An Interview with Rainer Krankl, President of one of the more successful European baseball clubs

Rainer Krankl has been with the Attnang Athletics since 1993 and took over the role as president in 2004. Immediately after Rainer took over as president the organization began to grow rapidly. The Athletics went from a mediocre organization with a backyard park with a couple of beer bench seats to one of Europe’s more successful baseball organizations.

Since his presidency, the Athletics have:

  • Grown their membership to over 250.
  • Built a brand new stadium and a youth park.
    Photo by Joe Yun
    A’s Stadium
  • Grown their annual international Finkstonball baseball tournament to attract teams from all over Europe and now the U.S.
  • Consistently attracted crowds of up to 2000 each night to their annual 3 day fund raising concert called Pfingstspektakel.
  • Dramatically improved their fan attendance, reaching levels of up to 600 during the Finkstonball tournament.
  • Won the Austrian Baseball league championship in 2008 and 2010.

In this interview I will discuss with Rainer:

  • How importing has helped the Attnang Athletics and the rest of European baseball grow.
  • The selection and evaluation process involved with importing professional baseball players/coaches.
    Pfingstspektakel 2010
    Pfingstspektakel 2010
  • The typical contractual duties of the import players/coaches.
  • What qualities clubs are looking for in an import.
  • How clubs and imports can best avoid contractual problems and disagreements.
  • The typical contract and benefits offered to imports of the average European baseball club (excluding Italy, Holland).
  • How imports can best position themselves for a longer term career in Europe.
  • How smaller baseball clubs can expand into a larger, more successful organization.