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Updated: February 28, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen)

Amsterdam Pirates-outfielder Danny Rombley announces retirement

AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Veteran outfielder Danny Rombley will not wear the shirt of L&D Amsterdam Pirates this season. On Wednesday-morning (February 28), the club officially announced that the 38-year old powerhitter will retire, effective immediately. Rombley informed Head Coach Charles Urbanus last Friday-afternoon. The experienced former National Team-player, who played for Amsterdam in 2016 and 2017, then informed his teammates on Friday-evening of his decision. The reason for Rombley's unexpected departure is that, after having played for 20 years at the top-level, he will pursue his social career, which makes it impossible to combine it with playing baseball. Last year, Danny Rombley was the Most Valuable Player of the Dutch big league and in 2016, he won the European Champions Cup with Amsterdam.

...Danny Rombley was Amsterdam's leading hitter in 2017...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In a press release, Head Coach Charles Urbanus states: ,,As a team, we understand that Danny had to make this decision. But, we will surely miss him. Danny is a real 'gamer', always ready to play and to perform. That he retires in his final season as the MVP is a great compliment for his attuitude and passion for baseball''.

The Board of Amsterdam Pirates wishes Rombley lots of success with his social career. During a yet to be determined home game, the club will officially say goodbye to the veteran player.

The departure of Rombley of course is a blow for Urbanus and the Amsterdam-squad. In November, it was announced that outfielder Gilmer Lampe will play for UnipolSai Fortitudo Bologna this season in Italy. However, Lampe will remain on the Amsterdam-roster and is eligible to play for the team after completion of the Italian season. A few weeks ago, utility player Niels van Weert joined the Amsterdam-team and he will be a welcome addition. Last year, he played for Quick Amersfoort, but also played in the big league for Almere '90 and Kinheim.

Last year, Rombley and Lampe were the two leading hitters of Pirates. The two combined on 89 basehits, including ten homeruns, scored 65 runs and batted in 69.

Rombley led the team with a .390 batting average (46-for-118) and 40 runs batted. His 31 runs scored was the fourth-highest in the team behind Remco Draijer (37), Lampe (34) and Zerzinho Croes (32). The latter also will not be available the entire season, as he got a job-opportunity on Curaçao.

After completion of last season, Danny Rombley was named Most Valuable Player for the first time in his career. He was nominated for the MVP Award in 2007 and 2009 when he played for Kinheim. Rombley batted .390 last season with 10 doubles and five homeruns. The rightfielder scored 31 runs and batted in 40. Throughout the season, Rombley struckout only nine times.

Rombley not only was the leading hitter of the Amsterdam-squad, he also led the team in runs batted in and homeruns. His 46 basehits were third-best, following Zerzinho Croes (48) and Remco Draijer (47). Rombley shared the homerun-lead with Gilmer Lampe. Defensively, Rombley made only two errors in 57 chances, resulting in a .965 fielding average.

His .390 batting average was the second-best in the league, as only Benjamin Dille (Curaçao Neptunus) hit better with .448. His slugging average of .602 also was second-best behind teammate Gilmer Lampe (.609). Danny Rombley led the league with his 40 runs batted in, followed by Gianison Boekhoudt (Curaçao Neptunus), who had 36 RBI's. By leading Amsterdam in batting average, runs batted in and homeruns, Rombley realized a Team Triple Crown.

...KNBSB Executive Director Bart Volkerijk congratulates...
...Danny Rombley with his MVP Award during the...
...KNBSB Stars Awards in October last year...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Danny Rombley made his debut in the Dutch big league at age 17 when he played for HCAW in 1997. A year later, he played for Twins, but then started a professional career in the USA. Rombley played professionally from 1999 through 2004 in the organization of the Montreal Expos, which now is Washington Nationals. He mostly played at the Single-A level, but reached Double-A in 2004. In most of his six professional seasons, Rombley was a teammate of another Dutch player, Vince Rooi, who currently plays for HCAW.

Rombley returned to the Netherlands and in the highest division in 2005 when he played for Kinheim for whom he played five seasons. Hereafter, the outfielder played for Neptunus (2010), UVV (2011-2012) and Hoofddorp Pioniers (2013-2015), before joining Amsterdam Pirates after the 2015 season.

Since making his debut in the Netherlands National Team in 1998, Danny Rombley went on to play in 210 official international games for the National Squad. In 2011, he was a member of the successful team that captured the title at the World Championship in Panama. For this accomplishment, he received a Royal Decoration. Rombley stopped playing for the National Team after the 2015 season. In 2006 and 2009, he participated with the National Team in the first two editions of the World Baseball Classic. With the Orange squad, he won four European titles and in 2008, he participated in the Olympic Games in Beijing (China). Besides the Classic and the Olympics, the outfielder, who began his career as third baseman, participated in five World Championships, two Intercontinental Cups, six European Championships, two European Baseball Series, six Haarlem Baseball Weeks and five World Port Tournaments.

Amsterdam Pirates is not the only team that has to cope with the departure of some important players. A few weeks after the transfer-period ended on November 1 last year, reigning Dutch champion Curaçao Neptunus lost two pitchers, Kevin Kelly and Jan Tomek, while catcher/outfielder Daniel Fernandes has returned to Aruba. Kelly announced that he also will play in Italy this season. Shortly thereafter, Tomek informed the team that he returned home to the Czech Republic due to study/work-activities. However, last month, it was reported that Tomek will play this season in Germany for Munich-Haar Disciples. Last season, Kelly, normally a reliever, became one of the starters to fill in for Orlando Yntema, who was sidelined with an illness. Tomek was initially scheduled to pitch for Tridents in 2017, the second team of Neptunus, but he was added to the main squad as a reliever.

On Sunday, March 4, both Amsterdam Pirates and Neptunus had their exhibition game scheduled against their second teams. However, due to the cold weather conditions, as well as the conditions of the playing fields, both games already have been scratched. Amsterdam will open the regular season on Thursday, April 26 at DSS in Haarlem. Neptunus opens the season at home in Rotterdam against Hoofddorp Pioniers.

(February 28)

Related Article:
Amsterdam-OF Gilmer Lampe to play in Italy next season. (November 26)

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