THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

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

Baseball Road Trips Are Just Around the Corner

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Sat, Feb 25, 2012 @ 07:19 PM

Ah, yes. Players have reported to camp, Spring Training games begin in about a week, and baseball news has heated up. All those things mean that baseball trips are just around the corner!Yankee Stadium just before a game

I'm personally hosting a couple of our tours and have started putting together my plans for the non-baseball portions of our itineraries. For instance, on our West Coast Tour, I'm looking forward to seeing Pike Place Market in Seattle, touring Alcatraz in San Francisco, and eating authentic Mexican food in San Diego.

I'm also really looking forward to meeting up with Big League Tours' customers in their hometowns and at their home stadiums. They can always give us a local take on the ballpark, the team, and the city's sites and attractions. I'm in the picture to the right just outside of Yankee Stadium with a couple of guests from California. We're planning to catch a game together at AT&T Park when our baseball tour comes through town. Can't wait to re-connect!Trip brochure link

So it's not too early to begin your tour planning for the 2012 baseball season. Find the tour that suits your needs and start laying in all the "extras". Let us know if you need help planning that perfect baseball vacation package!

Check out our 2012 Baseball Tours, Download a trip brochure, and Sign-up for the baseball experience for a lifetime of memories!

Tags: San Francisco, west coast baseball tour, baseball road trips, baseball stadiums, ballpark tours, AT&T Park

Guest Blog: Will Carroll on PNC Park

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Jan 17, 2012 @ 12:00 PM

You can argue, but PNC Park in Pittsburgh is the best park in baseball. Sure, Wrigley and Fenway have that historic charm and are maybe a bit more integrated into the neighborhood, but at PNC, you can go to the bathroom, park, and oh those views. For years, people have said the only thing wrong with PNC is the team on the field. Last summer showed that's changing, so there'sWalking thru PNC Park during the game to see different views no time like now to get to the park before it's elbow to elbow. (Though frankly, the park is even better filled and loud.)

Get a seat on the third base side, especially on night games, so you can see the Roberto Clemente Bridge and the full view of the Pittsburgh skyline. The city is just across the river, a miniature Manhattan with a distinctive skyline. Make sure to have a Primanti Brothers sandwich, a Pittsburgh tradition that puts the fries and slaw inside the bread! (Trust me, share one.) Save room for Manny Sanguillen's BBQ, which is hidden behind the batter's eye in dead center field. Many times, Manny himself will be out there!

Sitting in the right field bleachers is a very unique view. I've gone to theWill Carroll w baseball resized 600 fenced area underneath and carried on conversations with Garrett Jones during games. There aren't too many places you can do that in baseball. As you leave, check the statues of Pittsburgh greats around the park - Willie Stargell, Honus Wagner, and Roberto Clemente remind us all of how good it's been in Pittsburgh. You'll agree, PNC is the best park in America.

Will Carroll is a contributor to Sports Illustrated. Called "the industry standard" by Peter Gammons, Carroll's work on injuries and sports medicine has been groundbreaking for both fans of the game and those inside the game. He is a member of the BBWAA.

Tags: baseball stadiums, ballpark tours, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, PNC Park, Pirates, Pittsburgh

Guest Blog: Will Chambers on Great American Ball Park

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Jan 17, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

Great American Ball Park provides Reds fans and visitors one of the great baseball experiences in the game. Despite the Reds rich history (baseball’s first ever team) this is not a nostalgic feel type venue. Those are reserved for stops at Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. And kudos goes out to those who planned this park for not trying to make it have that feel. What they did is give the city of Cincinnati an intimate setting to watch their beloved Redlegs.

Great American Ball Park - view from the press box while on a stadium tourAs a person who grew up in the area going to Riverfront Stadium and GABP, there are a few great ways to watch baseball here, even for a Cubs fan like me. I’ll give you my favorite way to watch the game:

There are a number of seating options, including the ultra-premium “Diamond Club” seat section behind the batter’s box. My favorite spot is the club area. They call it the “4192” club after Pete Rose’s record-breaking hit mark. It's a great vantage point and I’m a fan of the elevated view and the club area goes up the first base line on the second level, right on top of the Reds dugout it seems. Inside it is comfortable with ice-cold Freon blowing and great food being served up. Some of which are Cincinnati favorites, LaRosa’s Pizza and Montgomery Inn barbeque as well as a pasta bar and several other stations. One thing to be sure to get: a Big Red Smokey. A hot-dog on steroids. It’s a smoked sausage that eats like a dog without quite the spice you get from a mett. There’s also an option to get one infused with cheddar cheese; a superior hot-dog.

Be sure to keep an eye on the scoreboard located above the bleachers in left (the lower level bleachers in left field leave you with a blocked view of the scoreboard and an area I would avoid FYI) to see two things: the scoreboard stumper and the Mr. Red Race. The stumper is never too difficult and the Mr. Red Race is the tradition at a Reds game.Will Chambers

Lastly, you must go to the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum located just outside the front gate at GABP. This is widely considered the best Hall of Fame and Museum for a team in all of baseball. It features the largest collection of Reds collectibles, artifacts and memorabilia in the world. Two floors and 16,000 square feet of Reds heaven. It’s a must for any baseball fan.

After you’ve taken it all in, finish it off with a sundae from United Dairy Farmers. Your Cincinnati visit is done.

