Tom Brady Sent a Handwritten Letter to a Grieving Family from His Hometown

Calvin Riley, whose family moved from Lowell to California, was shot and killed in San Francisco last year.

While Tom Brady is a legend in New England, his roots are in the Bay Area. The grieving family of a murdered junior college baseball player learned this in August, when Brady sent them a handwritten note shortly after his death.

Calvin Riley, a 20-year-old pitcher whose family moved from Lowell, Massachusetts, to San Mateo, California, was shot and killed in a San Francisco park while playing Pokeman Go. Police still haven’t identified the shooter and suspect the violence may have been part of a gang initiation.

The news tore up Riley’s community and devastated the students and faculty at his alma mater, Serra High School. That’s when Brady stepped in. In addition to being a four-time Super Bowl champion, he’s also the school’s most famous alumnus.

According to Sports Illustrated‘s Tom Layden, Serra’s football coach, Patrick Walsh, was the person who reached out to Brady. Eager to help, Brady also chatted with one of his old high school teammates, John Kirby, who’s friends with the Riley family.

In a matter of days, Brady sent over a two-page handwritten letter for Kirby to deliver to the Rileys. Though the family doesn’t want to publicize the contents of the note, Calvin’s father said it touched all of their hearts.

“It celebrated the life of my kid. Tom talked about the brotherhood of the people at Serra, what a special community it is. That letter, it meant so much,” Sean Riley said, via SI. “My kid took so much pride in being part of Serra. And he really did love Tom Brady. I can’t say that enough.”

It’s not the first time Brady has reached out to a family in need. Last month, his altruism was also highlighted in an ESPN feature about his relationship with a 10-year-old Patriots fan who’s battling terminal brain cancer. Brady invited Logan Schoenhardt to the Patriots’ game against the Tennessee Titans this season, fulfilling the boy’s lifelong dream.