VBSV to house Mascot Boot Camp

Dave Raymond, the original Phillie Phanatic, hosts Feb. camp

Boot Camp director Dave Raymond was the original Phillie Phanatic. (Matt Slocumb/AP)

By Minor League Baseball | September 29, 2010 7:00 AM ET

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Vero Beach Sports Village, operated by Minor League Baseball, will become the home of Dave Raymond's Mascot Boot Camp. The initial camp in this joint effort between Minor League Baseball and Raymond Entertainment will occur from February 25-27, 2011.

David Raymond was the original Phillie Phanatic, a role he held for 16 years. His mascot performer training sessions were created over 18 years ago and hundreds of performers, including some from NFL, NBA and MLB clubs, have attended the weekend seminars.

"Minor League Baseball is proud to welcome Dave Raymond's Mascot Boot Camp to our beautiful facility, Vero Beach Sports Village," Minor League Baseball Executive VP & COO Tim Purpura said. "We are confident that the attendees to the Boot Camp will benefit greatly from our championship quality facility and amenities and we look forward to assisting Dave and his staff as they train championship-caliber mascots for all levels of sports."

"We have always known that the best mascot programs all have one thing in common ... a talented and trained performer," Dave Raymond, "Emperor of Fun and Games" at Raymond Entertainment Group, said. "Raymond Entertainment is passionate about great mascot performance and has been committed to providing the best performer training anywhere.

"We are thrilled to be working with MiLB and Vero Beach Sports Village to create mascot training designed to help MiLB teams produce great mascot brands."

MiLB clubs will have a special rate available to them for this Mascot Boot Camp, which includes tuition, room & board at the 67-acre sports and conference center in Vero Beach, Fla.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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