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2019 MSBL Caribbean Winter Baseball Championship in the Books

Submitted by Rich Rosenblum, Tournament Director

Thanks to our excellent managers and players for the best ever Caribbean Winter Baseball Championship in 25 years!  The tournament was held in Puerto Rico from January 31st through February 3rd.  Going into Saturday every team had a chance at the playoffs. All four playoff games were decided by a one run, and three were walk-off wins!  Each champion team was a first-time winner in their division.

Puerto Rico has recovered amazingly from the devastating 2017 hurricane.  This remains a unique baseball experience being played at gorgeous stadiums and tropical climates. The skill level for most teams is on par with the MSBL World Series and Fall Classic National and American divisions.

The MSBL Caribbean tournament has been played only in Puerto Rico for 25 years.  We use excellent stadiums in cities and smaller towns in, or not too far from, San Juan.  The baseball experience is like nowhere else.

The local people who administer these ballparks are very supportive and they feel proud and pleased that we selected their hometown stadiums to play our championship.

Here is a link to the Puerto Rico tourney website: MSBLpuertorico.com

This year’s champions were: (below)

25+: Venice Glaze

35+: Chicago Cheetahs

45+: PR 45’s

We hope to see you next year! For 2020 tournament information you can contact me at msbltravel@gmail.com or call 516-625-6868.

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Louisville Slugger Warriors Amputee Baseball Team Adds New Website

By Steve LaMontia, MSBL Director of Communications

The Louisville Slugger Warriors Baseball Team is the chosen charity of the Men’s Senior Baseball League. They are designated by the IRS as a 501 c (3) public charity organization and the only nationally sponsored amputee baseball team.  The Louisville Slugger Warriors are an extremely competitive amputee baseball team that consists of U.S. Military Veterans, Active Duty personnel, Wounded Warriors and current and former amputee college baseball players.  All of these highly skilled athletes come from all walks of life.  They have either suffered a loss of limb, partial limb, digits, eye, and serious limb deformities, plus have other prostheses all due to congenital, disease or trauma related reasons.

The LS Warriors can be seen participating at MSBL national tournaments in Las Vegas and our World Series in Arizona, where they have become a powerful playoff team.  General manger David Van Sleet is happy to announce that the LS Warriors now enjoy their own website, which will include updates on their activities, appearances and how you may become involved as a sponsor or just a fan.

“Our new website was recently launched,” stated Van Sleet. “Of course, like all new websites, it will be a work in progress but we are thrilled to now have a professional website that is easy to navigate. We look forward to seeing all of our friends once again as we compete in the MSBL Las Vegas Open this coming Memorial Day weekend.”

HERE is the link to their brand-new website!

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2019 MSBL Las Vegas Kickoff Classic Schedules Complete

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

The 2019 MSBL Las Vegas Kickoff Classic schedules are now complete!  Beginning on March 2nd and continuing for the following two weekends, concluding on March 11th, all teams are now registered and game times and locations are all set.  Click HERE to be directed to the Kickoff Classic page to check it out.  Good luck!

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MSBL League Profile: Bux-Mont MSBL, Montgomery and Bucks Counties, Pennsylvania

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

The Bux-Mont MSBL has been a part of the MSBL family since 1992 and is located in and around the Philadelphia region within the Montgomery and Bucks counties of PennsylvaniaMSBL National Hall of Fame and MSBL Honor Roll member Nick Chichilitti is the head guy, a position he assumed in 2004 after Mike Diodati stepped down.  Mike is still active as a senior consultant while Nick sweats the details.  Nick is a retired law enforcement officer and is married to Daneen and they are the proud parents of their two daughters, Nicole and Danielle.

“Yes, when Mike stepped down, I stepped up,” quipped Nick. “We had seven teams in 2004 and now stand at 28 going into 2019, a statistic I am very proud of. I personally started playing in the league in 1997 and stopped playing in 2008. I am happy to be able to stay involved in this capacity.”

The league consists of two divisions, 28-over and 45-over, and regularly sends players and teams to MSBL national tournaments, including the MSBL World Series and Fall Classic, a tournament in which Nick has earned a ring himself in 2008 while heading up the Stampone Pirates.

