Woman and ex-Tiger share unique story about how they met and their special bond

Posted at 10:49 PM, Jun 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 23:04:35-04

An unlikely encounter turned into a life-long friendship.


A woman on her way home from work saw an elderly man having a hard time trying to cross Middlebelt near the I-96 bridge overpass. She didn't think twice about it, and jumped out of her car to help out.


"When we got to the other side," Dori Sumter said. "When we went across and came back, I said you didn’t need my help at all."


The man, Ray Herbert, responded saying "no," and that he was in good shape. He added that he had played 14 years in the major leagues.


Sumter still can’t believe the random encounter.


"I pulled over into the parking lot and just got out of my car and left it running, left my purse

inside because I wanted to stop him from crossing," Sumter said. 


It happened the first week of June on Middlebelt at the 96 overpass.


"I stopped to take a break," Herbert said. 


Ray says he walks down Middlebelt to go to his favorite restaurant, crossing the bridge over I-96

without any problems. However, some people have stopped him before just to make sure he’s ok.


"A police car pulled up in the right lane and said, 'Are you alright? Do you need any help?' I said no, hell no – I can find my way home. And they said, 'Ok behave yourself,'" Herbert said. 


Ray Herbert is a former Detroit Tiger and journeyman who played for several teams in the majors.


Memorabilia and old photos around his retirement home remind him of the good old days.


"Almost 50 years being involved with the Detroit Tigers one way or another," Herbert said.


So Herbert is no stranger to adventure. And after his latest chance encounter, spawned by an act of kindness; Herbert has developed a forever friendship, and a bond that can’t be broken.


"Well, whenever she calls me or needs me I’ll be available," he said. "We’re just good friends."


Sumter and Herbert say they plan on staying in touch with each other and will forever remember the first time they met – over the overpass of I-96.