THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

Midwest Baseball Tour Begins in Toronto

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 03:30 PM

July 22, 2011 - The Midwest Plus tour got off to a great start in Toronto. After meeting up with all our participants here at the Four Diamond hotel, we took the short walk over to the Rogers Centre. Yes, it was a hot one, with temperatures expected up at 37! (That's about 105 fahrenheit if my math is right.) The walk over was early enough that it was actually pretty pleasant as we walked over.

We were met at the Rogers Centre entrance by Buck Martinez, longtime player with the Blue Jays, Brewers, and Royals and now the TV play-by-play man for the Jays. Buck took us into the baseball stadium and gave us the story of what was originally called SkyDome. We were there for the first time the dome had been closed for heat, so that's some history. Buck took questions for about half an hour, then walked us up to his TV booth. Then we went down to the TV Truck, a place most people don't get to see. (We went back during the game to see it working - very cool!)

As Buck went off to call the game, we took our seats for a close game between the Jays and Mariners. We were sitting a couple rows back near third base, a great place to see Jose Bautista normally, though he was DHing due to his ankle injury last week. It was a pitchers duel for the first seven innings, a tight 1-1. Then Doug Fister fell apart and the Jays pounced on the opportunity to ring him up. Quickly 5-1, the M's struck back even more quickly. Reliever Casey Janssen walked a couple, gave up one blooper, then Miguel Olivo tied it up with a line drive to dead center. It was the M's first grand slam of the season!

The M's, in the midst of a 12 game losing streak, couldn't hang on. Rajai Davis hit a long line over the CF's head to score a couple, but got the laughter from his teammates as he raised his hands after the hit. Yes, Rajai thought it was the ninth inning instead of the eighth and that he had hit a walk off. No, Rajai - run! (He made it to second on the throw, but he'll get a fine in kangaroo court for that one!) The Jays closed it out with big Jon Rauch, getting the win, 7-5.

Most of the tour group headed to the hotel attached to the stadium to meet up with Buck Martinez again. (I missed this part, staying behind to take part in the Blue Jays post-game show with Mike Wilner. The show goes out not just to Toronto, but is a nationwide broadcast in Canada.) Buck brought along his TV partner, Pat Tabler, for a drink before they jetted off to Texas. The group walked back to the hotel and had a night in beautiful (but hot) Toronto.

We'll be packing up and heading for Niagara Falls this morning, so I'll wrap this up for now. It was a great start to our small group tour. At one point, one of the participants turned to me and said "It's going to be tough to top this!" I had to just smile - while we had a great time in Toronto, Rogers Centre is the "worst" stadium we'll see on the tour and we've got a lot planned for the next four days.

Tags: Royals, Mariners, Blue Jays, Toronto, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, Brewers, Baseball

Next Stop: Citi Field

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 02:30 PM

July 1, 2011 - After meeting Art Shamsky in Midtown Manhattan, our group headed out to Citi Field to see the Mets host the Angels. It's always interesting to see the reaction of our travelers as we reach the Mets' new ballpark. View from our seats at Citi Field

So much raquet is made about Yankee Stadium, the history and of the team, the House That Ruth Built, etc., etc. But the fact is, almost everyone who has been to the new Yankee Stadium and then walks into Citi, says, "Now this is a ballpark."

Comparing the two baseball stadiums, one notices things like the rich colors at Citi Field versus the lack of color at Yankee Stadium. The Mets' outfield wall and centerfield walkway provide interesting sitelines (at least to our guests in the lower-level and between the bases...). And the throwback appearance with the nod to Ebbets Field make Citi Field look and feel like a ballpark whereas Yankee Stadium looks like a mammoth municipal building.

Don't get me wrong. I love seeing games at Yankee Stadium. The team's rich history and great players, makes every baseball fan respect their success. What I am pointing out, however, is that when in New York, whether for work, vacation, or specifically on a baseball road trip, fans should make their way to Citi Field. They won't be disappointed.

Tags: Citi Field, baseball road trips, New York, baseball stadiums, Yankee Stadium, Angels, Baseball, Mets

Our Dream Trip

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 02:00 PM

June 23, 2011 - The accommodations and seats on our recent baseball trip were excellent. Glenn, our tour director, went out of his way to assure we were comfortable. The parks visited were excellent, as well as the baseball stadium tours. The variety of transportation was very good, although the subway travel was a bit tiring. Trip to Hall of Fame was excellent with ample time to see all. Bus selection was excellent. Train trip from Washington to New York was interesting. Glenn did an excellent job in guiding us. The player interface was interesting. Would we go with BLT again? Absolutely!

