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Our Instructors

JIM NEIDLINGER 

jim2Jim Neidlinger began his professional baseball career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1984 in single A with the Macon Pirates. Jim played professionally for the next 10 years, making it to the major leagues in 1990 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 1994, Jim retired from professional baseball and returned back to Vermont where he began his career as an instructor and coach. At his first place of business, he began the indoor baseball league for ages 10-12 with three teams and 3 private instruction students (one of which, Jason Carey, owns the all time hitting record at University of Vermont and current Bases Loaded instructor). The indoor league has since blossomed to 16 baseball teams, and grown to include 18 softball teams. Jim’s personal instruction and clinic hours are now well over 35 hours weekly and he has added several additional instructors.

Jim began his formal local coaching career at the middle school level at Williston Central School, where he coached for 5 years. He then became the coach of the Chittenden South area legion team, SAL, now known as S.D. Ireland Legion Baseball, where he coached for 7 years.  In addition, Jim was the Middlebury College pitching coach for the last 9 years, leaving in 2016.  Since 2016, Jim has concentrated on expanding his Bulldogs travel organization, giving serious players the opportunity to play at a higher level and travel New England, with 3 teams in 2017 – 13U, 14U and 16U.

 

JASON LEFEBVRE

Graduate of Essex High School (’95), where he served as the baseball team’s captain. Jason played his collegiate baseball as a catcher, both at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and at the University of Vermont. He has been involved in coaching the game of baseball at all levels, both as a coach and private instructor since his senior year in high school. Several local high school, AAU and legion programs he has been involved with include, Essex High School and Champlain Valley Union High School, Essex Legion and Champlain Edge 18 and under AAU. Jason has a vast knowledge and understanding of the game and emphasizes the importance of hard work, dedication, patience and having fun to all the young student-athletes he teaches.

Jason has been an instructor with Jim for the last 17 years.

 

CHRIS RICHARD

– Born in Burlington, VT, he attended Burlington High School (1994-1998).
– Played Varsity hockey and baseball all 4 years.
– Played Junior Olympic Baseball for the New England Mariners (1994-1998).
– Vermont Gatorade Player of the Year.
– Attended Norwalk Community Junior College.
– Led the NJCAA in batting average, RBI’s and home runs.
– Drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1998 and 1999.
– Head coach of the Vermont Storm AAU baseball team (2000-2003).
– Assistant coach for the Essex Legion baseball program (2004).
– Manager and head coach for the Essex Legion baseball program (2005-present).
– Essex High School varsity head coach (present).

 

TIM ALBERTSON

Tim Albertson has been working as a Baseball Instructor and Strength Coach with Jim Neidlinger since 2004. He focuses on the mental and physical mechanics of pitching and hitting through hard work and dedication.

Tim is currently the Varsity baseball coach at Champlain Valley Union High School. Before joining the Redhawks in 2009, he was the JV coach at Mt. Mansfield Union High School for 5 years (2004-2008).  Since 2004, Tim has spent his summers coaching the Champlain Edge 17U AAU team, now known as the Vermont Outlaws. He also coached JV football at South Burlington High School (2004-2007) and wrestling at Essex High School (2003-2006).

Albertson grew up in Essex, Vermont where he played baseball at the high school and legion levels. He went to MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management. Tim played baseball for the Highlanders for two years as a pitcher and first baseman. Tim resides with his wife in South Burlington and works at Champlain Valley Union High School as a Campus Supervisor.

 

BOB ACABBO

Graduate of Notre Dame High School in West Haven, CT, where he was a two year captain and Hartford Courant all state selection his senior year. Also played hockey. Attended the University of Vermont where he was a two time All America East catcher and ranks in the top 10 all time for games played, at bats, hits, doubles, home runs, and runs batted in. Was nominated for the Johnny Bench Award (top 40 catchers in Division 1 college baseball) his senior year. Bob was a 3 year member of the champion Middletown Giants of the New England Collegiate Wooden Bat league where he was named all-league catcher and playoff MVP his final year.

Bob has worked with Jim Neidlinger for 15 years teaching hitting and catching as well as being a coach within the Bases Loaded Bulldogs travel organization.

 

JAMIE MERCHANT

Attended high school at Rice Memorial in South Burlington Vermont. Selected as the Metro Player of the Year 1999, selected as USA TODAY player of the year for Vermont as well as an Honorable mention all-American. Baseball America also selected him as an honorable mention all American in 1999. He threw 5 no hitters in high school and struck out a school record 326 batters along with a 26-3 career record. He attended the University of Vermont where in 2003 he was the first pitcher ever from UVM to be selected Pitcher of the Year in the America East Conference. He was selected first team all New England and First Team All Northeast from Baseball America. He finished fifth in the Nation in era with a 1.41 era.  He was selected to play and start in the All New England game at Fenway Park. In June 2003, he was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 16th round of the professional amateur draft. He played in the Astros organization for 4 seasons reaching Double A Corpus Christi Texas. He was twice selected as organization pitcher of the month for relievers. He finished his career with two seasons with The Worcester Tornadoes of the Can-Am League.

Jamie is currently the Rice Memorial High School varsity baseball coach and has been teaching baseball professionally since 2003.  He has helped over 25 players reach the college ranks with 3 of them obtaining college scholarships for baseball. He resides in Colchester with his wife Kate and their three sons.

 

RALPH HALBACH

Ralph has been the “pitching guru” in Vermont for over 30 years. Since Ralph’s retirement, he has joined the Bases Loaded staff two days a week to share his wealth of knowledge.