Baseball Coach & Mentor
James Fitzgerald attended Lyndhurst High School in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, where he started three years of varsity baseball. Under-recruited out of high school, Fitzgerald walked-on at Wesley College in Delaware and made the team but injury sidelined him the first year. He then went on to transfer to New Jersey City University where he would also walk-on. He was cut by the team by the second practice.
In hopes of one last chance at college baseball, Fitzgerald transferred to Bergen Community College, a JUCO located in Paramus, NJ, where he would make the team as a two year starter and leadoff hitter for the Bulldogs. He hit .407 his freshman year receiving First Team All-Region and First Team All-Conference (GSAC) honors, as well as Player-of-the-Year nominee. His sophomore year, he posted a .360 average and received All-Region Honorable Mention while committing to further his athletic and academic career by receiving a scholarship to play Division 1 baseball at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Although the visit was short lived due to Division 1 eligibility requirements, Fitzgerald learned what it took to compete with and against the best college baseball players. Fitzgerald then took his talents to Kean University in New Jersey, where he would conclude his college career with an overall .330 batting average, nearly 150 career hits, 133 games played, 92 runs scored, and only 1 error committed as an outfielder.
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Coach James Fitzgerald
In 2019 Jim started his coaching career returning to his alma mater Bergen Community College in NJ. As an assistant coach for the Bulldogs, Fitzgerald would work with the hitters & outfielders. The Bulldogs returned to playoffs and 4 players would be awarded All-Region accolades.
The summer of 2019 would be an eventful one as Fitzgerald was given the reigns of The Lyndhurst American Legion, Post 139. In addition to being named Head coach of the Lyndhurst Post, Fitzgerald was given the opportunity to be the assistant coach to Jack Winters, former NYU pitching coach.
“I played summer baseball for Jack in the Myrtle Beach Collegiate Baseball League and my preconceived notion of “Summer ball” went out the window. We practiced, had team meetings and played great baseball. There was no going through the motions on Jack’s summer team, so when he called and asked if I would be interested in assisting him I had to jump on it.”
Jack Winters, now pitching coach for Bergen Community College, and Fitzgerald have been a dominant force in the Metropolitan Collegiate Baseball League winning the 2019 Championship.
“Jack is a master recruiter and high-level head coach. Learning from him has been an amazing experience. We are building a reputation in North Jersey for putting together a competitive ball club for collegiate athletes returning home from school. I have turned down head coaching summer positions for the opportunity to continue learning from him.”
In 2020 Fitzgerald and Winters would look to repeat as MCBL champions but the global pandemic would put all sports on hold.
“The MCBL did an amazing job putting together a small exhibition league named “The Sandlot Collegiate League”. This quite frankly was the highest-level baseball I have ever had the privilege to be around. With all of the major summer leagues being canceled, the league stepped up and delivered. We had players from Vanderbilt, Rutgers, Georgia Southern etc.… It was an amazing experience.
Come the fall of 2020, Fitzgerald was offered the hitting coach position at Division II Bloomfield College.
“I loved coaching Tyree [Bradley] and Javell [Barnes] the past two summers, accepting the position was a no brainer. Bloomfield would go on to record 28 home runs and 39 doubles in the shortened 24 game season including two offensive All-Conference players.
The summer of 2021 will be most exciting as Different Breed Training will host its inaugural season in the Metropolitan Collegiate Baseball league. “Jack and I have built a reputation and culture among North Jersey summer baseball. We have put together a high-level collegiate summer team, once again, and looking to win back-to-back championships.
Why Choose Us
Practice plans are built session to session based on the hitter’s specific needs. Swings and data are recorded and organized neatly to track progress and provide a plan of action in attacking the players deficiencies while maintaining their strengths. Each hitter has access to their file.
All Different Breed clients have access to us 24/7 via phone call, text message & facetime for instant feedback or “pick me up”. I encourage every client to utilize all we can provide as often as possible, even if it is quick phone call. One training session a week is not enough.
As the hitting coach for Bloomfield College, the Different Breed Training philosophies led the Bears offense to historic program records. In the shortened 25 game 2021 Covid-19 season, Bloomfield College hit 28 home runs and reached the highest OPS%, SLG% & OB% in program history.
Lead by Example
As an active player, Different Breed does what is taught in training. It is important to continue playing because the game changes. Staying active gives Different Breed the in game experience needed to provide quality instruction. There is no hiding, we are in the trenches with you!