Netherland's first portable field helps Baseball5 grow with help from former Olympian Danny Rombley

Netherland's first portable field helps Baseball5 grow with help from former Olympian Danny Rombley
"I feel in love with the sport," said the former Montreal Expos minor leaguer. The field was budgeted by the Amsterdam Southeast District.

Former Olympian Danny Rombley is advocating the development of five-on-five Baseball5 in the Netherlands.

"I really fell in love with Baseball5," Rombley told the WBSC. "It is a different sport compared to Baseball and Softball but it helps introduce people to these disciplines. You learn how to field a ball bare-handed in Baseball5. If you get to use a glove, you will find it a lot easier.

"Baseball5 is very fast. You sweat a lot playing. I believe it can be a fun activity also for adults who want to stay in shape," Rombley said.

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Rombley is involved in a Amsterdam Southeast District project which included the introduction of a portable Baseball5 field, the first in the country, which was made in the colours of the city of Amsterdam.

"We have this field, and we want to use it as much as possible," Rombley said. "We take quite seriously the #playeverywhere hashtag."

"Baseball and softball have always been popular sports in the southeast district in Amsterdam," Amsterdam City sports manager Harry Supheert told the WBSC. "We no longer have a baseball club, in part because of a lack of space for a baseball venue. Baseball5 has given us a new opportunity.

"The Sports Alderman of Amsterdam is a huge advocate of urban sports. They are easily accessible and offer children from all backgrounds an opportunity to play in their own environments," added Supheert.

In February, the Southeast Open Baseball5 Championship attracted over 150 participants.

"We plan to introduce Baseball5 to many more kids shortly," Supheert added. "We have people who have plans for the first Dutch Baseball5 club."

Danny Rombley was born in 1979 in Amersfoort, near Utrecht, Netherlands. An outfielder who batted right-handed, he played Minor League Baseball (MiLB) in the United States from 1999 to 2004. He appeared in 558 games, including 41 at Double-A, for the Montreal Expos. He spent the rest of his career (2005-2017) in the Dutch Hoofdsklasse. He helped the Netherlands National Team win the Baseball World Cup 2011 and four European Championships: 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014. He appeared in six games at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.