Two stars were born Sunday at Citi Field.

The first was Steven Matz, the New York Mets' 24-year-old rookie who struck out six in 7 and two-thirds innings while also going 3-for-3 at the plate with 4 RBIs. It was a storybook debut for a man who grew up just 50 miles away in Stony Brook, Long Island.

There was no Mets fan more excited during Matz's debut than his 82-year-old grandfather, Bert Moller. Cameras caught Moller celebrating during one of Matz's hits, and his reaction is priceless.

As one can imagine, Moller got lots of love on Twitter:

Afterwards, Moller gave a classic interview in which he tried to sum up his feelings.

"You just can't put it into words," Moller said. "There are no words. There's tears, there's smiles, there's happiness.

Moller also said his phone was about to blow up due to all the e-mails he was getting.

Not surprisingly, Moller isn't familiar with the concept of "going viral."

“They said I went I viral, and I said, ‘What the heck is that?’” Moller told the New York Post. “It was crazy. When he hit that double, it was like: ‘Oh my gosh.’ You couldn’t control your emotions. I was so happy.

As the Warriors celebrated as NBA champions after winning Game 6 in Cleveland, fans got to see two father-son combinations share the special moment. Stephen Curry's dad, Dell, played 16 seasons in the NBA and once led the league in three-point shooting percentage. Klay Thompson's dad, Mychal, was a two-time NBA champion with the Lakers. In the spirit of Father's Day, this segment of The Rundown is devoted to dads and sons in sports. Michael Shure joins us for this discussion.

This text will be replaced

Buster Posey is known for his poise on the field. The three-time World Series champion and former NL MVP says he developed this trait from his father, who coached Posey and his three siblings.

"The story I always go back to is when I was probably 7 or 8-year-old and I was pitching and giving up some hits," Posey says. "A lot of 7 or 8-year-olds would have shown some emotion, pouting or what not. I remember my dad coming out and telling me not to let the other team know whether you're dominating or not having success. Just try to keep an even keel demeanor out there."

Posey's father, Gerald Dempsey Posey II, played basketball competitively in college, but his kids found their success with bats and gloves. Buster's brothers played college baseball, Jack at Florida State and Jess at Georgia, while sister Samantha was a Valdosta State softball player.

"I think the main thing that he was able to relay to me and my siblings was about how to be a competitor," Posey says. "He was always a competitor with us in the backyard or whatever it was, basketball or baseball and I think it's a good thing."

Another lesson from his father was that only the winners should get trophies.

"I think sometimes we focus too much on everybody getting an award for just showing up," says Posey, who won the N.L. batting title in 2012 with a .336 average. "I think that's something I was appreciative of what my dad did. He was never that dad that was just going to let us win to win."

Derek Jeter's dad, Charles, had the same parentlng approach as he has been vocal about never letting his son win. Like Jeter, Posey earned multiple World Series championship early his career.

Gerald Dempsey Posey II also passed along his nickname of Buster.

"That's what I believe his grandmother called him," Buster says. "It was just his grandmother. No one else."

But when Gerald Dempsey Posey III came into the world, he was Buster to everyone.

"He's called me that since birth," the Giants catcher and new Topps spokesperson says. "I have the same legal name as him and as my grandfather. They decided to go with Buster."

And now the name Buster is synonymous with winning as the Giants have won those three titles in five years. That might inspire some parents in the Bay Area to choose Buster as a name for their boy.

"I've heard about a lot of dogs named Buster, but no kids," Posey says with a laugh.

Perhaps the Busters will come.

Posey and his wife, Kristen, have a son, but his name isn't Gerald Dempsey Posey IV or Buster. Lee was born Aug. 15, 2011, along with twin sister Addison.

Aaron Weinberger swears he never intended for his son to become a YouTube sensation.

But when he looks back at iPhone footage that started it all -- the clip of then 2-year-old Zack Weinberger knocking down 15 straight shots at a Chuck E. Cheese while unknowingly channeling his inner Stephen Curry -- the pieces begin to fit together.

What started as a father chronicling his son's love of basketball for posterity sake has become the newest entry into a growing cottage industry of trick-shooting toddlers taking social media by storm.

So move over, Trick Shot Titus -- you've got company. Say hello to Dunkman Zack.

YouTube's newest trick shot artist is self-named and lives in New Jersey among the 80 or so basketballs that inhabit his parents' home. The first time Aaron Weinberger pulled out his phone and captured footage of his son standing on the second floor and propelling a basketball over a railing and into a toy hoop below, it was mostly to provide evidence to unbelieving friends.

