The Attnang-Puchheim Athletics qualified for the playoffs by finishing second in the standings in 2012, a game out of first at 18-10. Then they got ousted in the semifinals of the Austrian Baseball League playoffs by the eventual runner-up, the Wiener Neustadt Diving Ducks. When they suit up for the 2013 campaign they will have a new leader at the helm.
American John Dobkowski will take over the reins and lead the Athletics this season, and he is no stranger to the European baseball scene. Over the past few years he has played in the Netherlands (2009/Den Hague Storks) and followed that up with a few years in Germany pitching for the Gauting Indians. He also competed with the Polish Baseball National Team in the 2011 Qualifier of the European Championship. There he earned the best pitcher award for his complete game victory over Austria helping Poland to finish third.
Dobkowski got his playing days started at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a Division III team. There he pitched earning 30 victories over his career and helping them to the CUNY Championship in 2007. In his time at John Jay College, he was named a CUNY All-Star three times.
He is also no stranger to the role of coach. For the past five seasons he has been the pitching coach for John Jay College and is one of the directors of The International Game where he has coached some of the U.S.A.’s top collegiate players.
The International Game is an elite travel team made up of collegiate players that travels annually to Europe to play in some of the top tournaments including the Athletics own Finkstonball Tournament.
During his time with the Athletics he will be charged with bringing the title back to Attnang-Puchheim where they haven’t seen the championship trophy since 2010.
Dobkowski will not only serve as head coach of the senior team, but he will also be the coordinator of the youth teams. He will also bring his experience to the mound for the Athletics as a pitcher.
The Athletics will kick off its season on May 4 on the road against the Dornbirn Indians.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.