What’s the first sound of spring around B’town?
National anthem auditions!
The Pittsburgh Pirates will do the honors Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at LECOM Park, 1611 Ninth Street West. Auditions are open to anyone interested in singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the sun-splashed crowds who flock to Pirates spring training games at the ol’ ballyard. The 15-game home schedule starts Feb. 24 with the Miami Marlins.
Folks who want to sing Canada’s national anthem are also welcome. The Toronto Blue Jays visit Feb. 27 and March 8.
Auditions are for vocalists only, will be conducted a cappella, and can’t exceed two minutes in length. Singers not selected may be notified for anthem openings when the Bradenton Marauders begin their 10th season April 6.
For more information, call 941-747-3031, visit bradentonmarauders.com or email MaraudersInfo@Pirates.com.
• Sal Gaeta, who is 84 years young Thursday, and wife Toni celebrate 62 years of marriage.
• The Manatee Police Athletic League, a bastion of activity for the community’s children, celebrates its 30th anniversary Friday through Sunday at the Manatee PAL complex, 202 13th Ave. E., Bradenton. There will be music, carnival rides, food and much more for the whole family. The fun begins Friday at 5 p.m., then noon Saturday and Sunday. Visit manateepal.org for details. Or call 941-741-1118.
• And that’s 38 years of wedded bliss for Leslie and Charlie Wells, who founded Manatee PAL as sheriff.
• John Horne and Bill Partridge have a tasty bet for Monday night’s national championship game. Horne, owner of the Anna Maria Oyster Bar, is a Clemson grad, and Partridge, an attorney, is an Alabama alum.
“If Alabama wins, I have to shuck oysters for Bill until he says stop,” Horne said. “When Clemson wins, he has to do a barbecue for me wearing a Clemson apron.”
By the way, Alabama fans are welcome to the big watch party Horne is hosting at AMOB Landside, 6906 14th St. W., Bradenton.
• Jay and Jayne Romine are wed 37 years.
• And Sherri and Greg Buete are married 11.
• There is no truth to the rumor Iowa grad Cassandra Decker rushed the field after the Hawkeyes’ Outback Bowl victory over Mississippi State. And good luck to Cassandra, a dynamic presence with United Way Suncoast the past three years, who is joining CareerSource Suncoast.
• Melissa Koehlinger is 39. Again.
• So is George Ameres.
• And Thomas Vaught is 71.
• ’Twas a telling moment during last Sunday’s wedding reception for Michelle and Steve Duerst.
Dave Grantham, Michelle’s dad, was with pals Mike Smith and Dan Weaver enjoying the affair at Pier 22 when one of the staff approached with the bill for the father of the bride.
Mike and Dan grinned. They’d been there before.
Mike married off three daughters. Dan married off one.
“Oh, yeah, time to get out the pen,” one joked.
“Better be a good-and-strong pen, too,” the other added with a chuckle.
• Oh, no! Brad Scarbrough hit the Big 5-0!
• And Billy “Billy D” Dzwonkowski is 31.
• Mark Richt’s abrupt retirement as football coach at the University of Miami brings back memories. Forty-one years ago, yours truly’s first story for the Boca Raton News was about a precocious quarterback headed for The U. The Boca High senior had kept the Bobcats together after their popular coach was fired suddenly, leading Boca to the 1977 state semifinals.
That young man was Mark Richt.
Vin’s People runs Sundays. Email Vin Mannix at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call 941-962-5944. Twitter: @vinmannix.