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TOPEKA, KS — Sports mascots are on campus. They are at Washburn University – for mascot camp.
The characters themselves could not talk to us, but we did catch up with some of their handlers. Nicolette Schleisman found out a few of the tricks of the trade.
Slugger, Ichabod and Willie – are learning the mascot basics.
“Slugger is Slugger. You know, he’s a living breathing brand extension of the Kansas City Royals, if you’re ever in Kauffman Stadium, you see how important of a role he has there,” said Brad Collins.
Kansas City Royals mascot coordinator, Brad Collins, says Slugger’s skills are being put into tip top shape.
David Raymond leads the camp, he spent more than 16 years as Phillie Phanatic, the mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Andrew Johnson has been working with mascots since he was in high school, he is about to graduate college and is looking to see if he wants a profession of suiting up.
“I definitely think its very very important that we have camps and get involved and learn what other performers are doing with their respective teams, we can take ideas and generate ideas for what we’re doing with our teams by networking and working with other professionals,” said Johnson.
Willie the Wildcat and Washburn’s Ichabod joined in learning the art of working the crowd without their words.
“The most important thing is you keep having fun whether you’re 5 or you’re 20 or you’re 30 or 40 or 60 or 70,” said Collins.
These guys say it’s a tough job, but well worth it to exercise that spirit muscle.