You Likely Know These Famous Arubans.

famous_arubansJust north of Venezuela - nestled safely away from the path of nasty hurricanes - lies the beautiful Dutch island of Aruba. Surrounded by the warm Caribbean Sea, it isn't hard to miss this seventy-five square mile dot of paradise on a map. But Aruba is the home of some very famous people. Several museums dot the island. The Museo di Deporte - the Sports Museum - is one of them. Several members of popular teams are honored here. Sports stars - now, forever famous Arubans - you've likely seen at some time.

Evelyn Farrell was four months into her 24th year when she participated in the Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, 1984. Born April, 10, 1960, Evelyn was the first woman of Aruban descent to compete in the popular, 100 meter dash. She didn't advance to the finals, but managed a speedy time of 11.94 seconds during her first-heat appearance. She, however, will always be the first woman from Aruba to compete in this event.

American Major League Baseball was the playground for Sidney Ponson. He began his career with the Baltimore Orioles in 1998. Sidney could hurl his pitches upwards of 95 miles per hour. Born on November 2, 1976 in Noord, Aruba, he played in the major league for over ten years. He has only recently - June 18, 2010 - retired from his passion.

A three year contract for $22.5 million shows that Sidney was a valuable player. He resigned with Baltimore after the 2003 season. With only 6 losses and an impressive 14 wins in 2003, Sidney was well-worth the pay. His ten years saw Ponson play for seven different teams - returning to some after a short stint elsewhere. The Orioles, Cardinals, New York Yankees, Twins, Rangers and Kansas City Royals all housed Sidney Ponson at some time.

Sidney Ponson and two other fellow Arubans, who - at one time - also played for the Baltimore Orioles - each received the "Order of Orange-Nassau" from their country. For the Dutch, this top honor - awarded as a civil and military medal - holds as high a regard as England's "Order of the British Empire." The Queen of the Netherlands created this award in 1892.

August 20, 1976 saw the birth of Eugene Humphrey Kingsale. "Gene", as he is better known, hails from Solito, Aruba. From 1996 until 2003, you could watch Gene Kingsale play Major League Baseball for the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres and the Detroit Tigers. Gene managed an impressive . 251 batting average as an outfielder over his lengthy seven year MLB career.

As if playing American Major League Baseball wasn't enough; Gene also found himself in The Olympics. His great speed and agile skills easily landed him in Athens, Greece for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games. There he played for The Netherlands. In 2008, he was - again - a member of The Netherlands national Olympic team which saw him travel to Beijing, China.

As if playing American Major League Baseball wasn't enough; Gene also found himself in The Olympics. His great speed and agile skills easily landed him in Athens, Greece for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games. There he played for The Netherlands. In 2008, he was - again - a member of The Netherlands national Olympic team which saw him travel to Beijing, China.

Most of us have watched an Olympic Games event. Baseball is the "American Pastime". It's quite likely you've seen one of these famous Arubans recently. With a small population of a little more than a hundred-thousand, it's impressive that these sports idols - among the honored at Aruba's Museo di Deporte - are all from this Caribbean paradise.