Björn Johannessen

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Björn Johannesen

  • Bats Left, Throws Right

Biographical Information[edit]

Björn Johannesen has been a regular on the Swedish national team. He went to college in the United States and also spent time in Australia to work on his baseball game. His brother Peter Johannesen has also been on Sweden's national squad.

Johannesen was 1 for 6 as a youngster in the 1995 European Championship. He went 4 for 15 in the 1999 European Championship. He hit .241/.333/.448 with 2 homers and 9 RBI in 7 games in the 2001 European Championship. He tied for second in the event in both home runs and RBI yet failed to make the All-Star team as Russia's Andrey Selivanov was chosen as the catcher. In the 2003 European Championship, Björn was 5 for 27 with 2 walks and a double as Sweden's catcher. He hit just .121 in the 2003 Elitserien season. In 2004, he batted .340/.518/.463 with 32 RBI in the Elitserien, finishing 4th in RBI and OBP while playing for the Leksand Lumberjacks. In 2005, he hit .315/.440/.465 for Leksand. He hit .240/.345/.360 in the 2005 European Championship and led Sweden with 7 RBI, one ahead of Rickard Reimer and Magnus Jönsson.

During the 2005 Baseball World Cup, Johannesen hit a meek .105/.190/.158 but threw out 4 of 5 runners trying to steal against him. In the 2006 Elitserien, Björn batted .326/.411/.465 and was 5th in the league with 30 RBI. During 2007, he hit .386/.470/.594, finishing 5th in the Elitserien in average, 4th in slugging and tied for third with 3 home runs. In the 2007 European Championship, Johannesen batted .174/.208/.261 for Sweden.

In the Elitserien in 2008, the veteran hit .314/.414/.472 with 40 RBI in 127 AB. He was third in the circuit in RBI, second among native players. Stockholm BSK won its first title. In 2009, he batted .302/.447/.383 as Stockholm defending the pennant. During the 2009 Baseball World Cup, he was 2 for 9 with a walk, homer and 3 errors in 3 games as Sweden's top catcher. He delivered a crucial 3-run shot off Ludwin Obispo as Sweden nearly upset the Netherlands Antilles, 10-8. Against South Korea, he had a 2-run error in a 5-1 loss.

In 2010, he produced at a .377/.421/.508 rate with 13 doubles and 31 RBI for Stockholm. He was 4th in the Elitserien in average, led in doubles and tied for 3rd in RBI (second to Magnus Pilegård among native Swedes). In the 2010 European Championship, he was one of Sweden's big stars, going 11 for 24 with 3 walks. He also homered, going yard off Riccardo De Santis in a 3-2 upset of Italy, Italy's lone loss of the tournament.

Stockholm won a third title in 2011 and Johannessen (the team's second-oldest player) batted .364/.491/.531. He was 4th in the league in OBP (leading native players), was 7th in average and slugging and was 4th with 30 RBI. For 2012, he and his brother Peter signed with Germany's Mainz Athletics, playing with them until the Sweden season opened (Germany began earlier due to Sweden's colder climate). Hitting 8th on Opening Day, he went 0 for 2.