Name: John H. Gulick
City: Anaheim
State: CA
Country: USA
Your Trip: East Coast-Touch Em All

Tags: stadium tours, New York, baseball trips, baseball stadiums, big league tours, testimonials, hall of fame

Touring Yankee Stadium

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 01:30 PM

June 22, 2011 - Friday morning of our tour allowed our guests some time to explore some sites in New York City. We thenOur group outside Yankee Stadium gathered together to go to Yankee Stadium for one of their escorted tours. Here's the group just outside the House That Ruth Built (v2, anyway...)

I've taken this baseball stadium tour many times and would have to say that our guide, Greg, was the best I've had in the new stadium. He did a great job of incorporating historic details into the presentation as we stood in the museum and monument park. Many times before we would be rushed from place to place in the ballpark but that wasn't the case this time.

Because the team was out of town, we were able to exit the Yankees' dugout and go through the tunnel to see the batting cages and the team clubhouse. I'd love to show you pictures but cameras, cell phones, etc. are strictly off limits in those areas. Steinbrenner monument

To the left is the newest monument in Monument Park. It's obviously to George Steinbrenner, The Boss, who passed away last year. Mr. Steinbrenner had a terrific impact on the Yankees, the improvement of the team's performance, and continuing the legacy of the team's history. It's interesting to note, and comments were being made on this tour as I'm sure they are on other small group tours, that this is the largest monument in the park.

As you set out on MLB road trips, the behind the scenes looks that baseball stadium tours provide are something you should include. This is especially true in New York where the Yankees franchise, love 'em or hate 'em, has such a fantastic history and tradition. It's well worth the visit.

Tags: sports travel and tours, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, big league tours, MLB tours, Yankees, Yankee Stadium, MLB road trips, Baseball

Museum and Stadium Tours in Baltimore

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

The Warehouse Building in Camden YardsOn Eutaw Street beginning our escorted tourGuests in the dugout at Orioles ParkRuth Museum
June 16, 2011 - Whenever we're on the road with our group travel tours, we try to schedule baseball stadium tours to get a behind-the-scenes look at how things operate in the bigs. So while in Baltimore, we took in the guided tour of Orioles Park.

The tour that they give is probably one of the best tours in the majors based on the amount of time that they give you as well as the information that they share.
Inside the museum
The tour starts on Eutaw Street and visits the club level, luxury and party suites, media room, press box, the field and dugouts. All in all it's a great tour that's worth the visit.

We also stopped in the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum which is just a few blocks from Orioles Park. The museum is rich with history of Babe's life, not just his formative years in Baltimore. Here are some photos from the Museum.

Tags: group travel, Orioles, tour operator, Baltimore, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, ballpark tours, group tours, Oriole Park

Orioles and Rays at Camden Yards

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 11:45 AM

June 16, 2011 - The second day of our tour, we loaded up and headed to Baltimore to see the Orioles and Rays at Camden Yards. For most in our group, it was their first trip to the first of the "retro" parks that started a new trend in stadium design and architecture. But more about that when I write about our baseball stadium tours.

The game was a Sunday afternoon game and, just like the day before, was delayed slightly by rain. This time the game started just six minutes late. Our guests were sitting just above the Rays dugout with a great view of the field and of the warehouse building. The picture to the left was taken from our seats.

On each of our baseball road trips that include Orioles Park, our guests always like this ballpark and tend to include it in their favorite. More to come from our escorted tour of the stadium on Monday.

Tags: stadium tours, Orioles, Rays, baseball road trips, Baltimore, baseball stadiums, Baseball, Oriole Park, Camden Yards

A Great Story About the Love of Baseball

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

May 24, 2011 - Here's a great story that appeared May 23rd on OregonLive.com. The story caught my attention for a couple of reasons. First, the story begins when a group of Red Sox fans are at AT&T Park last June. They were there to see the Giants host the Red Sox in interleague play. The significance is that one of our small group tours hosted by Big League Tours in 2010 was at two of the three games of that series.

