Connor Johnson, a former Division 1 pitcher and captain at the University of Maine. After a college career that allowed him to play four years in the America East conference and elite summer leagues like the Northwoods League, West Coast League, and NECBL, the time to hang up the cleats finally came. During his time on the bump, he had the priviledge to work and learn from various world class coaches that have dedicated their life to this game. The knowledge gained in that time was invaluable, and something that he feels needs to be passed on to the next wave of players.
"It wasn't until I was out of the game did I realize that so few kids had access to the knowledge and expertise I was able to take advantage of throughout my career. Many coaches volunteer their time and do the best they can, but baseball just isn't their expertise. It's a hard truth, but a truth nonetheless. After seeing this first hand, I decided it was time to be a resource for the next generation of ballplayers. I want every kid who is willing to put in some work to have the chance to develop and grow into the player they envision. No magic formula, no "you can gain 10+ mph in 2 weeks" gimmicks, just doing things right time and time again. Steady improvement and staying the course. It's how I had the great career I did, and it's time to share that."
Jim Neidlinger began his professional baseball career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1984. 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 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. The indoor league has since blossomed to 16 baseball teams, and grown to include 18 softball teams. His next venture was opening up his own baseball facility, Bases Loaded located in Williston, Vermont. In 2017, Bases Loaded was recognized as one of the top 25 training facilities in the US, and also features a high end AAU program for the area's best players.
Jim was the Middlebury College pitching coach for 9 years, leaving in 2016. Since 2016, Jim has concentrated on expanding his Bases Loaded Bulldogs travel organization, giving serious players the opportunity to play at a higher level and travel New England, growing from 3 teams in 2017 to 6 teams in 2020. Jim also just accepted his first head coaching job at the college level, being named head coach of the St. Michael's baseball program, a Division 2 program competing in the competitive NE-10 conference.