Getting to CHS Field

Coaches

George-Tsamis.pngGeorge Tsamis is quite used to winning – and playing baseball well into September. His teams have advanced to the postseason in six of the 12 seasons he has managed the St. Paul Saints, including 2004 when they rallied past Schaumburg to win a thrilling five-game title series. He also managed the New Jersey Jackals to back-to-back Northern League championships in 2001-02.

The hard-driving ex-big leaguer enters the 2015 season – his 13th as manager of the Saints and 16th overall – with a 618-542 regular season record. He became the all-time winningest manager in Saints history with an 8-3 victory over the Sioux City Explorers on July 27, 2007 at Midway Stadium. The victory marked the 265th in his Saints tenure, surpassing Marty Scott's 264 wins from 1995-2000.  Tsamis earned win number 500 in his illustrious Saints career against that same Explorers club on July 21 in a 7-6 victory at Sioux City.

He also is in charge of player personnel, the same dual role he had in New Jersey, where he won a pair of Northern League post-season championships.

His formula for success is simple: "I want them to show up on time and play hard," said Tsamis. "We'll have fun. For a guy to be successful, you have to have fun playing."

There has been more fun than not in Tsamis' years on the bench as evidenced by his career regular season won-loss mark of 801-710.

Success and Tsamis were linked from an early age. In 1979, the then 12-year-old left-hander played for the Campbell, Calif., team in a 2-1 extra-inning Little League World Series championship loss to Taiwan. He was the winning pitcher the day before when Campbell won the semifinals to claim the U.S. Championship.

The next year, his family moved to Clearwater, FL where baseball continued for Tsamis and his brothers – Bill and Nick – at Countryside High School. After a standout prep career, Tsamis received a scholarship to attend Stetson University in DeLand, FL. He helped the Hatters win consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference championships and set the single-season school mark with 130 strikeouts in 1989. He was named the conference's Player of the Year, a rarity for a pitcher.

After 26 years, Tsamis still stands third on the school's all-time single season strikeout list (130) and ranks tied for 12th in conference history just ahead of ex-Saint Mike Mimbs (who recorded 126 for Mercer in 1990.). His college career complete games mark of 25 is tied for tops in conference history while his 391.1 innings pitched is second.  He is tied for fifth in wins (31) and strikeouts (350) and tied for sixth in games started (55). He is also among the leaders in many Stetson career categories including first in school history in complete games (25), second in strikeouts (350), third in victories with 31 and innings pitched (391.1) and tied for third in games started with 55. His 19 strikeouts (as a freshman!) against Bethune-Cookman on April 1, 1986 is still a school record.

Tsamis was drafted in the 33rd round by the Toronto Blue Jays after his junior season at Stetson, but elected to stay for his senior season. He went 11-3 with a 2.48 ERA in 1989 and the Minnesota Twins were impressed enough to draft him in the 15th round. He spent the next two years playing for the Visalia Oaks, the Twins' Single-A club, before reaching the Triple-A level in 1991 with the Portland Beavers. After posting a 23-12 record over two seasons there, in 1993, Minnesota promoted Tsamis and he made his Major League debut April 26. Used as a reliever, Tsamis earned a win and a pair of saves with the Twins that year.

Following his nine-year professional playing career where he registered a 57-31 minor league record, Tsamis became the pitching coach of the Waterbury (Conn.) Spirit in the renamed Northeast League and was promoted to the managerial role in 1999.

He spent two years there before moving to New Jersey in 2001 where he went 107-72 in the regular season and defeated Winnipeg in the league championship series both years there.

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Sheldon finished his last season, his fifth, with the Saints in 2013 and hit .299 with seven homers and 21 RBI in 51 games.  In 184 at bats he scored 27 runs, had nine doubles, a .370 on base percentage and a .462 slugging percentage.

 

            Sheldon finished his Saints career as the all-time home run leader, 13 more than anyone else, with 67, RBI (271), extra base hits (154), at bats (1367), games (355) and sacrifice flies (15).  Along with the career bests Sheldon also has the second (22) and third (20) most home runs in a single season in 2010 and 2012 respectively.