Will Chambers is a local sportscaster and journalist covering Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. His duties include feature sports columnist for Cincinnati Profile magazine and lead play-by-play announcer for Georgetown College, among others. He is a Cincinnati native who currently resides in Kentucky. You can check out his work at IHigh.com.

Tags: stadium tours, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, Reds, Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Other Baseball Tours vs. Big League Tours

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Fri, Jan 06, 2012 @ 04:30 PM

We received a short email today about our baseball trips from a prospective customer, who we'll call BP. BP's response to an email from us said,

"I think by looking at other tour groups, you guys are a bit too expensive."

It's great to get feedback like this. And if BP is thinking this, others might be thinking it as well. Here was the response I sent to BP:

Thanks for giving us your feedback. I'm curious to know why you feel that we're too expensive? It's true, our baseball tours do cost more than the other guys but the things Big League Tours guest with Bill "Spaceman" Leeincluded in our tours are quite different. For instance, consider the seats at the ballgames. We don't buy group tickets that place you four rows from the top out by the foul poles. Instead, on our tours you'll sit in lower level seats, most of the time between the bases.

Also consider the hotels. When we have a tour to New York, for instance, we stay in the heart of Manhattan. Other tour groups stay in New Jersey or Connecticut. The price difference is quite significant but so is the experience. You can walk to Times Square (and many other attractions) on our tour but you'll be listening to jets landing on their tours.

There are other differences, too, including special stadium access, our player meet and greets, and the care we take in developing our itineraries that allow you to experience the cities we visit. Click here to see some testimonials from our customers and customers from other tour providers.

We know that other tour operators are good at what they do. And if you aren't concerned about where you sit at the games, where you stay, or how much time you spend on a bus, then I'm sure you'll be happy traveling with them. However, we think there's an experience level that's much different on our tours that's worth the difference in price. And if it's an experience that you are looking for, we hope that you'll consider joining us!!

I hope my response helps and welcome your thoughts and questions.

Catch you later!

Glenn

I really hope that I answered BP's concerns and possibly some that you might have had as well.

Tags: tour operator, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, baseball vacation package, testimonials

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

Looking Forward to an Exciting World Series

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 04:30 PM

October 19, 2011 - Congratulations to the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals for their League Championship victories. The stage is set for a great World Series.

Since our inception in 2006, we have enjoyed multiple visits to Busch Stadium and Rangers Ballpark. But we have to admit that we have a special affinity for the Rangers organization at Big League Tours.  Our group's reception when we visited Arlington in 2010 was tremendous. Rangers legend Jim Sundberg was especially gracious as he gave our group a private baseball stadium tour and a behind-the-scene look at the Rangers' offices.Group with Nolan Ryan and Jim Sundberg

And then, Jim surprised us all by arranging a meeting with Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. Nolan and Jim were kind enough to sign autographs and chat at length with our group, too. They even posed for pictures like the one above. If you're ever on a tour with Rob, Mickey, Dianne or Lillian (that's them with the big smiles in the picture), just ask them about that day. They'll enjoy telling you all about it.

Thanks again to Jim Sundberg and Nolan Ryan for making this one of the most special baseball vacation packages we've offered our Big League Tours' guests. We hope to visit the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington again very soon, maybe again in 2012.

Speaking of 2012 baseball tours, if you aren't on our email list to get updates and announcements, Click Here to sign up so that you'll be the first to know about your upcoming sports travel and tours.

Tags: St. Louis, Rangers, sports travel and tours, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, baseball vacation package, big league tours, Busch Stadium, Cardinals, Baseball

The Big League Tours Baseball Bucket List Survey

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 04:15 PM

October 19, 2011 - Thanks to everyone who filled out our survey about which baseball stadiums you'd like to visit. The response has been tremendous. We thought we would update everyone on the results, so far.

So, here are your top picks with their response percentages:
1.  Tie- Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park 48%
2.  The National Baseball Hall of Fame 35%
3.  Wrigley Field 34%
4.  Miller Park 31%
5.  Oriole Park at Camden Yard 28%

If you haven't filled out the survey yet, just click below and let us know where you want to go with Big League Tours in 2012. We're looking forward to announcing our baseball tours for next season and appreciate your input. Plus, we will give you $100 off your 2012 Big League Tours trip just for completing it. Only one per client.

Tags: Miller Park, baseball stadiums, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, big league tours, Yankee Stadium, hall of fame, Oriole Park, Camden Yards

2012 MLB Schedules Have Been Released

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 03:45 PM

September 16, 2011 -  It might be hard to believe, but it's time to begin making plans for the summer of 2012. With the release of the MLB team schedules for next season, we've begun the planning and logistics for our sports travel and tours. It's a time that brings out a little bit of creativity and a lot of nerd in us!

But hey, if you are planning family tours to baseball stadiums or taking small group tours with some old friends, tell us where you want to go. We would love to hear from you. What stadiums do you want to see, cities would you like to visit, or attractions would you like to stop at in between destinations? What's a spot that you've been to that you think others should see? What's a feature that we should incorporate into our group travel tours? Now is a great time for us to build those items in.

In the mean time, we'll keep plugging away and hope to have our 2012 Tour Packages announced really soon!

Tags: group travel, baseball road trips, sports travel and tours, baseball stadiums, baseball travel, big league tours, group tours, family tours, Baseball