Danny Reginald Rombley
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 175 lb.
Rombley was 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts in the 1998 Haarlem Baseball Week and was 0 for 2 in the 1998 Baseball World Cup. He signed that year with the Montréal Expos. In 1999, Rombley hit .246/.308/.291 for the GCL Expos; one of his teammates was another Dutch national team player, Vince Rooi. Rombley split 2000 between the Vermont Expos (.234/.302/.271 in 49 games) and Cape Fear Crocs (.258/.283/.315 in 24 games).
Rombley's performance fell in 2001 when the 21-year-old hit .210/.278/.240 for Vermont and was caught in 12 of 31 steal attempts; with Cape Fear, he batted .191/.236/.265 in 35 games, but was successful in 9 of 10 attempts to steal. He struck out 105 times that year. In the 2001 Baseball World Cup, he hit .273/.429/.273 as the regular center fielder for the Netherlands.
Rombley took a major step forwards in 2002. He produced at a .272/.337/.373 batting line for the Clinton Lumber Kings and .293/.341/.372 in 54 games for the Brevard County Manatees. His 7 triples were one behind Terrmel Sledge for the lead among Expos farmhands while his 28 steals (in 42 tries) led the team's minor leaguers. He also had 15 outfield assists.
In 2003, Danny hit .239/.319/.309 in 107 games in a disappointing return to Brevard County. He stole 22 bases, but was caught 15 times. His fielding remained a bright spot - a .992 fielding percentage and 10 assists. Rombley returned to the Dutch national team but only hit .160 in the 2003 European Championship, a poor showing for a Dutch player, let alone one with several yeas of A ball experience. He was not on the Dutch team in the 2003 Baseball World Cup.
Rombley and Rooi were teammates again in 2004 but both struggled. Danny only hit .234/.283/.319 in 61 games for Brevard County and .174/.246/.198 in 40 games for the Harrisburg Senators. He did steal 8 bases in 9 tries in his only AA stint and had five outfield assists.
He was released in 2005 with a .238/.295/.297 line in the minors then returned to his native Netherlands and hit .278/.367/.399 with 35 runs in 42 games and 7 outfield assists. He led Hoofdklasse center fielders in assists and fielding percentage (1.000). He also was second in the league in runs behind Dirk van 't Klooster, tied for second in steals (13), tied with five others for the most triples (3) and tied for sixth with 44 hits.
In the 2005 Baseball World Cup and 2005 European Championship, though, the outfielder really shined. Moved to left field with Eugene Kingsale in center in the former event, Danny hit .500/.609/.778 with 9 runs in 7 games. Had he qualified (he only had 18 AB), he would have tied Michel Enriquez for the tournament lead in batting average. He was chosen as one of the top three outfielders in the event, joining players such as Joey Votto and Yulieski Gourriel on the Cup All-Star team. Rombley helped the Netherlands finish 4th, their highest ever to that point.
In the 2005 European Championship, Rombley hit .500/.556/.708 to tie Ian Young for the best average. He was 5th in slugging and 4th in OBP; no one ranked ahead of him on both lists. He had 8 runs and 7 RBI in 9 games for the champs. He was named to the tournament All-Star team as the top left fielder.
Rombley remained with the Dutch squad for the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He pinch-hit for van 't Klooster against J.C. Romero in a loss to Puerto Rico and reached on an error. Against the Panamanian national team, he got the start in left field as Andruw Jones sat out. He went 1 for 3 with a walk and two runs in a 10-0 rout.
At age 26, Rombley hit .295/.393/.358 with 36 runs in 42 games for Kinheim in 2006. He tied Raily Legito for third in the league in runs, behind Johnny Balentina and Mike Duursma. He tied René Cremer for 8th in RBI (27), tied 7 others for 8th in stolen bases (8) and tied Cremer for 7th in hits. He went 5 for 14 in the playoffs. In the 2006 Holland Series, Rombley hit .417/.417/.500 with 5 RBI in 5 games as Kinheim won the title. His 10 hits in the Series led the championship squad.
Rombley batted .310/.400/.379 in the 2006 Intercontinental Cup as the Netherlands finished second to Cuba.
Rombley was better still in 2007 Hoofdklasse, hitting .392/.450/.483 to beat out Roel Koolen for the batting title on the last day of the season. He scored 44 times in 40 games to tie van 't Klooster for the lead, one ahead of his former and current teammate Rooi. He tied for fifth in steals (11), tied Percy Isenia for second in doubles (14, trailing Sidney de Jong), was second in total bases (85, trailing Fausto Álvarez), led in hits (69), was 10th in slugging percentage and sixth in OBP. He was one of the three finalists for the MVP award along with Martijn Meeuwis and Álvarez, who won.
