THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

Learning to Love February (For Its Promise of Baseball Games!)

Posted by Christy Millikan on Wed, Feb 08, 2012 @ 01:06 PM

I awoke to a light blanket of white covering my lawn and the smallest of snowflakes falling from gray skies this morning. As my eye caught a bird (not the spring-announcing robin I’d hope to see) consuming berries from a snow-covered tree outside my kitchen window, I was left wondering when spring will truly be here to stay.

Super Bowl XLVI was blessed last week when central Indiana’s temperatures roared past unseasonably warm status.  As temperatures hovered near 60°, my boys were able to get outdoors and rid their young bodies of excessive amounts of stored energy, breathe in fresh air and, yes, slip their hands into their worn, leather mitts and play some baseball. I was so eager to shout aloud that Punxsutawney Phil's forecast was dead wrong, but had to remind myself that it was the first week of February and the weather would continue to be anything but consistently full of sunshine, warm and beautiful here in Indiana.  

But February, sweet February! It’s during THIS gloomy, chilled time of the year when pitchers and catchers report to prepare for the upcoming baseball season. It’s February that marks the beginning of spring training. It’s February when MLB teams begin speaking publicly of their new prospects.  Can you feel the excitement? Is it rushing through your veins and warming your soul? If not, hop on Twitter! Players are tweeting of workouts and preparing to pack, the media are counting down the days, and blog writers are itching to once again find the daily rhythm of writing about the sport that has captured their hearts.

The warm streak of last week has passed. The cold, frigid air is real. But as I watch the blanket of snow disappear as we approach the noon hour I ask myself, who really needs a robin to tell you spring is coming? You don’t have to look hard to see that all the signs indicate it’s already well on its way. Baseball games are fast approaching, are you ready? If not, start preparing! It’s already February!

Tags: baseball vacations, baseball games, MLB road trips

Big League Tours' Custom Options

Posted by Doug Lawson on Sun, Jan 29, 2012 @ 09:24 PM

Big League Tours is happy to customize your baseball vacation package to fit your travel requirements. On longer tours, like the West Coast, East Coast, and Midwest 1, we can take a day or two off the beginning or end of the published tour. Just send us an email, or give us a call, and we will be happy to provide a price quote.

We can also customize your standard tour with additional options. For instance, just let us know if you would like to take a city tour, visit a museum, or check out the local food scene. We'll be happy to recommend our favorites, as well as, take care of the details. Just let us know.

West Coast Tour Promotion Ends Tues., Jan. 31

Get a free hotel night on the West Coast Tour when you book before the end of the day Jan. 31. It's a free hotel night the night before or the night after the tour dates. For instance, if your flights will make it difficult to get to Seattle in plenty of time to comfortably get to the hotel, check in, and then get to the first game, come in a night early and we'll pick up the room cost. The other option would be to stay an extra night in Phoenix before flying home. But hurry, this promotion ends on Tues. CLICK HERE to reserve your spot.


GET A WEST COAST TOUR BROCHURE

 PETCO Park in downtown San Diego

Tags: Chase Field, baseball vacations, baseball road trips, baseball games, baseball vacation package, big league tours, AT&T Park, Dodger Stadium, PETCO Park, Safeco Field

Opening Day Is Finally Here!!

Posted by Big League Tours on Mon, Jan 16, 2012 @ 05:30 PM

April 2010 (Repost) - I know that ESPN bills last night's game as opening day but the purest in me just can't except that "made Group in Orioles dugout on a private stadium tourfor TV" hype. Admittedly, I watched the game last night but still believe that the season doesn't officially open until today. Opening Day, after all, should be comprised of day games, shouldn't it? Parades, presentations, fanfare, too. If it was up to me, Opening Day would be a national holiday.

Today's the day that every team is tied for first and believes that they have a chance to stay in the hunt this year. Today's the day that we realize that we will have professional baseball played everyday until the first of November. Today's the day that summer begins in my book.

So enjoy the day today. Catch your team's opener. And get ready for another summer of baseball and taking baseball travel tours to see your team all summer long!

Tags: Opening day, baseball games, baseball tours, big league tours

Longing for Baseball Games...

