Questions and answers with Australian Alex Johnson (pictured above) who is a big hitting baseball player who attended Crayson County College, Texas USA, and he was an inaugural Sydney Blue Sox player. He was the leading home run hitter for the Blue Sox during the 2010-11 season and was among the ABL's top five long ball hitters for that year. Johnson splits his time between playing catcher, first base and designated hitter
1. (NH) What do you consider to be your top five baseball career highlights?
(AJ) Top five highlights:
1. Probably playing college baseball in America (Grayson County College) and winning a Junior College World Series back in 2008
2. Coming back from college and playing for the NSW Patriots in the Claxton Shield the year before it became the ABL
3. My first and second season in the ABL
4. Playing an inter-squad game at college and hit against a guy who became a big leaguer Jordan Walden... That was my first year 2007 so I had to have an at-bat against a guy (Walden) throwing 101-103 mph
5. Attending the New South Wales Institute of Sport Baseball Academy and the MLB Academy on the Gold Coast where I received some coaching from former big leaguer Chili Davis
2. (NH) Who were some of your most formidable opponents?
(AJ) Formidable opponents:
- Nearly every team I've played against in the ABL are full of stars... Most of the teams I've played in the ABL are real good... Most teams have their standout players
- I've hit against Travis Blackley and that was pretty good when I played against the Aces
3. (NH) What was it like to be part of the first year of the new ABL?
(AJ) It was really exciting actually and I remember getting an email from Glenn Williams asking me to come down to the trials... I was over the moon really, didn't know what to do, went and told Mum and Dad and they were excited for me. The first thing I remember is sitting in the change rooms and having a meeting and it was like "wow am I really here?"... Playing in this stuff that I used to go to watch when I was younger... I had to pinch myself and say "well I'm ready to go"
4. (NH) What are some initiatives you feel could further cultivate baseball interest in Australia?
(AJ) Cultivating baseball interest:
- Definitely the media should play a big part in it and I think it will help the ABL and get people down there and help it grow. The media can make more people aware who don't know anything about baseball to become more aware it's out there and it is a growing sport in Australia
- Junior development is always a big key in helping the game grow... I think it's growing steadily anyway
- The NSW High Performance Program and the MLB Academy on the Gold Coast both help further develop talent
For all my baseball themed books please refer to these links:
Aussies World Baseball Classic Experiences from 2006 to 2017 and also available from United States Amazon
Aussie Baseball Musings and also available from United States Amazon
Aussies in the Majors and also available from United States Amazon
Boomerang Baseball and also available from United States Amazon
The American Dream: From Perth to Sacramento and also available from United States Amazon