Vin's People: McKechnie osprey feather good luck for Pirate star

March 21, 2014 

There's a cool story that goes with the osprey feather Lloyd Fait wears with his Pirates Booster Club ballcap while working security at McKechnie Field.

The feather floated down from a nest atop one of the light towers during batting practice before the Pirates March 7 game with the Twins. Centerfielder Andrew McCutchen picked it up and stuck it in his dreadlocks.

Upon returning to the dugout, the 2013 National League MVP gave the feather to Fait and told him to wear it.

So what happened?

McCutchen homered that game and told the usher to keep wearing the feather.

"It's good luck," the Pirate all-star said.

Then after homering March 9 at Sarasota against the Orioles, McCutchen hit another dinger at McKechnie last Friday against the Phillies.

"He told me to keep it in there and I have," Fait said.

When the Pirates break camp to begin the regular season, the feather will be going north, too.

Fait will wear it Opening Day at PNC Park when the Pirates host the Cubs March 31.

• Oh, no! Say it ain't so! Jim O'Brien is about to hit the Big 5-0! The milestone lands on the Manatee County Sheriff's courthouse deputy March 27. Tina, Meghan and Emma are amused.

• Bradenton's Albert Konetzni received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Pratt Institute at Thursday's Alumni Achievement Awards luncheon in Manhattan. He spent a career with Disney as an artist in its character merchandising division.

• Zach Trdinich is 13. Bracing for teenagerdom are parents, Michelle and Jim, the Pirates five-tool communications director.

• Hope Mathews, a fifth-grader at Orange Ridge-Bullock Elementary School, and Elise Raimon, a Haile Middle School seventh-grader, will have their handiwork in 2014 Embracing Our Differences art exhibit at Sarasota's Island Park and at Bradenton's Riverwalk Park beginning March 28. Hope's teacher Kathy Kushmer. Elise's is Joseph Gibson.

• Lynn and Fred Pierce are wed 20 years.

• Applications for the Manatee Seminole Club Freshmen Scholarships are available at every Man

atee County high school. Applications must be postmarked by March 31.

• Last but not least, retirement is right around the corner for yours truly after 40 years in this business, including the past 16-plus years with the Herald.

My last day is next Friday, March 28.

Wish me luck.

Vin's People, is by local columnist Vin Mannix. He can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix

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