Rombley was MVP of the 2007 European Cup and hit .500/.500/.909 to help Kinheim to their first European Cup title. He had 5 runs, 11 hits and 9 RBI in five games with three doubles and two home runs. In the 2007 Holland Series, Danny was 6 for 13 with two walks as Kinheim won again and Rombley had the winning sacrifice fly in the 11th inning of game two against Dave Draijer.
Rombley batted .417/.481/.542 in the 2007 European Championship to help the Netherlands win and clinch a spot in the 2008 Olympics. He was 1 for 19 only in the 2007 World Port Tournament. Danny was not on the roster for the 2007 Baseball World Cup as Bryan Engelhardt replaced him.
Rombley hit .381/.440/.619 in the 2008 European Cup to help Kinheim to its second Cup title in a row. In the 2008 Olympics, he batted .188/.235/.250 while bouncing between all three outfield spots. He scored a third-inning run against Cuba to put the Netherlands ahead 2-1 but Cuba rallied to win the game later.
Danny batted .333/.417/.438 with 35 runs in 36 games for Kinheim in 2008 and was 8-for-9 in steal attempts. He finished 5th in the league in runs, 9th in hits (48) and tied Bas de Jong for 5th in average. He was 7 for 16 with 3 walks and 3 RBI in the playoffs then went 3-for-9 with three walks in the 2008 Holland Series, but Kinheim lost to the Amsterdam Pirates.
Rombley was a backup outfielder for the Netherlands in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He went 0 for 4 with a walk (from Matt Lindstrom) and a run. He also threw out Yadier Molina at home on one play.
In the 2009 European Cup's Matino phase, Rombley hit .231/.375/.385 with 4 runs in 3 games. He was 2 for 9 with a 3-run homer (off Kenny Berkenbosch) in the Cup's Final Four. He tied Giuseppe Mazzanti for the phase's lead in home runs. He was 0 for 15 with a walk in the 2009 World Port Tournament, sharing center field duties with Martijn Meeuwis.
In the 2009 Hoofdklasse, Rombley hit an impressive .396/.483/.583 for Kinheim; he stole 7 bases in 9 tries and scored 33 runs in 38 games. He had 7 assists and no errors in the outfield. He lost the batting race by .006 to Kenny Berkenbosch, was third in slugging (behind Berkenbosch and Bryan Engelhardt) was third in OBP (behind Glenn Romney and Eugène Kingsale), was second in OPS (behind Berkenbosch), was third in homers (5), was second in runs (behind Kingsale), tied Aeden McQueary-Ennis for third in doubles (12), led in total bases (84) and was third in hits (57). He struggled in the playoffs, going 0 for 10 with two walks as Kinheim was eliminated. He hit .190/.270/.239 in the 2009 Baseball World Cup, the lightest-hitting Dutch starter. He handled 21 error-free chances in center.
Rombley hit .211/.286/.211 in the 2010 European Cup and .333/.353/.485 with 7 runs and 7 RBI in eight games in the 2010 Haarlem Baseball Week. He was 8th in the event in slugging, tied for second in runs (two behind Alexei Bell), tied Yunier Mendoza and Shaldimar Daantji for 4th in hits (11), was second in RBI (one behind Donal Duarte), tied for second with three doubles (one behind Duarte), tied for first with one triple and was 3rd with 16 total bases (behind Bell and Duarte). He got the hit that clinched the title for the Netherlands and won the Jacques Reuvers Award as the event's MVP (an award that has also gone to Matt Stairs, Yuli Gurriel and Alex Bregman among others). He produced at a .357/.357/.500 clip in the 2010 European Championship, going 2 for 5 in the Gold Medal game loss to Italy.