Posted by Christy Millikan on Mon, Jan 02, 2012 @ 07:00 PM

While I don’t mind sitting around and taking it easy at the beginning of each new year in front of the television watching more than a dozen football games, I must say, I prefer to be watching 9 innings of baseball. Many argue with me that football provides a more exciting and thrilling Opening Day at Great American Ball Parkproduct. Perhaps that is true in their minds, and perhaps there is some truth to the fact that I have a far too simplistic mind that just flat doesn’t enjoy time clocks. Yet maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m okay with baseball being a less physical sport, but a dramatically neat game (as in tidy). I’m not sure. All I know is that I love the game of baseball and cannot wait for the new season to begin.

So while the NHL plays its Winter Classic in a baseball stadium today, college football continues to crown bowl victors, NFL teams prepare for the playoffs or talk strategy for future draft picks, and while my own hometown counts down the days until she will host her very first Super Bowl, I will continue to count down the days until Opening Day for Major League Baseball.

After today, my countdown will end in ninety-four days when my Cincinnati Reds take on the Florida Marlins on April 5, 2012 following a bunch of Opening Day ceremonies. How about you? How long do you have to wait until your team takes the field?

Tags: baseball games, baseball stadiums, Reds, Cincinnati

Have You Covered the Bases for Dad and Father's Day?

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 10:15 AM

Wouldn't Dad love a luxury baseball tour from Big League Tours this year?  It's a great vacation for the whole family, or the perfect father/son-daughter trip.  There are several MLB tours still available for the 2011 season.  Just click on a link below to see all the info.

Midwest Plus, July 20- 26, 2011

Chicago/Milwaukee, August 2- 6, 2011

Reds Road Trip, August 5 - 8, 2011

Big Apple, August 10- 14, 2011

Oktoberfest in Cincinnati, September 16 - 18, 2011

Escorted tours make great gifts for baseball fans. Check out the tours still available and give Dad a gift that he'll remember for a lifetime!!

Tags: stadium tours, Luxury baseball, Milwaukee, Miller Park, baseball games, baseball tours, Wrigley Field, big league tours, Brewers, Chicago, Baseball, Cubs

Yankee Stadium Home Run Friendly?

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 @ 04:00 PM

ESPN's John Bancroft posted an article recently about the home runs that have been occuring at Yankee Stadium. Here's the opening of the article:

The Bronx Bombers are back in full force.

The Yankees have been hitting home runs at a record-setting pace at their new ballpark … and they'd have been on pace for more if they hadn't run up against Craig Stammen and the upstart Nationals during their most recent homestand. Through 35 games at the new Yankee Stadium, the Yankees have swatted 66 homers, putting them on pace for 153, four more than the record 149 hit by the 1996 Rockies at Coors Field. The Yankees and their opponents, meanwhile, have combined for 119 homers at Yankee Stadium, putting the park on pace for 250, the sixth-most hit at one ballpark in a single season in baseball history.

To think, if not for the Yankees and Nationals hitting a mere four home runs in their June 16-18 series, that full-season pace would swell to 291, only 12 behind the single-season record of 303 hit at Coors Field in 1999.

No wonder they call it "Coors Field East."

I know Yankee Stadium has taken a lot of criticism for the amount of home runs hit, the cost of the seats, and price of the stadium. However, as a baseball fan who has traveled around the country on many baseball road trips, it's my opinion that it's one of the best places to catch a baseball game. Sight lines are great (from the seats and the concourse). Traffic moves well throughout the ballpark. The seats are more comfortable than those at any other baseball stadium.

Big League Tours will be in New York City in a few weeks to check out the New Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, take a private tour of Yankee Stadium, and have a Big League Player Experience with Art Shamsky, member of the '69 Miracle Mets team. For more info, check out the details on our Big Apple Tour. Hope you can join us!

Tags: Citi Field, baseball road trips, baseball games, baseball stadiums, big league tours, Yankees, Yankee Stadium

Big League Tours in the News

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 @ 11:00 AM

February 15, 2009 - Big League Tours was featured in the Indianapolis Star today. Here's an excerpt from the article:
"Similarly, baseball is a passion for me that began at an early age. I grew up playing baseball, watching the game of the week on Saturdays and going to Riverfront Stadium every chance that I could. My dad and I used to talk about visiting every Major League ballpark, and we visited a few here and there. But when my son, who's now 11, started getting into baseball, we began talking about visiting all the parks, too. I realized that I had a window of opportunity to go to as many of the stadiums as I could with him and my dad before life passed us up and we no longer had the opportunity.
As I looked into the options of going with other tour operators or going on my own, I didn't like what I saw. Other tour operators offered seven- to 10-day package tours that had you on a bus for 3,000-plus miles, staying at cheap motels in the middle of nowhere and sitting in group seats in the upper decks. None of that appealed to me. I also thought that going alone wouldn't afford me some things that could more easily be done in a group.
I began pulling together a business plan. I surrounded myself with people with experience in group travel tours, and (who) had connections with baseball. Once the idea had jelled, the launch began in the fall of 2005 and the baseball travel tours began in 2006. We offer really cool opportunities for baseball lovers, like bringing in current and former Major League Baseball players to meet with our guests. We take private stadium tours and get special access to stadiums. It's been a real dream to think up and plan the tours the way that I would want to take them and to share that with other baseball fans."
Go to IndyStar.com to see the full article. You can also go to BigLeagueTours.com to learn more about the small group tours that we have available for the 2009 season.
 