Second, this story, while it takes a dramatically unexpected turn, is about the love of baseball The Diehards at Fenway Park (from the OregonLive.com article)that runs generations deep in families and friends. It's a love for the game that drove me to start Big League Tours in 2006, a love that was instilled in me by my dad and grandpa. A love that I've been instilling in my kids. And a love that I see demonstrated by the many different guests that we meet on the baseball road trips that we offer each season.

I often tell people that it hit me one day that I wasn't going to have my dad with me forever and that my son wasn't going to think I was "cool" for much longer. So the dream that we shared of seeing all the Major League parks together had a window on it that wouldn't stay open for long.

We've nearly completed getting our three generations to all 30 MLB baseball stadiums on family tours of our own and while hosting Big League Tours' travel package tours. But take a peak at the story on OregonLive.com and see if you are inspired to follow your favorite team on the road, return to your favorite team's stadium, or visit all of the MLB parks.

If you are like us, and the group of folks in the Diehards, you'll appreciate things like great seats, meeting the players, and staying in great accommodations. Those are all things that we do for you on each of our tours. Join us on a tour that will provide memories that will last a lifetime, won't you?

Tags: Red Sox, baseball road trips, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, big league tours, AT&T Park, Baseball

Bill "Spaceman" Lee to Join Big League Tours in Boston

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 09:15 AM

May 10, 2011 - When you have a good thing going, there's no reason to mess with it, right? That's how we feel about having Bill Lee join our tour in Boston. Except in this case it's a great thing! We've been very fortunate to have Bill join us on several tours over the years and he always delights our guests.

Bill was called up to the majors in 1969 and pitched into the 80's, making multiple post season appearances (including the '75 World Series) as well as the All Star Game. But he's probably as well known for his quotes, beliefs and practices that earned him the nickname "Spaceman". Here's short video that will give you a little taste of what's in store for our guests:

If you are interested in baseball road trips that include the "extras" like great seats, baseball stadium tours, and meet & greets with iconic baseball players like Bill Lee, check out our 2011 tours at BigLeagueTours.com.

Tags: stadium tours, Boston, baseball road trips, baseball stadiums, big league tours, Baseball

Cubs at Fenway Tour Kicks Off in Ten Days

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 09:00 AM

May 10, 2011 - Here’s a home stand that doesn’t happen often. In fact, these two teams haven’t played in Boston since the 1918 World Series, back when Babe Ruth was still pitching for the Red Sox! Night game at Fenway ParkThis should prove to be a great matchup of two storied MLB franchises in the oldest ballpark in the Major Leagues.

Travelers on this long-weekend baseball vacation package will join us in Boston as we take in two games at Fenway Park, sitting in great lower-level seats. We’ll stay in the heart of Boston allowing our guests to explore this historic city along the Freedom Trail, at one of the museums, or any of the historic sites and buildings that Bean Town has to offer.

We’ll also have a reception and a Big League Experience, a meet and greet with Bill "Spaceman" Lee, getting our guests closer to the game that they love. Also included in the package is a baseball stadium tour of Fenway Park.

Friday, May 20        Cubs @ Red Sox, 7:10PM
Saturday, May 21    Tour of Fenway Park
                             Big League Player Experience w/ Bill "Spaceman" Lee
                             Cubs @ Red Sox, 7:10PM

We'll have photos and testimonials coming up!!

Tags: Red Sox, Boston, baseball stadiums, Fenway Park, Baseball

Race Between Reds and Brewers

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 08:30 AM

April 23, 2011 - While we're only 20 games into the 2011 season, we're seeing the Reds and Brewers atop the National League Central Division as predicted. Much can happen over the next 140 games, but we're counting on the race between the Reds and Brewers to remain strong and have some meaning late into the season.

Why? Because we have a great baseball tour planned in September for both Brewers and Reds fans. It's our Oktoberfest trip that will run from September 16th-18th. We'll be loading the busses in Milwaukee and making stops in Chicago and Indianapolis to pick up fans from both teams and fans of German brats and beer.

Check out this MLB road trip that will include tickets to three games, great hotel accommodations, special access at the Oktoberfest activities, special access to the ballpark, and a baseball stadium tour. It promises to be a great baseball vacation package with a number of extras included.

Tags: stadium tours, Milwaukee, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, baseball vacation package, Brewers, Chicago, Reds, MLB road trips