In the 2010 Hoofdklasse campaign, he played for Neptunus and batted .309/.393/.430 with 34 RBI in 40 games. He ranked among the leaders in slugging (8th, between Dwayne Kemp and Lennart Koster), runs (32, 5th), hits (46, tied for 9th with Benjamin Dille), RBI (3rd, two behind Engelhardt and one behind Legito), triples (4, 3rd), total bases (64, tied for 8th with Berkenbosch), hit-by-pitch (7, 5th), sacrifice flies (5, tied for second with Daantji) and steals (12, 3rd, behind Engelhardt and Norbert Lokhorst). He excelled in the 2010 Holland Series at .348/.423/.565 with 6 runs in six games. He homered off Rob Cordemans in game 2 and went 4-for-4 in a game 6 win. He led the event in average (.032 ahead of Kingsale), slugging (.115 ahead of Sidney de Jong), runs (two ahead of Rashid Gerard), doubles (2, tied) and homers (1, tied) and was second in OBP (.096 behind Kingsale). He did not win Series MVP, which went to pitching star Dushan Ruzic. He capped a busy year by appearing in the 2010 Intercontinental Cup, playing right field for the Netherlands. He hit .286/.355/.536 with five runs and four RBI in seven games, tying Curt Smith and Kingsale for the team lead in runs. He led the event with three triples and had 9 putouts, one assist and no errors. In the Gold Medal game, though, he was 0 for 4 in a 4-1 loss to Cuba. He came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 9th but struck out against Jonder Martínez.
He hit .400/.444/.400 in the 2011 World Port Tournament. He played for UVV in the 2011 Hoofdklasse, hitting .304/.396/.456. He tied Roelie Henrique Jr. for 8th with 48 hits and tied for 9th with three homers. In the 2011 Baseball World Cup, he split left field with Kemp and right field with Kalian Sams, playing almost every game. He batted .194/.256/.389 and had 20 putouts, two assists and no errors. He homered off Greece's Christoforos Rompinson then put on a show against host Panama. He homered off Gustavo González, made great catches to rob José Macías and Ángel Chávez and gunned down Fernando Seguignol to rob him of a double. He was 0 for 4 in the Gold Medal game against Cuba but the Netherlands won, 2-1, for their only Baseball World Cup title.
Rombley was 3 for 12 with a walk and a double in the 2012 Haarlem Baseball Week. In the 2012 Hoofdklasse, his batting line for UVV read .359/.447/.442. He fielded .986 with six assists to one error. He finished second in the batting race (.011 behind Bas de Jong), 6th in OBP (between Bas Nooij and Quintin de Cuba), tied Austin Weymouth for 4th in hits (56), tied Ramiro Balentina and Giovannie Samboe for 7th in RBI (32) and tied Linoy Croes for 9th in total bases (69). He represented the Netherlands again in the 2012 European Championship, but struggled (.111/.238/.111), losing his job in right field to de Cuba as the tourney progressed and sitting out the Gold Medal game, which they lost to Italy. He did score six runs in six games, driving in one; he had half his runs in a romp over France.
He hit .286/.444/.381 in the 2013 World Port Tournament with five walks in six games. He tied Ming-Jen Kuo for 9th in average, tied Stijn van der Meer for 6th in slugging, was 3rd in OBP (after Gianison Boekhoudt and Guo-Long Luo), tied Boekhoudt and Luo for the most walks and tied for second with two doubles. Signing with the Vaessen Pioniers, he batted .325/.422/.460 with 42 runs in 42 games in the 2013 Hoofdklasse, making the leaderboards in OBP (10th, between Cremer and Kevin Dirksen), runs (3rd, behind Cremer and Daantji), hits (tied for 4th with Dille and van 't Klooster), doubles (11, tied for 7th), home runs (3, tied for 4th), total bases (75, 5th), walks (24, tied for 9th with Urving Kemp), hit-by-pitch (7, tied for 5th with Duursma and Mark-Jan Moorman), sacrifice flies (5, tied for 3rd) and steals (12, tied for 4th with Cremer and Bas de Jong). He was 5 for 14 with 3 walks, a run and a RBI in the 2013 Holland Series, driving in Michael Pluijmers with the Pioniers' first run off Neptunus and scoring their second, but the Pioniers fell to the Dutch power. He tied Legito for third in the event in average, was 5th in slugging (between Sams and Mark Duursma), ranked 3rd in OBP (behind Legito and Dille), tied for third in hits and tied for fifth in walks. Had the Holland Series had an equivalent of the Japan Series Fighting Spirit Award for the top player in the losing cause, Rombley would likely have been a top candidate.
