The two firefighters don't like racquetball and, although athletic, don't enjoy watching sports on television.
They love wakeboarding, boating and snow skiing. They work the same shift at Fire Station No. 3 in Los Angeles and live in the same Huntington Beach condominium complex.
The list of commonalities between Eric Mattson and Ian Van Gerpen goes on, and it grew on Tuesday when they welcomed additions to their families.
Their daughters were born on the same day, in the same hospital, and on the same floor, separated by one room.
Dorothy Van Gerpen was born at 4:10 a.m. Tuesday, and Mary Mattson followed at 11:03 that night at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.
"How incredible is this? Two guys from the same station and the same complex (had) their kids at the same time," said Mattson, 35, who along with Van Gerpen works for the Los Angeles Fire Department.
"We made it by 57 minutes. It was being talked about all day," he said.
Mattson and his wife, Robyn, 32, expected their daughter on July 6. Van Gerpen, 33, and his wife, Erika, 28, had a July 29 due date.
Mattson pulled into the hospital parking lot on Monday and saw Van Gerpen's car in the structure.
"I turned to my wife and said, 'Wow, they're here, too?" he recalled. "I texted Ian and they were two rooms over."
Hours passed and Mattson pressed the nurses for word on his friends, but they wouldn't violate privacy laws. After convincing them that the couples were friends, the nurses started to provide the two with updates.
"At that point, they let us visit each other," Mattson said. "I thought: (the girls) are going to have the same birthday."
Erika Van Gerpen's delivery was quicker. This was the second child for the couple.
Their 18-month-old son, Wyatt, met his sister on Tuesday and greeted her by giving her a kiss and reaching his arms up to hold her.
"He's a big brother already," Van Gerpen, 33, said.
This is the first child for the Mattsons.
Dorothy and Mary met briefly on Tuesday and had a second visit on Wednesday afternoon.
Their parents say plans for a joint first birthday party are already in the works, and joint trips to the park are a given.
"They're probably going to be little buddies," Van Gerpen said.
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