We asked Nick what makes the Bux-Mont MSBL so special.  “The best thing about the Bux-Mont league is that we have the best level of play in the area, bar none.  Competition is at a high level and I am surrounded by top notch officers in the league. We are also proud to have several teams that compete in many MSBL national tournaments every year.”

Now in his fifteenth year as league president, are there any words of wisdom to convey to any up and coming leaders of MSBL leagues across the country? “Have patience and treat every team equal. Be firm but cordial,” said Chichilitti. “Provide exemplary service, attempt to grow the league each year and be there 24/7 for any questions or concerns from players or managers.”

Nick retains a very close relationship with MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler.  “Steve and I are very close and communicate frequently. He is always there when I need to discuss a league issue.”

States Steve Sigler, “MSBL has been pleased to have dynamic, passionate and well administrated League Leaders, and Nick Chichilitti absolutely fits in.  His loyalty is paramount and his league continues to grow and flourish in its 25th year. Thank you Nick!

The Bux-Mont MSBL begins mid-April and continues through mid-September and has a playoff system in place that includes quarter-finals, semi-finals and then a finals series.

Being from the Philadelphia area it is little surprise that Larry Bowa remains his favorite player. “I was a shortstop, as was Bowa, and he was a hard working player who made himself a very good player. I may not have been the most gifted guy on the field but nobody worked harder.”

That work ethic remains to this day with Nick, which is why the Bux-Mont MSBL continues to thrive and remains one of the premier leagues within the MSBL landscape.

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Player Pool Update

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

After launching our new website last summer it has become apparent that one of the most popular segments, based on our analytics, is the Player Pool page.  For those of you unfamiliar with this concept, this page allows players seeking to play in any of our national or regional tournaments to fill in the supplied entry form and submit it to us to post for managers of participating teams to review.  Managers are continually reviewing updates to find members to become part of their tournament team.  This page has become wildly successful.

Up until now the Player Pool page was only accessible from our World Series page.  We have just changed that.  In addition to the World Series page, our Player Pool link is now visible in the black menu bar portion at the top of every one of our website pages. (sample above) This allows you easy access with minimal effort, both for those wishing to sign up and for managers to easily click on to see what the updates include.

Please enjoy the new format and also keep those requests coming.  We love to help.  Good luck, play safe and we’ll see you in the dirt!

Steve 

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From Mom’s Hands to a Son’s Heart: Billie and Curtis Dancy

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Curtis Dancy is 61 years old and plays in the Red River MSBL located in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he has played and coached since the league’s birth in 1993.  His league influence throughout the years has left a stamp on teams such as the Riverdogs, the Rustin Roadrunners and currently the Dawgs. Curtis has also been a regular MSBL World Series attendee since 1996 and hasn’t missed a single year.  His Roadrunners and Fossils teams have also made appearances in the Holiday Classic in Florida, Desert Classic in Palm Springs, both MSBL Vegas tournaments and even the Texas Cup, as hosted by the North Texas Amateur Baseball League in Dallas.  He also has regularly played for Vince Overfelt and the Paladins in various MSBL tournaments.

“Most of the same guys that I have played with in the beginning have a team called the Fossils,” said Dancy. “I still love the game and want to thank MSBL for giving us all the opportunity to continue to still play.”

So where am I going with this?  Curtis is the blessed recipient of a family support unit that most of us can only dream about.  His mother, Billie, passed away in 2017.  She was his biggest fan, along with his father Roy.  But before her death she was able to construct a quilt for Curtis comprised of all of the various MSBL tournament t-shirts he has collected in his career.  It was an amazing accomplishment and a true labor of love.

“My mom and dad always supported me and my brother playing baseball since we were like six years old,” explained Curtis. “Even after high school and college they still came to my games. In 2000 my dad was real sick and in the hospital. They let him out to come to my league championship game. He passed away a month later.”

Added Curtis, “My mom continued to come to support our team and one day she told me she wanted to make a quilt out of the t-shirts I have from MSBL tournaments I have played in. She started the quilt but got sick before she could get it finished. She passed away in September 2017.”

This is where Billie’s special friend stepped in to save the day. “My mom’s dear friend, Nita Barnette told me she wanted to finish the quilt that mom had started. I just received it from Nita and it turned out wonderfully. I will treasure it forever.”

