THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

Glenn Dunlap

Recent Posts

Exploring Frisco, Rocco's Cafe - West Coast Baseball Tour Part III

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Tue, Jul 17, 2012 @ 01:00 PM

The following day we took our west coast baseball tour guests to San Francisco. We hopped a short flight and arrived at SFO in the early afternoon. Once we checked into our hotels, everyone had the afternoon and evening on their own to go see the sites. We provided 3-day metro cards that allowed our guests to use the public transportation to go practically anywhere in the city.Chef Don

By now, I'm sure you're picking up on my love of food. Yeah? So when in San Francisco, a city that's known for its great food, how could I not explore just a bit? We opted to go to Rocco's Cafe, a local Italian spot that we discovered by watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  

Chef Don, founder of Rocco's, paid our table a visit and chatted with us for quite a while. Turns out he's quite the baseball fan. In fact, Rocco's is so close to AT&T Park and the food is so good, that we've heard several of the Giants players, managers and staff members frequent the restaurant. I'm sure that several members from the visiting teams make their way to Rocco's too. If they don't, they're missing out!

Tags: San Francisco, west coast baseball tour, baseball travel, AT&T Park, Giants

Safeco Field & Pike Place Market - West Coast Baseball Tour Part II

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Tue, Jul 17, 2012 @ 10:00 AM


5 spotOur day started off by visiting the 5 Spot Cafe on Queen Anne. The menu was very inventive and the food was delicious. It was the perfect way to start off a full day of siteseeing and baseball tour activities!

We then took the bus down to Pike Place Market. We paid homage to the original Starbucks location and then walked the market. Witnessed the fish throwing that has become known around the world. Even bumped into Dustin Pedroia (the Red Sox were in town) at the market!

Safeco Field from seats

In the middle of the afternoon, we connected with our group at the hotel to officially kick off the tour. After they received their goody bags, we headed out to Safeco Field. This was the first time for all of our travelers to visit the stadium so we went early to give everyone time to take a look around.

Here's a view from our seats early in the game. About the middle of the 6th inning, it started to mist or rain a bit so they closed the roof. I had gone up to the upper deck to take some pictures and realized in just the last minute or two that it was closing. 

Even if you take the train to Safeco as we did, I would recommend entering the stadium at 1st Avenue and South Royal Brougham Way. It's a much more inviting entrance and will give you a much better feel for the ballpark than any other entrance. It's much larger and also helps you avoid having to change levels to walk around to home plate. 

Tags: west coast baseball tour, Seattle, baseball tours, Safeco Field

Exploring Seattle - West Coast Baseball Tour Part I

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Tue, Jul 17, 2012 @ 06:45 AM

Space Needle in Seattle

The first day of our West coast baseball trip was a free day for our guests to arrive at their leisure, get settled in the hotel, and see a few sites in Seattle. Our tour group stayed in the heart of Seattle within easy walking distance of the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and lots of restaurants and shops. 

The first afternoon we walked to the Space Needle. It's hard to believe that this structure is 50 years old. I personally hadn't visited the needle or that area for 26 years. From what I could remember, it appears that the park and area surrounding the needle have been re-built or re-vitalized.

We were a little disappointed that we didn't go up in the needle but it was so overcast that we wouldn't have been able to see much. At $19 per person, we didn't feel that we could go up and not see anything and feel that it was worth it. For another day!

We had also had a recommendation from a friend to check out Top Pot Donuts. Holy cow, they were great! We're all fans of different kinds of donuts so we sampled several. 

Top Pot DoughnutsAll I can say is that if you are ever in Seattle, you have to stop in!! My personal suggestion is the Maple Bar and a cup of Americano. 

You know, as I sit here and right this blog post, I'm thinking that it would be worth a trip to Seattle just for these doughnuts!!

Here's a photo from their website that's of their 5th Avenue location. Nice atmosphere, great folks, fabulous doughnuts and coffee!!

Tags: west coast baseball tour, Seattle, baseball trips, baseball tours

Hall of Fame Tour Travelers Pick Up a New Glove?

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Tue, Jun 05, 2012 @ 12:01 PM

Later this month and again in July, we'll host a couple of groups of baseball tour travelers to one of our favorite destinations, Cooperstown, New York. Our tours will spend the day at the National Baseball Hall of Fame - looking into the past of the nation's favorite sport. 

