Just north of the country of Venezuela, South America, lies the beautiful island of Aruba. This tiny country - which is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands - is amongst the Leeward Antilles of the breathtaking Caribbean Sea. Although small, this island is the home of a few world famous Arubans.

In the 1984 Summer Olympics, held in Los Angeles, California, Evelyn Farrell competed in the women's 100 meter foot race - commonly called the 100 meter dash. She finished her first-heat race in 11.94 seconds. Although she didn't advance to the finals, she set a record that will never be broken. She was the first female Aruban ever to compete in this event.

Major League Baseball is a very popular sport in the United States. In 1998, the career of famous Aruban, Sidney Ponson was launched as he first pitched for the Baltimore Orioles. Born in Noord, Aruba on November 2, 1976, he offered his 95 mile-per-hour fastball to many batters for over ten years. He retired from baseball only a few weeks ago.

Three years and 22.5 million dollars was what Sidney was worth to the Baltimore Orioles when he signed again with them for the 2004 season. Managing 14 wins and only 6 losses over the 2003 season gave good reason for Baltimore to want him back. Sidney played for seven teams throughout his illustrious career. Baltimore, St Louis, the Yankees, Twins, Rangers and Royals all used Sidney on the mound.

There is an oft-coveted medal that is awarded to the most noteworthy of Netherlanders. A breathtaking Knight's Cross - a high civil and military honor - is the equivalent of the "Order of the British Empire" to the people of The Netherlands. Sidney Ponson was one of three Arubans - who all played for Baltimore at one time - awarded the "Order of Orange-Nassau", also known as "The Orde van Oranje-Nassau".

Another recipient of The Orde van Oranje-Nassau is Gene Kingsale. Solito, Aruba was where Gene was born on August 20, 1976. He played baseball in the Major Leagues from 1996 until 2003. With a career batting average of . 251, this outfielder was an asset to the four teams he ultimately played for. Beginning with the Orioles and ending with the Tigers, Eugene Humphrey Kingsale also hit and caught balls for the Mariners and the Padres.

Gene's association with sports wasn't just with Major League ball. His skills and speed were an asset for The Netherlands when he participated in the 2004 Athens Olympics in Greece. During the 2008 Beijing games, Gene made his way to China as a member of the Netherlands Olympic team as well.

September 5, 1974 was the day another would-be star was born. Santa Cruz, Aruba is the hometown of yet another Major League Baseball player, Calvin Maduro. He pitched for the Phillies in 1996 and finished his five year career in June of 2002 with - who else but - the Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore must love Aruba! Calvin struck-out 140 batters as an MLB pitcher. Another Netherlands Olympian, he helped his country finish sixth - in the summer of 2004 - at the Athens Olympics. A true member of Baltimore's teams, Calvin now coaches pitching for the Aberdeen IronBirds, a Minor League Affiliate of the Orioles.

The island may be small - with under a hundred square miles of area and a little more than 100,000 inhabitants - but Aruba has managed to give the world some wonderful people. These famous Arubans are never-to-be-forgotten in the minds of many fans of Major League Baseball and the Olympic Games. They will forever be remembered on the little island paradise in the "Museo di Deporte" - Aruba's sports museum.