Community supports determined teen who sold tamales to raise money for baseball tournaments

A 13-year old La Porte, Texas-based athlete learned a valuable lesson recently about kindness and hard work.

One rarely sees a teenage boy selling tamales, but that’s exactly what Grady Ferranti was busy doing during the weekend.


Grady wanted his teammates to join him in the upcoming summer tournaments of baseball. His dad had just lost their job so money was tight for the family.

This young man is not one to be hampered by such obstacles.

Grady knew it was his responsibility to make it happen so he decided that he would sell tamales in the neighborhood.

“My dad got laid off from his job, so it wasn’t very easy. We were struggling. And it was harder for me to stay in sports, it was a struggle,” he said.

Grady Ferranti playing baseball in full gear

The determined teen’s grit impressed many community members, and some of them even shared pictures of him online to invite other people to purchase his products.

Grady’s picture went viral, and his tamales supply quickly diminished. He had no water left to sell the next day.

“One of Madi’s friends, Grady is out there hustling by himself to raise money to go to the World Series with his baseball team,” wrote a woman named Amberly Dalton on Facebook.

“This is one of the most polite kids you will ever meet,” she added. “Just dropped him a few more cases of water and some cash. If y’all are out and about, swing by Spencer and Underwood on the Walgreens side and grab a drink. He’s smiling ear to ear!!”

Grady Ferranti holding up a sign

Grady’s team is set to compete in two tournaments: one in Dallas and the other in College Station. These important events were something he didn’t want to miss out on.

“It made me feel kind of sad but I still had a little bit of faith,” he said.

Grady’s dad, John Ferranti, knew they needed to come up with a way to raise money for his trips.

“It was just on a whim,” he explained. “I thought … we can make tamales (and) he can walk around the neighborhood to sell them. We can raise a couple hundred dollars. He one-upped me and wanted to sell waters as well.”

Grady made dozens of tamales and then went to the intersection at Spencer Highway and Underwood Road to sell them. That’s when a motorist took his now-viral picture.

Grady Ferranti selling bottles of water on the intersection

“He’s very appreciative and some of the people noticed that and it took off on local Facebook group and virtually went viral,” said John.

Grady returned to the location the next day to sell water after his tamales were sold out. People drove to the location to purchase water and to show their support even though they were sold out.

“You are doing a really good job. You are going places,” one customer told him.

One of Grady’s teachers also drove to the intersection to help his cause.

Grady Ferranti selling bottles of water to his teacher

The teen’s family said that every dollar raised will be used to get Grady on the field this summer.

“It feels good … knowing they have my back. It’s a great feeling,” he said of the community’s overwhelming support.

Grady’s efforts all paid off in the end. Grady was able to not only earn enough money to play in the tournaments but also to purchase new equipment.

We often hear people say “Good things come to those who wait,” but this young man knows that greater things are bound to come—as long as you take action.

Click the video below from KHOU 11 for more information.

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