BTF’s 10 Questions for Rainer Husty, President of the Austrian Baseball Federation
Photo Credits – BTF and Simon Breitwieser
In 2011, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund awarded a $104,000 USD grant to the Austrian Baseball Federation (ABF) for the construction of a youth baseball field in Attnang-Puccheim, Austria.
The field now serves the local school and league programs offered by the Athletics Baseball Club, a member of the ABF.
Born: Vienna Austria 28.04.1959
Personal: Married to Erika, 2 Children: Benjamin 24 and Caroline 21
Education: High school for Chemical Industrie
Worked for 12 years as a food inspector for the city government of Vienna. After this for 15 Years as a district manager of the 7th district in Vienna. From 2006 til 2011 secretary of Sport for the Vienna Sportrooforganisation ASKOE. Currently, Chief Executive President of the Austrian Basball Federation.
1997 started as a volunteer in the Baseballclub Vienna Wanderers
2001 Elected as President of the Vienna Baseball Federation
2007 elected as president of the Austrian Baseball Federation
2010 elected as member at large on the board of CEB (European Baseball Federation)
BTF: How and when did you become interested in and get involved with baseball?
Rainer: I got interested when I was 14 years old, first time visiting the United states. But I really got involved when my son started playing in 1997. I started volunteering for Baseballclub Vienna Wanderers in the year 2001.
BTF: Which MLB stadiums have you watched a game? Do you have a favorite? Which would you love to visit?
Rainer: (I have watched games in) Cleveland, Chicago (Wrigley & US Cellular), Cincinnati and St.Louis. Favorite Stadium: Cleveland. I would like to visit Fenway Park (Boston).
BTF: What was the biggest challenge during the construction project in Attnang-Puchheim?
Rainer: The biggest challenge was to finish the whole project in this short time frame, especially fighting against the different weather conditions.
BTF: How has the completion of the project affected your program, locally and nationally?
Rainer: Locally it is a big infrastructural improvement for the youth program in this area. Combined with the Austrian Baseball Academy (Central), we expect an increase of youth players in this region. I will help raise the level of play for all participating players.
BTF: Other than the Athletics Baseball Sports Complex in Attnang-Puchheim, what other baseball facilities are available in Austria?
Rainer: There are baseball fields in the following cities, Donrbirn, Hard, Feldkirch (Voralrberg), Kustein, Schwaz (Tirol), Klagenfurt(Carinthia), Graz(Styria), Rohrbach(Burgenland), Grammastetten, Linz, Wels, (UpperAustria), Schrems, Stockerau,Wr.Neustadt, Schwechat, Traiskirchen, Tulln, St.Pölten,(Lower Austria), Spenadlwiese Vienna and Freudenau Vienna. All these fields are in different configurations. There are fields with flood lights (Spenadlwiese, Wr.Neustadt,) and extra youth fields (Spenadlwiese, Wr.Neustadt). Some are very simple implemented in other sport complexes.
BTF: What agencies, organizations or companies are your biggest supporters?
Rainer: The national sport authority, Sport ministery of Austria.
BTF: What is the biggest challenge for the Austrian Baseball Federation?
Rainer: Improvement of the infrastructure all over the country, adapt the different standards. It demands big financial commitment.
BTF: What’s next for your organization?
Rainer: Organize and conduct televised games for the 1st Baseball league, National team games, and youth tournaments. This should help us generate interest for sponsors, to raise more money for clubs and the federation.
BTF: What message do you have for other baseball organizations in regions where baseball is not well-known?
Rainer: Consequent engagement in a youth program is the best way to make baseball known and generate interest and popularity.
BTF: What’s your prediction for next year’s World Baseball Classic?
Rainer: I hope a European country wins. It will help Europe’s baseball popularity.