When the Pioniers hosted the 2014 European Cup, Rombley put on a show. He hit .487/.483/.542 with 9 runs and 4 steals (in 4 tries) in six games, scoring 3 times to beat previously unbeaten T&A San Marino, 4-2, and another three against the Solingen Alligators. He had 15 putouts, one assist and no errors. He was 6th in average, 7th in slugging, 6th in OBP, led in runs (two ahead of Jairo Ramos and Tanner Leighton), was second with 10 hits (two behind Ramos), tied Jakub Sládek for second with 13 total bases and tied Domingo Morillo for the most swipes. The veteran hit . 325/.396/.429 in the 2014 Hoofdklasse, stole 16 bases in 20 tries and had 36 runs and 36 RBI in 42 games. He had 67 putouts, 3 assists and no errors. He placed 9th in the league in average (between Mike Duursma and Legito), 6th in runs, tied for second with 50 hits (3 behind van 't Klooster), 5th in RBI (between Berkenbosch and Remco Draijer), tied for 6th with 3 triples, 8th in total bases (66), led with 9 sacrifice flies (3 ahead of Moorman and Bas de Jong) and 3rd in steals (behind Henrique and Dwayne Kemp).
For the Dutch squad in the 2014 European Championship, he was a backup, going 2 for 9 with two walks, a double and two runs for the champs. In the Gold Medal game, he replaced Yurendell de Caster in right field in the 7th inning of a 6-3 win over Italy. He struck out against switch-pitcher Pat Venditte in the 9th. He hit .286/.273/.286 in the 2015 World Port Tournament, with four sacrifice flies when no one else had more than one. He drove in 7 in 7 games to tie Rojean Cleofa, Dashenko Ricardo and Raywendley van Gurp for 4th in the event. His 12th-inning sacrifice fly scored Gilmer Lampe with the winner against Taiwan. He batted .287/.397/.357 in the 2015 Hoofdklasse and was only 6-for-11 in steals. He tied Legito and Croes for 8th with 10 doubles and tied Nooij for 10th with 24 walks, making a lot fewer leaderboards than usual.
He signed with Amsterdam for 2016 and helped them win the 2016 European Champions Cup. He hit .333/.385/.333 with a team-high six RBI in four games. He tied Rien Vernooij for second in the Cup in RBI, two behind Gianison Boekhoudt. He came up big against his former team, with 3 hits and 3 RBI against Neptunus. In the finale against host ASD Rimini, he was thrown out at home trying to score an insurance run in the 10th, but Amsterdam still won, 5-4. For the 2016 Hoofdklasse, he hit .276/.350/.342 with 28 RBI in 40 games, tying Kevin Moesquit for 7th in RBI and Mervin Gario for 3rd in hit-by-pitch (7). He batted only .200/.259/.200 in the 2016 Holland Series as Amsterdam fell to Neptunus but did drive in four in the six games, threw out Urving Kemp at home in the 9th inning of a game 1 win and was safe at second on a somewhat controversial call by Winfried Berkvens as the winning run crossed home in the game 5 win. He had an impressive three assists in the six games. Only Dwayne Kemp (5) had more RBI in the Series.
While Rombley struggled in the 2017 European Champions Cup (2 for 16, 3 BB, 3 R, 2 RBI), he had a superb resurgence from two mediocre seasons, putting together one of his best campaigns ever. He hit .390/.457/.602 with 31 runs and 44 RBI in 33 games for Amsterdam. He made the leaderboards in average (2nd, .058 behind Dille), slugging (2nd, .007 behind Lampe), OBP (tied for 5th with Dennis De Quint), runs (tied for 5th with Daniel Fernandes), hits (46, 7th), RBI (1st, 4 ahead of Boekhoudt), doubles (10, tied for 8th with Zerzinho Croes and Daantji), homers (5, tied for second with Lampe and Jeffrey Arends), total bases (71, 2nd, 4 behind Boekhoudt) and sacrifice flies (4, tied for 2nd). He was 3 for 15 with a walk and a RBI in the 2017 Holland Series as Amsterdam again fell to Neptunus. His strong season earned him his first MVP award, at age 38; he beat out fellow finalists Dille and Lampe. He retired before the 2018 season to focus on his off-field career.
Sources: Honkbalsite, 2007 European Championship stats, Defunct IBAF site, World Baseball Classic site, 2000-2005 Baseball Almanacs, Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation, Marco Stoovelaar's Dutch baseball site, 2008 European Cup Kinheim stats, 2008 Olympics, 2009 European Cup in Matino, 2010 European Cup in Rotterdam, 2010 Haarlem Baseball Week, 2010 European Championship, 2010 Intercontinental Cup Final Report, 2011 WPT, 2012 Haarlem Baseball Week, 2012 European Championship, 2013 World Port Tournament, 2014 European Cup, 2014 European Championship, 2015 World Port Tournament, 2016 European Champions Cup, 2017 European Champions Cup