It only grew from there. With each shot, the degree of difficulty increased, showcasing the toddler's talents. But putting a collection of head-scratching trick shots out there for the world to see was never really his father's plan.

"It was more for us -- I just wanted to record things for posterity and just to remember it," Weinberger says. "Kids grow pretty quick and in the blink of an eye and so you want to be able to look back and remember these things."

Joseph Ashby can relate.

Ashby, whose Twitter bio identifies himself as Trick Shot Titus' dad, always planned to keep the video footage of his son's shooting abilities to himself. That was, however, before a YouTube channel was created, blasting his son -- now 4 -- into the celebrity universe that has landed him in nationally televised shooting contests against the likes of Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and actor Channing Tatum among others.

Two years in, there is part of Ashby that has difficulty believing how much an innocent video clip of his son kneeling on the couch and heaving a basketball across the room and into a miniature plastic basketball hoop, snatched up at a garage sale, has taken off. He has tried to take everything in stride, hoping to maintain some semblance of normalcy despite his son's rising stardom.

Some days are tougher than others.

"It's like a dream," Ashby says. "It doesn't seem real."

But for the two 4-year-olds who only know of each other from the Internet footage they've seen, trick-shot stardom is all now part of their reality, intended or not.


Ask Zack Weinberger what his name is and he energetically blurts out, "Dunkman Zack."

Ask him how old he is and he quickly displays four fingers. From there, the questions range from why he loves basketball so much to what he wants to do when he grows up.

Dunkman Zack is always ready with an answer.

On why he plays so much: Because it's my favorite and I like to do it.

On his future plans: To be a basketball player, wearing No. 23

Why 23? "Just like Michael Jordan and LeBron."

Much like the Tom Hanks character in "Castaway," Zack nicknames each of his basketballs based on what is printed on them, ranging from Wilson (his favorite) to Spalding, Duke Blue Devil and an assortment of others.

By his parents' calculations, Zack shoots baskets anywhere from 4-6 hours a day. He has his choice of targets ranging from the five hoops in his bedroom to the one in the driveway, the one attached to the backyard trampoline and others scattered around the house.

His basketball kingdom has extended to random strangers' houses (the count now sits at about 80) when he sees a hoop in the driveway, always looking to tackle a new challenge. Even on simple rides, his excitement gets the best of him when he spots any kind of backboard and goal.

"Hoop," Zack squeals, his voice changing pitches in mid-syllable.

By now, his parents don't expect anything else.

"He just shoots hoops -- it's his life," Aaron Weinberger says. "It's like nothing I have ever seen before. He's 4 years old and he doesn't know who Batman is, he doesn't know SpongeBob, but he knows Michael Jordan, he knows Stephen Curry, he knows LeBron. It's just wild."

Zack also knows Dude Perfect, who, along with NBA slam dunk contests, make up the entirety of Zack's video-watching habits. Dude Perfect is the collection of five friends and a mascot Panda that has become a huge hit on YouTube with their trick shots. The group is become Zack's favorite. Weinberger established a YouTube channel with hopes of reaching out to Dude Perfect to set up a meeting between the trick shot artists and their 4-year-old understudy.

So far, his efforts have not panned out. Dude Perfect did not respond to interview requests for this story.

In the meantime, Zack keeps shooting and Weinberger keeps recording his son's basketball accomplishments. What started with basic dunks to bouncing balls off walls and into a nearby hoop and flinging a no-look shot over his head and into a 10-foot basket behind him at age 3 has transitioned into an outlet for Dunkman Zack's basketball creativity, giving the youngster and his father something to bond over.

Zack's shooting prowess has drawn the attention of everyone from Knicks owner James Dolan and landed him on the home pages of overseas web pages.

It has also opened up learning opportunities that Weinberger never imagined the first time he filmed one of his son's trick shots.

"You get a lot of kids who say, 'I can't do this, I can't do that,'" Weinberger says. "When he started with basketball, he'd shoot from some crazy distance and he'd say, ‘Daddy, I can't do it.' And I'd tell him, ‘Zack -- you can do it. If you set your mind to it, you can do it. Try again.'

"Now, he'll shoot with other people and they'll say, ‘I can't do it' and he'll say, ‘You can do it. Just try ... There's no failure. With him, he just keeps going. It's only a failure if you give up. He just keeps going and keeps trying."

It's a lesson that Trick Shot Titus, the Pride of Derby, Kansas, is still mastering.


Like his trick-shooting contemporary, Titus started small, both literally and figuratively.