 

            In 2012 Sheldon hit .279 with 20 homers and 69 RBI in 97 games.  In 383 at bats he scored 55 runs, slugged 22 doubles, a .339 on base percentage and a .493 slugging percentage.  His record setting season began on July 15 when he collected four RBI at Winnipeg and surpassed Brent Krause’s (2007-11) franchise record of 212.  The home run record fell on July 21 at Sioux City when he clubbed his 55th in franchise history surpassing David Kennedy’s (1994, 97-99) record of 54.  The home run was also the 100th of Sheldon’s career.  He finished tied for first in the American Association in home runs.

  

            Despite battling injuries during most of the 2011 season Sheldon put up another remarkable campaign hitting .304 with 12 homers and 76 RBI in 81 games.  In 326 at bats he scored 51 runs, had 22 doubles, two triples, an on base percentage of .373 and a slugging percentage of .494.  He stepped up when it counted hitting .353 with runners on base, .405 with runners in scoring position and .511 with runners in scoring position and two outs.  He also hit .467 with the bases loaded including a grand slam on May 14 vs. Sioux Falls Pheasants.  During the Saints run to the American Association Championship Series Sheldon hit .300 with a homer and five RBI in 10 games.

 

            Sheldon’s 2010 season with the Saints was just as solid slugging the second most homers in a single season with 22.  He barely missed out on the franchises single-season RBI mark knocking in 79 and finishing tied for second with Marcel Longmire (2007) in that category and just behind David Kennedy’s 1997 mark of 80.  His 47 extra base hits were tied for the third best single-season mark in the franchise’s history, five shy of Jason Cooper’s record, which he set that season. 

 

In 2009 Sheldon played in just 30 games for the Saints before the Cleveland Indians purchased his contract.  With the Saints he hit .340 with six homers and 19 RBI and was among the league leaders in nearly every major category prior to him leaving.  In 106 at bats he scored 22 runs, had seven doubles, slugged .575 and had a .444 on base percentage.  On June 16 the Indians purchased his contract and he was assigned to Single-A Kinston.

 

            While with Kinston he hit .267 with 13 homers and 54 RBI in 72 games.  In 258 at bats he scored 39 runs, walloped 14 doubles, slugged .473 and had a .360 on base percentage.

 

            Sheldon was a 14th round pick of the Houston Astros in the 2004 June Amateur Draft.  He reached Double-A Corpus Christi in 2008 and had, at that time, a career high 13 home runs.  

 

Kerry-Ligtenberg.pngThe 43-year-old Ligtenberg last pitched professionally for the Saints in 2009 when he went 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA and 15 saves in 30 games before retiring on August 5. In 36.0 innings pitched he walked just six and struck out 29. Ligtenberg attended the University of Minnesota and began his professional career with the Minneapolis Loons of the independent North Central League in 1994 and 1995. After two impressive seasons as a starter, his manager, and former Atlanta Braves catcher Greg Olson, recommended the Braves purchase his contract. He began his tenure with the Braves organization in 1996 and it took him just one season to reach the Major Leagues in 1997. Ligtenberg capitalized on a huge opportunity in 1998 when he took over the closing duties from Mark Wohlers. Ligtenberg converted 30 of 34 save opportunities and finished fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting as he helped the Braves to the best record in the National League at 105-56.

After missing the entire 1999 season with a torn ligament in his elbow, Ligtenberg was tremendous for the Braves from 2000-2002. He went 8-10 with a 3.17 ERA and 13 saves during that span. After six seasons with the Braves Ligtenberg signed a one year deal with the Baltimore Orioles in 2003 and went 4-2 with a 3.34 ERA. He spent the last two seasons in the Major Leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays (2004) and Arizona Diamondbacks (2005). After spending the entire 2006 season in Triple-A Iowa with the Chicago Cubs organization he was invited to spring training with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007, but was released after just 5.1 innings pitched. He retired until making one last comeback with the Saints in 2009.

The former Park High School graduate stayed busy after that as he took over as head coach of his former high school in 2011 & 2012.

