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Record Attendance at Liberty Bell Classic

 By Jeff McGaw, MSBLNational.com

 Plymouth Meeting, Pa., Oct. 5-6., 2013 -- The Original Liberty Bell seemed to crack and weaken everytime they rang it, but that is apparently not the case with the Liberty Bell Classic, a regional MSBL tournament held in Suburban Philadelphia.

It’s been ringing now for seven years and seems to be getting stronger and louder. This year’s tournament drew 30 teams – four more than 2012.

When the smoke finally cleared, the Valley Forge Grays, the Chester County Cobras, and the All-Star Baseball Academy took home titles in the 18, 30 and 45-and-over brackets respectively. For their efforts each team earned a $500 first prize and a $250 discount on next year’s entry fee should they return to defend their title.

Those prizes, and the relatively low entry fee of $650 may have a lot to do with the tournament’s popularity, according to Tournament Director and MSBL Hall of Famer Nick Chichilitti (pronounced Chick-ill-itti.)

There were 10 teams in the 18-and-over, 12 in the 30-and-over, and eight in the 45-and-over bracket. The competition was as fierce as ever with tie breakers being invoked to separate teams with identical win-loss records. "Some teams get mad, but what are you going to do?” Chichilitti said, adding that he routinely sends out an explanation of the tournament’s playoff structure and tie-breakers before the tournament to avoid hard feelings from the cast-outs. "Guys get pissed at you but what are you going to do?” he said.

This was the first year Chichilitti can recall where rain did not play a factor in the outcome. All the fields were within 5-10 minutes which made things run very smoothly, said Chichilitti, adding that tournament assistants Mike Diodati and Rob Schneider were invaluable assets.

 Here’s a rundown of the winners.

18+ Division Finals -- Valley Forge Grays 7, Warminster Warriors 2

Semifinals: Warminster All-Stars 4, FH Marlins 0, Valley Forge Grays 12, Brooklyn Bats 3

30+ Division Finals -- Chester County Cobras (Delco MSBL) 7 Connecticut Top Hats 3

30+ Semifinals:  Chester County Cobras 2, Radnor Raiders 1

Connecticut Top Hats 3, Lehigh Valley All-Stars 1


45+ Divison Finals:

All-Star Baseball Academy (Tri-State MSBL) 10,

Knights/Seadogs 6

45+ Semifinals --

All-Star Baseball Academy 9 Hatboro Rays 4,

Knights/Seadogs 9Hammonton Black Sox 8


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