By Doug Miller / MLB.comIt's been almost five years since fans could start engaging in a debate about the best athlete in the Garciaparra family.
Nomar Garciaparra and soccer legend Mia Hamm met at a charity function 10 years ago and became great friends before tying the knot in November 2003. They have twin daughters who will turn 2 next March, and they're active in the Los Angeles community, with their annual celebrity soccer match among the many charitable causes they support.
If you're looking for a pair of parental history charts that point to a couple having athletic children, genetics will resoundingly tell you that little Grace and Ava have sports in their future.
Dad made his name as a shortstop for the Boston Red Sox (remember "Nomaaaaaah!"?), and has spent the last four-plus years with the Chicago Cubs and Dodgers. In 13 Major League seasons, he's won the American League Rookie of the Year Award and two batting titles, made five All-Star teams and earned one AL Most Valuable Player runner-up finish. He also was an Olympian in 1992.
Mom won college national championships during all four years at the University of North Carolina, claimed Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2004 and a silver in 2000, was a key member of the U.S. national team that won the inaugural Women's World Cup in 1999, and was named the women's FIFA World Player of the Year in 2001 and '02.
But both athletes say that getting married was the best thing that ever happened to them.
"I think that what makes [our relationship] so special is that we were such great friends before [dating]," Garciaparra told FSN. "And now we're married and have lovely kids."
Hamm has been quoted as saying that Garciaparra has decent soccer chops because of his childhood playing the "Beautiful Game," and the two often watch English Premiere League matches on TV.
They also spend as much time as they can simply being parents.
"I've been blessed throughout my career, and I have to say that post-career, it's been fantastic," Hamm told PGATOUR.com at a recent pro-am golf event.
"And the girls ... I think my husband would agree that they are the best things we've ever done in our lives. I'm really enjoying life. I get to do stuff like [play at golf tournaments], but at the same time, being home with those girls is so important and means so much to both of us."
A sense of humor means a lot, too, and Garciaparra demonstrated a quick wit when asked by FSN how he met his wife.
"She took out a want ad and I answered it," he responded, laughing.
Doug Miller is a senior writer for MLB.com/Entertainment. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.