’t play him in a game the Cardinals won, 7-2, but Brock was back in the lineup the next night, Sept. 25, 1979, for his final appearance in Philadelphia before closing out the season in St. Louis.

Brock finished the 1979 season with a .304 batting average, 21 stolen bases and 123 hits in 120 games played.

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(Updated Sept. 10, 2020)

After going two weeks without a win, the Cardinals broke their skid by scoring a week’s worth of runs in one game.

On July 6, 1929, the Cardinals set a franchise record for most runs in a game when they beat the Phillies, 28-6, in the second game of a doubleheader at Baker Bowl in Philadelphia.

The win was the Cardinals’ first since June 22, 1929, and snapped an 11-game losing streak.

Since then, the only National League team to score more runs in a game was the Braves, who scored 29 vs. the Marlins on Sept. 9, 2020. Before then, the National League record for most runs scored by one team in a game was set on June 29, 1897, when the Chicago Colts beat the Louisville Colonels, 36-7, according to MLB.com. The American League record was established on Aug. 22, 2007, when the Rangers beat the Orioles, 30-3, in the first game of a doubleheader at Baltimore. Boxscore

10 in the 1st

The Cardinals-Phillies doubleheader was played on a steamy Saturday afternoon. “Swarms of Japanese beetles added to the discomfort of players and spectators,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

In the first game, Cardinals cleanup batter Jim Bottomley hit a pair of two-run home runs, but the Phillies won, 10-6. It was the 11th consecutive loss for the defending National League champions and it gave them a 36-36 record. Boxscore

The second game matched starting pitchers Fred Frankhouse of the Cardinals against Phillies ace Claude Willoughby.

A right-hander from the farm town of Buffalo, Kansas, Willoughby would finish with 15 wins for the 1929 Phillies, but he struggled against the Cardinals.

Willoughby faced six batters, yielding three singles and walking three, and was lifted without recording an out.

Elmer Miller, a rookie left-hander who later in the season was converted into a right fielder, relieved, faced two batters and walked both.

Phillies manager Burt Shotton, a former Cardinals outfielder and coach, pulled Miller and replaced him with Luther Roy, who started two days earlier against the Dodgers. Roy gave up singles to the first two Cardinals batters he faced.

Rookie second baseman Carey Selph made the first out of the inning, on a sacrifice bunt, after the first 10 Cardinals batters reached base.

The Cardinals scored 10 runs in the first inning on six singles and five walks.

Given a 10-0 lead, Frankhouse, pitching with a sore thumb, “didn’t have to bear down” and “merely lobbed the ball over the plate,” according to the Post-Dispatch.

The Cardinals scored a run in the second and two in the fourth, and led, 13-4.

Pour it on

In the fifth, the Cardinals produced their second 10-run inning of the game. Bottomley got the big hit, a grand slam against the Phillies’ fourth pitcher, June Greene. Bottomley’s home run cleared the right-field wall and carried into Broad Street, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The Cardinals led, 23-4, after five innings. They scored again in one more inning, getting five runs in the eighth. The big blow was Chick Hafey’s grand slam into the left-field seats against Greene.

The grand slams by Bottomley and Hafey were the only Cardinals home runs in the game.

The Cardinals generated 28 hits and also received nine walks and had one batter hit by a pitch.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Cardinals also hit two line drives off the shins of Greene, but the balls caromed to infielders, who made the outs.

Every Cardinals player who made a plate appearance got a hit.

Leadoff batter Taylor Douthit was 5-for-6 with two walks. He scored four runs and drove in two. Bottomley was 4-for-5 with two walks. He scored four runs and drove in seven. For the doubleheader, Bottomley was 7-for-10 with 11 RBI and six runs scored. Hafey was 5-for-7 in Game 2 with five RBI and four runs scored.

Frankhouse was as effective a hitter as he was a pitcher. He was 4-for-7 with four RBI and, though he pitched a complete game and got a win, he yielded 17 hits and walked three.

Most of the damage was done against Roy (13 hits, nine runs in 4.1 innings) and Greene (12 hits, 11 runs in 4.2 innings). Boxscore

Willoughby, the losing pitcher, played seven seasons in the big leagues and continued to have trouble versus the Cardinals. His career record against the Cardinals: 2-12 with a 8.62 ERA.

After their record-setting performance, the Cardinals lost five of their next seven, falling to 39-41. Billy Southworth, in his first stint as Cardinals manager, was fired in late July and replaced by Bill McKechnie, who’d managed the Cardinals to the National League pennant in 1928.

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