Here's a fun video about a man who's looking to change an important element of the game - the baseball glove. Looks to me like our guests will have to swing into his shop to check out what he's been developing...

Our 2012 Hall of Fame Tours include games at Citi Field, Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park as well as a full day in Cooperstown. For more information or to join us for the baseball vacation pacakge, visit the Hall of Fame 4 webpage.

Tags: Boston, Citi Field, New York, east coast baseball tour, baseball tours, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, MLB road trips, hall of fame, Cooperstown

Brandon Phillips Tackles Bizarre Food in NYC

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Fri, Jun 01, 2012 @ 06:57 AM

New York City has so many locations for dining. When we were just out there for our Big Apple baseball tour, we dined in a couple of restaurants that were suggestions from friends and absolutely loved our experience. 

One major-leaguer who loves his food is Brandon Phillips, All Star 2nd baseman for the Cincinnati Reds. If you follow @DatDudeBP on Twitter, you'll often see tweets about food. On the Reds recent trip to New York, Brandon had dinner with Bizarre Food's host, Andrew Zimmern. 

Check out Brandon's reaction to these dishes... 

Tags: sports travel and tours, New York, baseball tours, Yankees, Yankee Stadium

Major League Baseball Road Trip of the Week

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Fri, Apr 27, 2012 @ 05:37 AM

I've had in mind this idea of featuring players or teams that have a great week on the road, largely because I think the tie-in to baseball road trips that we offer is pretty cool. But if you've traveled for a week or two, you know how easy it is to get off your rhythm. Imagine doing that for six months and being expected to perform at your best. So here's our first Road Trip of the Week!

Rangers: The Rangers were absolutely on fire this week. They won eight games in a row on the road at Target Field, Fenway Park, and Comerica Park until finally losing to Detroit in the second game of their double header on Saturday. 

Philip Humber: Doesn't get any better than perfect! This week Philip Humber became only theHumber reflects on perfect 21st pitcher to toss a perfect game. His perfecto came on the road while pitching at Safeco Field against the Mariners. Very classy ovation from the Mariners fans, too. (Incidentally, we had a group tour at US Cellular Field in 2009 when Mark Beurhle pitched his perfect game. What an amazing thing to witness!) 

Reds 10,000th win: Dating all the way back to their membership in the American Association, the Reds closed out their 10,000th franchise victory while at Wrigley Field joining the Giants, Cubs, Dodgers, Cardinals and Braves at achieving this milestone.

Congratulations to the players and teams featured this week. Since 2006, BLT has provided the ultimate baseball tours to fans who want to truly get inside the game by providing great seats, player appearances, behind-the-scenes stadium tours, special stadium access, and great travel accommodations. Plan your next baseball vacation with Big League Tours, the team that knows a great Road Trip!!

Tags: Comerica Park, baseball road trips, baseball stadiums, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Safeco Field, U.S. Cellular Field, Target Field

Should Tommy John Be In The Hall of Fame?

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 @ 03:15 PM

One of my favorite things about our baseball tours is to offer our guests the opportunity to meet former Major League Players, hear them tell stories about their big league careers, and to get a chance to interact with them, asking questions and getting pictures and autographs. Maybe I like offering that to our guests because I enjoy that myself? In fact, I'm sure it is. I had a chance to do just that yesterday. Dr. Kremchek, Mr. Tommy John and me

Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, led by Dr. Tim Kremchek, sponsored an event held at the Green Diamond Gallery in Cincinnati and brought in Tommy John to speak. Mr. John was a Major League pitcher from 1963-1989, pitching for six different teams, but is probably thought of more as a Dodger or Yankee more than any other team affiliation. John posted multiple 20-win seasons, was a four-time All Star, and was a member of several playoff bound teams. He finished his career with 288 wins.

What's even more amazing about his career is the fact that, in the middle of his 26 years, he underwent experimental surgery to repair damaged ligament in his pitching arm, not knowing if he'd ever be able to pitch again. Mr. John told us yesterday that he first hurt his arm going from Little League pitching distances to Major League distance in his freshman year. That year he played first base and didn't pitch much. He continued to pitch with pain in his arm until he ultimately couldn't pitch any more and had the surgery.

