If you can find your way to Attnang-Puchheim, Austria from June 7th-10th 2019, mark that weekend off in your calendar as “busy” and prepare yourself for the most epic weekend of baseball, softball and party.

Finkstonball is the longest standing invitational baseball tournament in Europe and is held annually at a small town of 8,000 in Austria named Attnang-Puchheim. From June 7-10, 2019, the host Attnang Athletics will celebrate the tournament’s 22nd anniversary, which has become recognized in international baseball circles as a party tournament and networking opportunity for import players playing around Europe. 

Over 2700 players from more than 110 teams from 24 different nations have participated in the past 21 years, mostly coming from across Europe, but also there will be the occasional tournament team of import players or a summer college travel team. 

In 1997, the Austrian club founded the tournament in an effort to raise money for a new stadium. Over the years the tournament grew in popularity and has drawn teams from 23 different nations over the years and in 2016 expanded to include fastpitch softball, making the evenings more interesting as you can imagine.

Known for late nights and early mornings, the tournament is unique in the fact that it mixes party with baseball and softball, allowing players from around Europe and sometimes overseas, to take a break from their regular seasons (and their lives) to play the game with no pressure while meeting people from around the globe who also live and die for the sport. This is not to say the games are not serious or competitive,  as demonstrated by the entry of a number of European national teams over the years.

Players, family, friends, girlfriends and wives all volunteer their time to pull off this big event every year, most left with no voice at work on Tuesday. Local Austrian band Wham Bam Body Slam headlines Saturday every year, setting the mood for the tournament with their self described “energetic folk-music with hints of Viennese waltz, old style Austrian folk, classic country and American folk influences. The singer’s rough voice brings out the punk roots of the band members.

Finkstonball was originally called “Pfingstspektakel”, translating to “Penecost Spectacle”. The named was changed to Finkstonball after I (BBJO founder David Burns), decided to create his own name for the tournament in 1999 when he was unable to pronounce it correctly. The name stuck and the A’s ran with it since it was a much more marketable name internationally.

Participants at Finkstonball have the option to sleep for free at a local school gym, using exercise mats as a bed, tent behind the ballpark or sleep in the camper vans in the big parking lot. In the morning, breakfast is available at the field and the coffee shack located directly behind home plate is a popular hangout for many of the players who had a few too many the night before. Oh, and don’t forget to grab a Philly Cheese Steak or Hot Dog at the bus shack, the best day-after food money can buy.

The opening ceremony and sideshow entertainment is another aspect which makes Finkstonball Finkstonball. Over the years we have seen BMX stunts, choreographed dance teams mixed in with players (see video), and in 2018, a parcour team. For the smaller fans, Wombl is always nearby handing out high fives, the inflatable batting cage is running most of the day, and the bouncy castle never stops bouncing.

With all that being said, if you are in Europe, whether you are a baseball or softball fan or not, you need to check out Finkstonball. Here are the highlights from 2018:


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