Lost in the Crowd


David Burns ’86 lost his ring during the 1987 World Series celebrations in downtown Minneapolis. He tells the story of how it was found:

After I graduated from Clemson in May 1986, I started a job in Minneapolis, Minnesota, working for an insurance company.
In October 1987, the Minnesota Twins beat the St. Louis Cardinals to become World Series champions. I was watching the game on TV with new friends, and at the end of the game, thousands of revelers descended on downtown Minneapolis to celebrate (it was a Sunday night), including me. During the celebration, I high-fived a random individual, and my class ring flew off my hand into the crowd that was estimated later at 100,000. I tried to find the ring on the ground that night, but it was impossible because of the crowd. I went back the next day to no avail and eventually posted a notice in the local paper and filed a police report for a missing personal possession.
Fourteen months went by, and I knew that I was going to have to replace the ring — for many reasons — but most importantly because it was a graduation gift from my parents. In December 1988, I came home to find a message on my home phone from a woman who said she had a Clemson class ring with my name inscribed on the inside; she said that if I could identify the year of graduation and my hometown, I could get it back. I called her back immediately and provided the necessary verification. She lived fairly close by in South Minneapolis and said I could come by her house to retrieve the ring. Twenty minutes later, I was knocking on her front door.
When I went to this woman’s house, I got my ring back. I told her that I had offered a reward, but she declined. She actually felt bad about how long it took her to get hold of me.
As the story goes, she told me that she found my ring on the ground on Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis the morning after the World Series game when she was dropping off film at a photo studio (right where I lost it). She sheepishly admitted that my ring sat on her living room coffee table for 14 months. It was only until the night before I got it back, a friend of hers apparently strongly suggested that there must be a person looking for the ring and that she should make an attempt to identify the owner.
She went into the Minneapolis phone book and found my name. Once she decided to track me down, I had the ring back within two hours.
Luckily, my ring fits a little tighter these days, and it doesn’t fly off my finger anymore. I’m so glad to have it back, and I wear it all the time to this day!

Interested in donating a ring to the Alumni Association? Contact Randy Boatwright for more information at brandol@clemson.edu or 864-656-5671.

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