(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen)
Danny Rombley new Head Coach of HCAW
BUSSUM (Neth.) -
Danny Rombley will make his debut as big league Head Coach next year.
The former Dutch big leaguer, former Netherlands Team-player and former professional has been named the new Head Coach of HCAW, the club announced on Tuesday-evening (October 12).
Rombley, who turns 42 next month, succeeds Roy Berrevoets, who led the Bussum-team this season for the third time.
After last season, Berrevoets initially was named the Assistant Coach of new Head Coach Austis Gibbs.
A few months earlier, he had succeeded Dè Flanegin, who had led HCAW in 2019 and 2020.
However, a week before the start of the season, the club and Gibbs separated and Berrevoets took over the duty of Head Coach.
With that, the former first baseman and a club-icon, led the baseball-team of HCAW for a third period.
Berrevoets earlier was the Head Coach of HCAW in 2007-2008.
During the 2011 season, Berrevoets was added to the coaching-staff as Bench Coach.
He then led the team again in 2016 for one season.
...new Head Coach of HCAW...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
This season, Berrevoets was assisted by Roeland Henrique (3B Coach) and Shane Gnade (Pitching Coach).
Who will be part of the coaching-staff of Danny Rombley will be announced at a later time.
HCAW had a successful season, as the team not only reached the Play-Offs, but also almost eliminated reigning champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates.
After losing the first game of the best-of-five series, HCAW recorded two convincing victories.
The Play-Off was then interrupted for two weeks for the European Championship.
When it resumed, Amsterdam Pirates won Game 4 and 5 to advance to the Holland Series.
By putting on the HCAW-uniform next year, Rombley will return to the club with whom he made his debut as a player in the Dutch big league in 1997.
In that year, at age 17, he played in his first two big league-games for HCAW, which was to be Rombley's first of seven teams in the highest Dutch league.
He also played for Twins Oosterhout, Kinheim, Neptunus, UVV, Hoofddorp Pioniers and Amsterdam Pirates.
The two games Rombley played for HCAW were also his only ones for the team.
After the 1997 season, he transfered to Twins Oosterhout with whom he then played in the big league in 1998.
Rombley was an outfielder in the majority of his career, but in he also was a third baseman in his early years.
He signed a contract with Major League-organization Montreal Expos in 1998, then made his professional debut in 1999 in the Rookie League-team of the Canadian club.
In his first professional season, Rombley played in 45 games and batted .246.
The outfielder promoted to Single-A the following season.
From 2000 on, he played at different Single-A levels (Short Season, Single-A and Advanced) through 2003.
He then made another promotion and started the 2004 season in the Double-A Team of Montreal, playing in 41 games.
However, in May of that season, he returned to Single-A for the remainder of the 2004 season.
In most of his six professional seasons, Rombley was a teammate of another Dutch player, infielder Vince Rooi.
Rombley returned to the Netherlands a few weeks before the start of the 2005 season and then went on to play for Kinheim.
The outfielder played in five seasons (2005-2009) for the Haarlem-team.
Hereafter, he played in one season for Neptunus (2010), which was followed by two seasons with UVV (2011-2012) and three with Hoofddorp Pioniers (2013-2015).
In 2016 and 2017, Rombley was one of the outfielders of Amsterdam Pirates with whom he won the European Champions Cup in 2016.
...Danny Rombley was the MVP in 2017...|
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In 2017, Rombley was named the Most Valuable Player of the regular season.
He was earlier nominated for this Award in 2007 and 2009 when he played for Kinheim, but then didn't win.
In 2007, he did win the Award for Best Hitter.
In 2017, Rombley batted .390 (46-for-118) with 10 doubles and five homeruns, scoring 31 runs and batting 40, while striking out only nine times.
A few months later, in February 2018, Rombley announced his retirement.
At that moment, after a 20-year career at the top-level, he wanted to pursue his social career, which made it impossible to combine it with playing at the highest level.
In 15 seasons in the Dutch big league, Rombley played in 564 regular season-games.
In 1998, Rombley made his debut in the Netherlands National Baseball Team during the Haarlem Baseball Week in Haarlem (Netherlands).
In this international event, Rombley was inserted four times as pinch-hitter.
Shortly after the Baseball Week, Rombley also was on the roster of the Orange Team for the World Championship in Italy.
In that event, he didn't play much.
He again got a pinch-hit appearance and played as third baseman in one game.
As he turned professional the following year, Rombley was unable to play for the National Team in 1999 and 2000.
He returned to the Orange-squad in 2001, participating in the World Championship in Taiwan.
Another comeback followed in 2003 when he got permission from the Expos-organization to play for the Netherlands Team during the European Championship and the following Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
After coming back to the Netherlands early 2005, Rombley became a regular player of the Netherlands Team through 2015.
Since making his debut in the Netherlands Team in 1998, Danny Rombley went on to play in 210 official international games for the Orange Team.
In 2011, he was a member of the successful team that captured the title at the World Championship in Panama.
For that accomplishment, he received a Royal Decoration.
In 2006 and 2009, Rombley participated with the Netherlands Team in the first two editions of the World Baseball Classic.
In his international career, 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, participated in five World Championships, two Intercontinental Cups, six European Championships, two European Baseball Series, six Haarlem Baseball Weeks and five World Port Tournaments.
...Danny Rombley in action for the Netherlands Team...|
...during the 2015 World Port Tourmament...
...in Rotterdam (Netherlands)...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In recent years, also when he was an active player, Rombley already has been conducting clinics for different age-groups.
During some of these clinics, he was assisted by his father Tony Rombley, who himself also played many seasons in the Dutch big league has been a coach.
Although Rombley will make his debut at the highest level in 2022, he is not unfamiliar to coaching.
After he had retired as a player, Rombley coached a youth-team (cadets, age 15-16) of Amsterdam Pirates for two seasons.
Besides that, he is the Hitting Coordinator of Baseball Academy Scimitars for many years now.
Scimitars is based in the center of the country and with that, it has close links with HCAW.
This year, Rombley was the Hitting Coach of the Netherlands Under-18 Team, which captured the European title in July.
In the past years, Rombley also has been active in softball.
He did play some slowpitch, but also in fastpitch softball.
In 2019, Rombley was a member of the Netherlands Men Softball Team, which then participated in the World Championship in the Czech Republic.
Also in 2019, Rombley plays for the softball-team of Quick Amersfoort, which then won the National Championship-title.