This surgery was so successful that it has become very commonplace in baseball. In fact 1 out of 9 Major League pitchers will have the surgery. One in 9! This has extended the playing career of many great pitchers and even position players. 

It was great to hear the stories behind the events that led to such a pivotal point in baseball from the man who lived through them personally and now has the surgery 

Tags: Dodgers, baseball trips, Yankees, Cincinnati

Inside the Green Diamond Gallery: Cincy's Baseball Hall of Fame

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 @ 09:37 AM

I had the privilege of attending an event at the Green Diamond Gallery in Cincinnati. I have had several Cincy locals tell me that I needed to get up there but just hadn't had theView of the Green Diamond Club opportunity to do so. Boy, were they right!

Here's how their website describes the gallery:

"The Green Diamond Gallery houses a breathtaking array of high-end baseball memorabilia dating back to the late 1800s.

Marvel at the Hall of Fame Wall with photos and autographs of almost every inducted Hall of Fame member. 

Travel back to the founding of the Cincinnati Reds, re-live the team’s World Championships, and get information about our hometown’s greatest ball players through an incredible Reds Timeline.

Gaze at hundreds of autographed and mounted baseballs from greats like Mantle, Ruth, Morgan and Bench. 

Browse vintage and current baseball books and magazines in our Library.

In addition, you’ll find:

Hundreds of game-used baseball bats

Game-worn jerseys, including jerseys from defunct teams and Hall of Famers

Seats from stadiums old and new

One-of-a-kind documents dating back to the 19th century

Thousands of historical photographs depicting the greats of the game

Signatures and photos from some of the most talked-about scandals in baseball, including Shoeless Joe Jackson and the 1919 Black Sox

And much, much more!"

Much more is right. What kept running through my mind while I was there was that the Hall of Fame wallgallery felt like Cooperstown had been brought to the best "man cave" ever conceived. It's hard to fathom the depth of the private collection. For instance, check out the picture to the left. 

The wall is covered with photos of every Hall of Famer arranged by the year they were admitted to Cooperstown, and most have their autograph included, too. How incredibly amazing is that?? 

So for all of you who ever suggested that I should make a special trip to the Green Diamond Gallery, I now know that you weren't exaggerating a bit. And for those of you who haven't been, you'll now have to listen to me encourage you to get there as soon as you can. It's a great experience. In fact, one that we hope to incorporate on our trips through Cincinnati!! 

Tags: Luxury baseball, baseball tours, hall of fame, Cooperstown, Cincinnati

Baseball Stadium Tour with Google Maps

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Sat, Mar 31, 2012 @ 05:48 AM

Here's a fun video that takes you on a tour of several baseball stadiums by virtually flying you around the country using Google Maps. It's not a complete collection of all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums but it does include many of the greats like Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium, AT&T Park, and Wrigley Field

It has me wondering if we could do quick videos that would show the stadiums as they'll be featured on our baseball vacation packages? That would be a fun preview, wouldn't it?

Enjoy!

 

Tags: stadium tours, baseball stadiums, AT&T Park, Angel Stadium, Dodger Stadium, PETCO Park

Marlins Ballpark is Nearing Completion - Video

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Sat, Mar 17, 2012 @ 07:08 AM

As Opening Day for the 2012 MLB baseball season quickly approaches, final preparations are being made inside Marlins Ballpark. Unbelievably, this will be the 14th new baseball stadium built since 2000 within the Major Leagues. The Marlins join the Twins (2010), Yankees (2009), Mets (2009), and Nationals (2008) as the five newest stadium owners. The team will boast the newest of those stadiums this year and for the next couple of years since there aren't any new ballparks under construction.

The following video footage from the Miami Herald was taken inside Marlins Ballpark at the point that they started laying the sod. This has obviously been completed since a couple of exhibition games have taken place, but it does give you some interesting views from inside the ballpark. The fish aquariums behind home plate, the home run sculpture in the outfield, and the Miami colors will all make this ballpark very unique. 

Take a look and let us know what you think!

Tags: stadium tours, Marlins, Marlins Ballpark, Miami, baseball stadiums