Tags: group travel, baseball games, baseball tours, baseball travel, big league tours, group tours

Here's an Eternal Baseball Trip

Posted by Big League Tours on Sun, Nov 20, 2011 @ 12:30 PM

Follow Your Favorite Team... Into the Afterlife?
November 11, 2008 - There are many die hard baseball fans out there, but I have neFamily tours remember loved ones. ver seen anything like this.  Eternal Image makes unique caskets and urns for their customers.  Clint Mytych, CEO and only 27, of Eternal Image is determined to change the funeral industry with an array of new ways to celebrate the person who has passed. 

Whether it is an urn for your favorite pet or you were a huge Phillies fan and you would like to dedicate your urn to the team, with the permission of Major League Baseball fans can now take it to the next level.

The MLB urns are made from aluminum, sits on top of a wooden shaped base and topped with a clear dome and baseball can be displayed.  Then the logo of the persons favorite team is displayed on the side as well as their name. There is soon to be a casket that focuses on your favorite team as well.  The casket will resemble a wooden bat and will be lined in the persons favorite teams colors.

Are you this big of a fan?  Join us on one of our sports vacations and maybe you'll catch that commemorative baseball that can be displayed on your urn.  Or maybe during one of our baseball stadium tours you could get a bat signed by a special player for that wooden bat casket. If your not ready to take your favorite team to the afterlife just enjoy them now with Big League Tours.

Tags: baseball trips, bucket list, baseball games, Phillies

Call Me Old School - What I Like to See at Baseball Games

Posted by Christy Millikan on Sun, Nov 20, 2011 @ 07:45 AM

Vintage or retro, call it what you will. I love it! I’m talking about the change in the Orioles and Blue Jays logos that were recently announced. Have you seen the changes? They are as I remember them as a kid, and in my opinion how they should’ve remained all along. I’m thrilled to see the return of both birds, cartoon-style. 
 
It’s been fun in recent years to watch teams utilize “throw back” uniforms, but it’s nice to see that some things simply stay the same. While I’m not a fan of the Yankees, I love their traditional blocked letter “NY” and timeless pinstripes. The Red Sox “B” stirs emotion of either love or dread. Then there is Detroit’s Old English “D” and the Chicago Cubs red “C” that have remained constant throughout time. While the Indians and the Braves have gotten a bit more politically correct over the years, logos will always define their teams.
 
I’m an old-time traditionalist who loves the game of baseball. I love the relaxing atmosphere at baseball games. I love baseball pants (high ones). I love seeing socks, but don’t prefer skater-boy hat bills. I love that baseball is still just baseball after all this time.
 
This traditionalist can hardly wait to begin cheering on her Cincinnati Red Stockings again!

Tags: Red Sox, Boston, baseball games, Wrigley Field, Reds, Great American Ball Park, Cubs, Cincinnati

Snagging Foul Balls at Major League Baseball Stadiums

Posted by Big League Tours on Sat, Nov 19, 2011 @ 06:00 PM

Tips From an Expert
The fans who travel with us on our baseball travel tours are typically die-hard fans who want to experience as much as they can in each city, stadium and game that they can. So we incorporate arriving to the baseball stadiums early, giving our guests time to explore the neighborhoods or the park itself.

Another thing that fans love to do is catch batting practice. It's a great time to get some autographs from players and possibly to snag some balls, either hit by batters or thrown into the stands by players warming up.

I love seeing the excitement on the face of our travelers when they show me the ball that they snagged or the autograph that they received from a player. I know this will be a MLB road trip that they won't forget!

For those of you really interested in snagging a baseball at a game, here's a video about a guy who, at the time, had snagged at least one baseball in over 450 consecutive games.

Tags: stadium tours, baseball games, baseball stadiums, big league tours, MLB road trips