Beginning his first full season with the Saints, Shane is 24 and from Eagan, MN. Graduating from St. John's University (MN) with a degree in business administration in 2014, he worked all four years at school for the College of Saint Benedict hockey team as their manager. After graduation, he spent the last two winters with the Forest Lake Lakers junior hockey team of the USPHL as their equipment manager. Last summer he helped part time in both the home and visiting clubhouses for the Saints. Interests when not at the ballpark include playing hockey and spending time with his friends. 

sjensen@saintsbaseball.com

Jason-Ellenbecker.pngJason graduated from University of WI Stevens Point in 2004 with a bachelors degree in Athletic Training, Worked for the MN Vikings for two complete seasons from 2004 through the 2006 season. Went to Hamline University and took over as the head athletic trainer in the fall of 2006. Worked with multiple sports including the 2011 Hamline Baseball team that won the MIAC conference tournament,

Earned a Master of Business Administration from Hamline in 2010. Married to wife Jill and have two children, Isaac and Lilia, Reside in Maple Grove MN

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Dr. Craig Couillard D.C., CMT, CCSP, ICCSP, CSCS, CES, PES is the owner of Lake Marion Chiropractic Center, which was established in 2001 with offices in Lakeville and St. Paul.

He is a licensed doctor of chiropractic who graduated from Northwestern Health Sciences University in 2000. He has an undergraduate bachelor of science degree in human biology and a massage therapy degree from the Minnesota School of Business. In addition, Dr. Couillard is a certified chiropractic sports practitioner, certified strength and conditioning specialist, corrective exercise specialist, performance enhancement specialist and FMS (functional movement screen) certified.

Dr. Couillard has treated athletes at the United States Olympic Training Centers in Chula Vista, CA and Colorado Springs, CO. This opportunity to treat Olympic athletes from many different sports is only granted to a select few chiropractors in the country.  Furthermore, Dr. Couillard is a member of the athlete referral programs with USA Swimming and Gymnastics. Dr. Couillard is a chiropractor and sports medicine consultant for the Hamline University’s Athletic Department. Additionally, Dr. Couillard works with local athletes at gymnastics and swimming venues providing care for their injuries to help young men and women achieve optimal performance in competition. In 2015, Dr. Couillard was part of the medical staff for the World Sport Games held in Lignano, Italy.

Dr. Couillard made the Minnesota Monthly Magazine list of "Top Chiropractors in Minnesota" in 2014, 2015 and 2016. In 2016, Dr. Couillard was recognized as one of the "10 Best" Chiropractors in Minnesota by the American Institute of Chiropractors for patient satisfaction.

Besides his full time clinical duties, Dr. Couillard serves in the legislative chair position and is the 1st Vice President for the Minnesota Chiropractic Association and is a member of the Minnesota State High School Sports Medicine Advisory Committee.  Dr. Couillard is also a Master Instructor for the National Academy of Sport Medicine (NASM).

Dr. Couillard is married to Angela and has two wonderful daughters Sydney and Emme. The family resides in Lakeville, Minnesota. In addition to being the St. Paul Saints team chiropractor, his family are charter season ticket holders.

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Steven Meisterling, MD is a board certified orthopedic surgeon who holds a subspecialty certification in sports medicine. He specializes in arthroscopy (of the knee, shoulder, and elbow), joint replacement (of the knee, hip, and shoulder), and elbow reconstruction.

Dr. Meisterling completed an orthopedic sports medicine fellowship at American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama with Dr. James Andrews. He received his medical degree from Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska, and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan. 

Dr. Meisterling is an orthopedist with special interests and advanced training in sports medicine. He has presented oral and poster presentations at national orthopedic meetings, is periodically published in orthopedic medical journals, and is the team physician for the St. Paul Saints and East Ridge High School. 

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Andrea Saterbak, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in knee and shoulder conditions. In particular, she is experienced in arthroscopic approaches to ligament repair/reconstruction, cartilage preservation, and joint replacement/arthroplasty.

Her focus on sports medicine sparks her drive to provide all of her patients with the best care possible for them. Her continued affiliation with the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado, and her membership in the national sports medicine society, AOSSM, strengthens her continued education in sports medicine.