by Stockholm Baseball, www.stockholmbaseboll.com
We’ve had the chance to sit down with Björn about his upcoming adventure in Germany where he will start the season with Mainz Athletics. He joins his brother Peter Johannessen who is playing his second season for Mainz.
“Peter and I are very close, and to play for the same team in a league abroad is something we never even dreamed of. It is going to be a lot of fun to play with my brother again, I enjoy every minute of watching him play with a great passion for baseball and his “balls to walls” attitude” says Björn about the opportunity of playing with his younger brother abroad.
Björn feels really excited about the upcoming season, not only for the adventure with Mainz but also for the season with Stockholm Baseball back in Sweden, and the upcoming European championships with the Swedish national team that takes place in Holland in September. But when it comes to the time in Mainz, Björn sees it as a great opportunity to find out how he can match up in one of the best leagues in Europe, and as an incredible opportunity to become as good of a player as he can be, something that he has always strived for throughout his career.
Having very high demands on himself before leaving, Björn is now looking forward to helping Mainz on their way towards the playoffs and the chance to win the Bundesliga title in august. He hopes his experience can contribute to get the absolute best out of the young pitching staff they have in Mainz and that he can help both defensively and offensively.
He knows that Mainz have a good team with a mix of young and older players that has a great chemistry. “I know that we are going to be part of the top teams in the southern division and for my part I have high demands on myself and my baseball so I’m looking forward to the opportunity to step onto the field and play”.
Already last year Björn was offered a chance to go play with Mainz before the playoffs because their catcher was going to the United States to play baseball at a junior college, but since he was in the middle of the season with Stockholm Baseball and the playoffs was beginning the timing was wrong.
Even though it is Björn going to play the decision wasn’t all his, it was very important for him that his spouse Linda took part in his decision. He has long wished to go play in a good league abroad, but he feels that he hasn’t had the right connections or the right opportunity, so when it all fell in place this year he took the chance.
Apart from playing Björn will try to get as much knowledge, connections, and friends as he can get since Germany has come very far in developing their baseball both on the field and organization- wise. He looks on this opportunity as an adventure in his long journey as a player and later on as a coach.
Last but not least Björn would like to thank his family, Linda and his daughter Nike, as well as his parents who have supported and helped him throughout his career. He also hopes for another successful year for Stockholm Baseboll in 2012 with a lot of development both on and off the field.