Lost Wedding Band…Found on Baseball Field in Gaithersburg, Maryland
Abdul’s Palladium Wedding Band
CALL BRIAN RUDOLPH WITH THE RING FINDERS AT (301) 466-8644 AND HE WILL RETURN TO YOU WHAT HAS BEEN LOST!
I received an email from a woman who desperately wanted to find her husband’s missing palladium wedding band which was lost on a baseball field the day before. Abdul’s wife went online to research possible methods in recovering lost rings on sport fields. The Ring Finders directory popped up on her phone and she began to search for a local metal detectorist in the Gaithersburg, Maryland area. My name came up on her Google search and she quickly reached out to me.
As soon as I read the email description of how Abdul’s wedding band disappeared off of his finger while playing baseball, I quickly called the couple to ask questions and to set up a time when I could go out looking for the ring. Abdul told me that he was playing various positions during a baseball game at Gaithersburg High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He didn’t know when the ring slipped off of his finger but he did recognize that it was missing before he left the field that day. After the game, he searched everywhere and yet he still couldn’t find it anywhere. That’s when other players got involved and looked in every position where Abdul was playing the game, but they too came up empty-handed. He eventually had to leave the baseball diamond that afternoon knowing that the very ring that was presented to him by his beloved wife on their wedding day would be left behind somewhere on the baseball field. He told me on the phone that it was quite a disheartening feeling to wonder whether he would ever be able to get the ring back or not. Because there was another team that was supposed to play after his group completed their game, he worried that the ring might have already been found by someone else.
During the entire time on the phone, I tried to give some hope to the couple that if the ring was still out there on the field, I would be able to find it and return it to Abdul. It just so happened that he got sick overnight and so he was not in any position to go out and meet me on the baseball diamond to recount where he was positioned during the game when he lost the ring. Instead, he sent me a diagram of the baseball field and where he was positioned at different times, including the areas where he practiced and warmed up before playing the game. This was extremely helpful and it would provide just what I needed to search the various places where he stood and played ball. Before we got off the phone, I told Abdul and his wife that I would update them as soon as I finished with my search later that evening.
By the time I got to the search site at Gaithersburg High School, the sun was descending behind the trees that encased the baseball field where I would be conducting my search. I gathered all of my gear out of the car and walked to the field that Abdul so perfectly diagrammed earlier that morning. There was no game going on that evening, so I had the baseball diamond to myself, including the outfield.
The first thing I did was say a prayer and I asked the Lord for help during the search. I then started metal detecting over by the batting cage which Abdul also illustrated for me. There were a lot of potential signals, but every time I checked the ground in that area, there was no ring to be found. Bottle caps and aluminum can pull tabs were scattered all over the place. This made my search a little bit slower than anticipated.
As soon as I completed my search around the cage area, I headed over to the baseball diamond. Because Abdul played various positions, I needed to first check all of the hotspots. If I didn’t find the ring in those places, I would start doing a grid search over the entire field. I metal detected around all of the bases and to the left and right of the baselines by several feet. I wanted to see if the ring may have come off while he was running the bases or in the process of getting tagged out.
Once I completed my detecting in those places, I was convinced that the wedding band was not lost in those locations. Then, I went into the outfield and began to grid search beyond first, second and third bases. Still there was nothing to be found. By that time I may have completed about an hour and a half of detecting. I was certain that the ring was not in the outfield unless somebody had found the ring just by chance when looking down at the ground. The odds of that were very slim because the field was completely covered with thick, healthy grass. Most likely the wedding band would have settled between the “blades of green” and would not have been seen by anybody.
My next search area focused on the grassy area behind the backstop. I also metal detected both dugouts and still came up with nothing. Abdul had walked behind the dugouts and took a couple breaks by walking closer to the tree line, so I checked those areas behind the backstop, as well. My last area to check without having to re-grid the entire field, was to metal detect all of the area inside the baseball diamond. Most of the grass within the parameter of all of the bases was very dry and much of it was dead. There were also a lot of spaces that were simply dirt spots with absolutely no vegetation. I presumed that if the ring was initially lost in the dirt-filled areas in the diamond section of the field, it would have most likely been picked up by someone between the time of Abdul’s game and the other games that followed after his team left for the day. The reason for this was because there were so few places for the ring to hide. There were also summer programs going on earlier in the day, which could have caused a young one to eyeball the handsome palladium band and walk off with it. I was hoping that this was not the case and that it was still out there, waiting to be found. I put my doubts aside and focused on eliminating all possibilities as to where that ring could have ended up.
Starting at home plate, I moved my way to third base and then started a grid search back towards home. I kept moving my way across the playing field for a few more passes before I stopped briefly to grab my headlamp that was in my backpack nearby. It was starting to get dark outside and I needed the field to be fully illuminated as I traveled in straight lines across the diamond.
I then resumed my search and continued to move across the infield, back and forth, swinging the coil of the detector with steady movements, hoping that I would get the target signal that I was looking for.
I was getting random target signals here and there, but each time that I put the pinpointer (which is a handheld detector) down to the ground to investigate the potential target, I would discover that it was a coin, pull tab or something else that was below the surface.
Finally, as I neared the pitcher’s mound, approximately 8 feet away from it, I got the perfect signal. It was a bouncy kind of target signal that indicated that the object was above the surface and it came into the range of a palladium wedding band. Just as I looked down to investigate what the detector was picking up in the midst of the dead grass, my eyes zeroed in on the very object that I had been searching for in the past two hours or so! I had found Abdul’s ring! I was so very happy! What a great feeling it was to see the one and only object that I had been hunting for! Because of the location where the band had been resting, I presumed that Abdul must have been pitching at the time when the ring slipped off his finger.
I was getting random target signals here and there, but each time that I put the pinpointer (which is a handheld detector) down to the ground to investigate the potential target, I would discover that it was a coin, pull tab or something else that was below the surface. Finally, as I neared the pitcher’s mound, approximately 8 feet away from it, I got the perfect signal. It was a bouncy kind of target signal that indicated that the object was above the surface and it came into the range of a palladium wedding band. Just as I looked down to investigate what the detector was picking up in the midst of the dead grass, my eyes zeroed in on the very object that I had been searching for in the past two hours or so! I had found Abdul’s ring! I was so very happy! What a great feeling it was to see the one and only object that I had been hunting for! Because of the location where the band had been resting, I presumed that Abdul must have been pitching at the time when the ring slipped off his finger.
The other possibility was that he had been taking off his glove while switching sides with the opponent and it came off at that point.
Whichever the case may have been, I was so delighted that I would soon be able to return the wedding band back to Abdul! That night I rejoiced for his sake and it made me so happy that I could find his ring after no one else on his team could recover it! I also thanked the Lord for giving me the ability to search and recover what Abdul and his wife hoped to get back in their possession! I couldn’t wait to share the good news with its rightful owner!
After taking some photographs and a bit more video, I packed up my gear and left the baseball field with a big smile on my face!
If you would like to view the search video and the ring reveal, please avail yourself to subscribe to my YouTube channel and I will notify you when the video is uploaded in the next few months.
There’s nothing like it in the world to be able to return something that means so much to someone else! My gratitude goes out to Chris Turner, CEO of The Ring Finders and for his marvelous vision to save the sentimental from extinction by providing a directory of metal detectorists that connects people like me to people in need like Abdul!
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