But wait, there’s more! “My mom was also an artist and she painted a beautiful picture for me. Each jersey in the painting represents a certain player that has played with me in the MSBL World Series throughout the years. We were the Roadrunners at that time. I made copies of the painting and gave one to every player. They all had them framed and have them hanging in their homes.”

Curtis Dancy has been blessed indeed with a wonderful family support unit that encompasses love on and off the diamond while including a couple of momentos from Billie’s heart and hands that will last for generations to come.

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MSBL Player Designs Commemorative Baseballs. How Cool Are These?!


By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Steve Ramer is a ball player in the Lehigh Valley MSBL located in Pennsylvania. He is also an artist who paints baseballs, bats, home plates and all things baseball.

Before his season ended last year he created championship baseballs for each team that had a chance to win their playoffs.  He does the artwork for one ball then has a company reproduce them for the players. Each ball is priced at $34.95 apiece.

Steve worked up some samples and showed the balls to players on his team and other teams in the league and they loved them. Each ball has the MSBL logo on the front along with the division and the year that each team won the championship.  Specialized baseballs for any occasion are also encouraged.

The reverse side will have the champion’s team logo. The remaining two sides list all the player’s names that are on their roster, as an example. The top of the ball has the team’s name and the bottom of the ball has the year and they are of course all reproduced in the team’s colors.

Steve is also available to design championship balls for MSBL tournaments, the World Series in Arizona, etc.

“I know that the MSBL is a nationwide organization and I’d like to make my baseballs available to teams all across the country,” explained Ramer.  “Thank you for making the MSBL such a great organization to play for.  Please send me an email at Steveramer21@yahoo.com if you want to know more.  My website, designed especially for MSBL, is:

https://www.famousbaseballplayers.net/msbl.html

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Marucci February 2019 Monthly Bat Special Exclusively for MSBL Players

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Here is the Marucci February 2019 special bat of the month.  Part of that agreement is to provide special pricing monthly and promotions exclusively for MSBL players.  Just click on the image above, which will take you to the Marucci website.  To check out the special member only Marucci deals for February just click here and then type in the special MSBL code MSBLMABL.

This is a special opportunity to obtain arguably the most utilized bat in all of the major leagues.  Let us know what you think!

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2019 MSBL Holiday Classic Champions Announced

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

The 2019 version of the MSBL Holiday Classic recently concluded in beautiful Kissimmee, Florida.  Five champions were crowned in 30+, 45+ and 54+ divisions.  Below are the results of the championship games.  Individual championship game stories will be posted as they become available.  Congratulations to the winners!

30+ American

Cleveland Steve’s Sports 9, Orlando Lugnuts 2

30+ National

Coral Gables 4, Brandon Bombers 3

45+ American

Clearwater Rays 5, Natick Knights 4

45+ National

Vituro Health Cardinals 6, Boston Wolfpack 5

54+ Wood

Boston Wolfpack 13, Maine Diamond Dogs 4

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2019 MSBL Desert Classic Champions Crowned

The 2019 edition of the MSBL Desert Classic in a wrap! 12 champions were crowned on Monday in beautiful Palm Springs, California.  The results of the championship games are listed below and complete game stories and pictures will be posted as they become available.  Congratulations to the winners!

2019 MSBL Desert Classic Champions

25+ American

North County San Diego 6, Inland NW Bandits 4

 

25+ National

Santa Clara Twins 4, San Jose Giants 2

 

35+ American

Desert Pirates 9, SD North Legends 6

 

35+ National

Westside Bandits 10, Minnesota Lumberjacks 6

 

35+ Consolation

So Cal Angels 15, LA Yaquis 4

 

45+ American

Paramount Pirates 12, Santa Barbara Black Sheep 9

 

45+ National

OC Sox 14, Sacramento Rockets 7

 

55+ American

San Jose 55’s 6, Sacramento Royals 5

 

55+ National

3n2 Rangers 4, South Bay Zephyrs 3

 

60+ American

Tri Valley Gigantes 8, Inland Angels 4

 

60+ National

LA Athletics 15, So Cal Angels 3

 

65+ Wood Bat

So Cal Dodgers 16, Mudcats 8