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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)-Mississippi State’s Baseball team is advancing in the College World series, but who knew the success of the team would be linked to a lost class ring?

We’ve all had that sinking feeling that comes when we lose something that’s meaningful to us. A wallet, a cell phone, or a class ring. But what if it turns up 20 years later?

“I was in the mall and there it was laying there in the mall. So I picked it up and I said mmm, I wonder who it belongs to, but I forgot about it. It was in my purse and I came home and put it in my jewelry box and didn’t think about it anymore,” says Mary Gray.

Columbus Resident Mary Gray was shopping at Leigh Mall in the early 90s when she spotted a Mississippi State class ring. She took it home and promptly forgot about it. Then, this past weekend, as Mary was watching the Bulldogs advance in the College World Series, she remembered.

“I was looking at Mississippi State baseball game and it just hit me. SO I go in there and look in my jewelry box, get it out, I said I’m going to call Mississippi State and see if I can find out who this ring belong to,” says Gray.

University officials contacted the ring owner, William Nichols, who is a retired Air Force Colonel.

“I was shocked and surprised and also very grateful and appreciated that somebody had found it and was able to get in touch with Mississippi State and they were able to track me down and let me know,” says Colonel William Nichols.

Colonel Nichols never expected to see his ring again.

“I was on active duty in the Air Force back in the 90s and we were in the middle of a move on Air Force moving changing assignments and I lost it in that move and I don’t know how I lost it I just did and never could find it never thought I would see it again,” says Colonel Nichols.

With his recent retirement from the Air Force, Colonel Nichols sees his ring as a symbol of the man he is today.

“That ring meant a lot to me based on my experience at Mississippi State and what Mississippi State did to prepare me for my air Force career and it’s a great symbol of that,” says Colonel Nichols.

So the next time you find a lost item, take a little while to look for its owner. They’ll be happy, and you’ll have a great story to tell.

The Mississippi State Alumni Association has picked up the ring and shipped it to the Colonel in Virginia.

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