The first time Titus launched a shot across the room as ways of entertaining guests, the proud father in Joseph Ashby took over. When Titus showed a propensity for hitting any number of shots, Ashby got the idea to start the YouTube channel -- not as a way of turning him into an online personality -- but to chronicle his son's basketball talents.

But not long after Titus' first video, shot on Super Bowl Sunday in 2013, went viral thanks to a SportsCenter appearance, requests for Titus to appear on morning shows began to flood Ashby's inbox. As the father of five children who do not watch television and are home-schooled, Ashby had concerns about his youngest son becoming an overnight sensation.

"I didn't want my child to be famous, per se," Ashby says. "At least, I wanted to make sure we could maintain our normal life while having some amount of being in the public eye."

Yet, despite only being 4, Titus has made numerous television appearances and has a serious web presence. In addition to the YouTube channel, Trick Shot Titus has a Facebook page and has become the face of the new generation of trick shot artists all while managing to maintain as normal of a childhood as humanly possible.

Like with Zack, Titus is young enough to keep from getting overly absorbed in the attention that has come from his shooting abilities. While the Ashby family isn't connected to pop culture, Titus has some grasp that he has done things that other 4-year-olds haven't.

There was the time Ashby shot a trick shot video in the Kansas statehouse in Topeka, bringing Governor Sam Brownback into the act. Before Titus uses the capitol building as his personal playground, he and his dad bump into Brownback. As part of the schtick, Ashby pretends that he doesn't recognize Brownback, then asks him, "Hey, buddy, If you see the governor, keep this quiet, OK?"

"Your secret is safe with me," Brownback says in the 3½-minute video.

But Ashby, who accompanies Titus on appearances like the ones he has made on Jimmy Kimmel Live, has tried to turn the attention into learning opportunities. He wants each experience to be positive for Titus, but also strives to pass along the benefit of working hard and being disciplined -- even in the tasks of focusing on reaching the goal of achieving a shot Titus hasn't yet mastered.

So far, so good.

"He doesn't know he is a minor celebrity or a YouTube celebrity," Ashby says. "But he does know what work is and so we're happy with that."


Both Weinberger and Ashby have done their best to keep things in perspective as it relates to how far they will take this.

With Dunkman Zack and Trick Shot Titus already starring on their respective social media channels, both fathers are willing to allow their son's audiences to grow under the right conditions.

Ashby wants Titus' endeavors to center around fun, but also knows that his son's popularity could also create some opportunities for his family. The latest Trick Shot Titus video also includes his three older siblings, turning his passion for hoops into a family affair.

As long as the video venture doesn't get out of hand, Ashby is willing to consider the possibilities. The aforementioned Dude Perfect once reached out about Titus introducing one of their videos. But after some initial correspondence, the possibility of such a pairing has fallen by the wayside.

Weinberger, who recently launched a website,, still hopes to grab Dude Perfect's attention. But the idea of bringing his son and Trick Shot Titus together for some sort of a friendly shooting competition similar to the one staged in a McDonald's ad featuring Michael Jordan and Larry Bird has crept into his thinking.

"I thought it would be kind of cool to have two 4-year-olds going at it," Weinberger says. "It would be cool because they can both do things that kids twice their age can't do and they're both obsessed."

It would all be in fun, of course as a way of bringing the two sharp-shooting 4-year-olds and their proud fathers together to celebrate the abilities that a popular video social media channel has presented to the world.

"We're open to it," Ashby says. "We'll see if the opportunity presents itself. ... We've tried to avoid competitions that are anything but super playful. Yeah, we shot against Kobe Bryant, but Kobe Bryant clearly threw the match.

"It's fun to just show off and do stuff that people kind of drop their jaw at, but I'm not sure how legitimate of a competition I want my young son in. But if the conditions were right, we'd consider it."

We'll take that as a yes. Stay tuned.

There are 40 rounds in the annual MLB draft, and that is, relatively speaking, pretty short.

Yes, it's a marathon compared to the NBA's two rounds of drafting, and even the NFL's, three-day, seven-round event, but it used to be much longer and theoretically infinite, which teams extending the draft endlessly as they went back-and-forth making picks.

Nevertheless, 40 rounds of drafting never fails to get erroneous at one point or another. As The Big Lead notes, there are outliers -- Mike Piazza went in the 62 round back in 1988, and only as a favor to a friend -- but by and large, teams realize they're not missing much if they don't nail a pick in the later rounds.

And some, on the other hand, are so disenchanted with the value of those picks that they'd rather hand them out as favors rather than stick to the guidance of a draft board.

