Lost and Found: World Series ring returned to family of late Greenville baseball scout

After a five-year search, the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office locates rightful owner of rings
Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 7:12 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - In November of 2014, a woman came across a small, black velvet bag left unattended at Pitt-Greenville airport. Inside that bag were three rings, one of which being a 2003 Florida Marlins World Series ring. Five years later, the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office located the rings' rightful owner.

Tyler Feldman shares this heartfelt story of lost and found.

The year was 2003.

“Beckett picks it up, tags Posada, and the Florida Marlins are World Champions," said Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Buck on FOX’s telecast. “They end up on top.”

Fast-forward 11 years, Tommy Thompson and his wife Susan are living in Greenville scouring the area for young baseball talent.

But as Tommy got older, health complications and medication caused his hands to swell. He could no longer wear his favorite rings.

So, his wife kept them in a black, velvet bag. The same bag that popped up at Pitt-Greenville airport in 2014.

“All three rings meant a whole lot to him," said Susan Thompson, Tommy’s widow. "They were very important to him. We just were at a loss and finally came to the conclusion they weren’t going to be found.”

In 2018, they ventured on a road-trip across the country to Southern California to take care of Tommy’s ailing mother.

Then in 2019, Detective Scooter Mitchell at the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office finally located the rings' rightful owner, Tommy Thompson.

“He was shocked and happy," said Scooter Mitchell, Pitt County Sheriff’s Office Forensics Services Unit Detective. "He was shocked that they surfaced. He was happy that he knew where they were, and he was going to get them back.”

“But life has its way of getting in the way of your plans," Susan explained.

Just two months after discovering that his rings had been found, Tommy passed away. He never got to see his long-lost rings again.

“It does make me a little sad because it came so late after he had passed away, but at the same time, he knows where they are," said Susan. “He was able to be comfortable with their safety and location and knew they were going to come back home.”

“To get somebody some closure on getting an item of evidence back that meant so much to a family means a great deal," Mitchell added.

The rings will be shipped out from Greenville to Southern California later this week.

“We’re all excited," said Susan. "All of his grandkids and everybody know the story. Nobody ever thought they’d see those things again, ever.”

Susan Thompson is still with her family in Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca. She said she plans on staying there full-time but added that she will also need to come back to Eastern Carolina at some point to collect her and her late husband’s belongings at their home in Greenville.

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