As this year's MLB draft his the mid-30 rounds, the Philadelphia Phillies abandoned all pretense of caring. With their pick in the 35th round, they chose Andrew Amaro, nephew to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.

Maybe that's a big deal for the University of Tampa outfielder. It's probably less exciting than last year, when Andrew Amaro was also drafted by the Phillies.

That was far from the end of the club nepotism. In the 38th round, the team selected the son of its Triple-A manager. In the 39th round, Philadelphia took the son of Mickey Morandini, a former Philly himself and the current manager of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.

In the 40th and final round, the Phillies took the son of the team play-by-play broadcaster.

These are all baseball players, mind you, so it's not quite the same as drafting someone's grandmother or a broken sewing machine.

But the message is clear: That far down in the draft, everything's a crapshoot. Why not give the snowball's chance in hell to someone you know?

Babies in Cleveland hospitals are being indoctrinated into a painful, punishing ritual: They are being made to look like Cavaliers fans.

Proof of this child abuse comes from Cleveland Clinic, the local hospital network. Multiple photos show freshly born children being outfitted in Cavs gear, enlisting the babies as fans ahead of Tuesday night's critical Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

It gets worse:

Child protective services has not yet commented on the matter, but this forced initiation into rooting for the Cavs, one of the league's most historically futile teams -- albeit the home to LeBron James, the best basketball player in the world -- seems both senseless and potentially dangerous, as the children likely face a lifetime of disappointment.

Just a real sad thing to see. Poor kids.

Was it obvious this post was written by a Bulls fan? I'm not bitter.

This year is the first time Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have played in the NBA Finals, but it's not the first time a member of the Curry clan has teamed with a member of the Thompson family to lead a team to the championship round.

If you guessed dads, guess again. Mychal Thompson and Dell Curry were never on the same team.

Last year Stephen's younger brother, Seth, joined forces with Klay's older brother, Mychel, on the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State's D-League affiliate. Seth and Mychel were a big part of the team that advanced to the D-League Finals before losing to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Seth, a 6-foot-2 guard who is two-and-a-half years younger than Stephen, led Santa Cruz with 19.7 points per game. Mychel, a 6-foot-6 swingman who is two years older than Klay, played in 44 games, third highest on the team.

Here are the highlights from the D-League's Splash Brothers.

Curry and Thompson were crucial in the 2014 D-League semifinals, combining for 53 points on 23-for-37 shooting to push Santa Cruz past Rio Grande Valley.

Seth Curry, who played collegiately at Duke, finished the 2015 campaign on the Orlando Magic's D-League team, the Erie Bayhawks. Mychel Thompson is still on the Santa Cruz Warriors, who won the D-League championship this year.

Trick Shot Titus has a new video, and this time there's a fresh twist on the premise. His older siblings get involved in this clip as each designs a machine that involves balls and the principle of the domino effect.

Most people got a big kick out of seeing Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and his young daughter, Riley, at the podium after Tuesday's Golden State Warriors-Houston Rockets game.

But not everyone was thrilled to see the NBA's MVP continue the rich tradition of bringing offspring to the postgame press conferences. Several reporters, including ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Skip Bayless, said that while they agreed Riley Curry is adorable, they wish the "child-on-the-podium" practice was reserved for low-key events like the All-Star game or celebrations like winning NBA Finals.

"As a member of the media who wants to ask the players about the game in a business setting," Windhorst said on ESPN's First Take, "it is counterproductive and it sometimes takes away from being able to ask the questions."

Here's the clip from Wednesday's show:

Windhorst knew he was espousing an unpopular opinion, and so did other reporters.

But Windhorst at least deserves credit for sticking with his guns. Brett Friedlander of North Carolina's Star News Online also thinks NBA players should stop bringing their kids to postgame press conferences. He wrote a tweet saying as much before deleting it.

As one can imagine, Friedlander got lots of hate from his followers:

It's not easy to make the argument that Windhorst and Friedlander were making, and they heard it from the Twittersphere.

Curry isn't the only player to bring his kid to a press conference this year. Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin have also done it.

While Riley did seem to be a little bit of a distraction for her father, things did not get out of hand.

The three-pointers were falling for Curry, who hit 6 of 11 shots from long distance and finished with 34 points in his team's Game 1 win.

Even the NBA MVP who drops 34 points in the opener of the Western Conference Finals can be easily upstaged. Stephen Curry brought his daughter, Riley, to the press conference after the Warriors beat Houston 110-106 on Tuesday, and she stole the show:

Syndicate content