THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

Big League Tours Inks Partnership with Cincinnati Reds and the Reds Community Fund

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

Big League Tours debuts relationship designed to bring Reds fans the ultimate baseball experience at Redsfest


(INDIANAPOLIS — Nov. 30, 2010) –
Big League Tours is partnering with the Cincinnati Reds and the Reds Community Fund to donate a 2011 tour and create a customized trip for Reds fans.

“The Cincinnati Reds and the Reds Community Fund are thrilled to partner with Big League Tours this year during our two-day “Redsfest” event,” said Charley Frank, Executive Director, Reds Community Fund.  “The addition of the high-end ballpark and travel experience provided by Big League Tours will be a perfect fit at Redsfest, which is regarded as one of the top baseball fan festivals in the industry.”

 Big League Tours has also created a special baseball tour for Reds fans. Dubbed the ‘Reds Roadtrip’, the tour will feature three games at Wrigley Field against the Cubs, player meet and greets, three nights hotel accommodations in downtown Chicago and transportation to and from the stadium all to ensure Reds fans have a unique experience.

 This April, the Reds Community Fund will raffle a 2011 Reds road trip to Chicago donated by Big League Tours.  Proceeds will benefit the baseball-themed outreach programs of the Reds Community Fund.

 “I have always been a huge Reds fan,” said Glenn Dunlap, founder of Big League Tours. “It’s a special honor to partner with the Cincinnati Reds to offer this baseball vacation package and support the work of the Reds Community Fund.”

 Not only will Big League Tours be selling the Reds Roadtrip at Redsfest, but they will also be giving away $500 gift certificates for 2011 tours in celebration of the new partnership.

 

About Big League Tours

Big League Tours was founded in 2006 by Glenn Dunlap to help fans of all ages experience baseball from a new perspective- from inside the game. Unlike other tour companies, Big League Tours not only takes care of the buses and games for a baseball tour, but also provides all the extras to turn tours into true sports vacations loaded with unique baseball-related events. For more information, visit Big League Tours at www.bigleaguetours.com.


Tags: baseball tours, baseball vacation package, big league tours, Chicago, Reds, Cubs, Cincinnati

The Passing of a Legend - Sparky Anderson

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

Novmeber 6, 2010 - I was saddened to learn earlier this week that Sparky Anderson had been placed in hospice care and then learned that he had passed away on Thursday. Sparky will forever be tied to some of my greatest childhood memories. Growing up in Central Indiana in the 70's, we spent many a weekend in Cincinnati rooting on Sparky's Big Red Machine.

It's those memories, the love of baseball, and my family that ultimately lead me to start Big League Tours. The formula was developed back in the 70aking family tours over long weekends, sitting in great seats, meeting ballplayers, staying in the heart of the city - those were things that I remembered the most from my childhood baseball road trips and things that we'll always include on our travel packages at Big League Tours.

So here's to Sparky and the team he lead for inspiring me to create a business that will hopefully endear another generation, in some small way, to the game that he contributed so much to. Thanks for the memories, Sparky. You will be missed but never forgotten.

Tags: baseball road trips, big league tours, Cincinnati

Our Take on Turner Field

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 12:45 AM

May 22, 2010 - We've had a chance to see most of the stadiums in the major leagues either on our family tours and on the baseball vacation packages that we offer. This trip was to Atlanta and Turner Field (or "The Ted") for a two-game stand. It was great to get to see the stadium for a night game and a day game. Sometimes the stadiums have two completely different personalities based on the time of the game.

We stayed in downtown Atlanta so the stadium was only a 1.5 - 2 miles from our hotel. TheCenterfield concourse at Turner Field concourses were really wide and made getting around the stadium very easy. Here's a photo taken from right inside the centerfield gates. As you can see, there is a ton of room for getting people in and out of the stadium.

The Ted also has plenty for kids to do at the park. The Cartoon Network Fun House offers a break for the kids as does the many different batting cages and pitching booths that they have all along the third base side. They also offered face painting which seemed apprapos given the team's mascot.

The concourses around the outside of the stadium reminded us of Jacob's Field in Cleveland. (I'm sure that should be said the other way around based on when the stadiums were built but we were at the Jake first...) They were easily maneuverable but, they do cutoff your sight lines to the field.

We weren't knocked out by the food, either. We were sitting in the premium seats so we were able to order and have it delivered to us. The menu was your basic ballpark food but nothing that really stood out. We've grown accustomed to local restaurants or foods being incorporated into the ballparks like the Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh or the Montgomery Inn in Cincinnati. Or the other thing parks have done is include former players into the mix like Boog's Barbeque in Baltimore, El Tiante's Cuban Sandwiches in Boston, or Bull's Barbeque in Philadelphia. All great features that represent the team well. We didn't find this at The Ted.

All in all, we had a great experience. It would be hard to beat the southern hospitality that everyone working at Turner Field displayed. So if you are looking for a place for one of your baseball road trips, I would definitely recommend Turner Field.

Tags: Atlanta, Turner Field, Jacob's Field, Cleveland, baseball vacation package, Pittsburgh, family tours, Cincinnati

Pre-Season Pricing Ends Today!!

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 @ 10:30 PM

Pre-season pricing on all our tours ends today! So if you haven't already signed up for the package tour of your dreams, don't miss your chance to get the special pricing! Here's a preview of what the prices will be tomorrow morning:

Atlanta:           Today = $550/person, Tomorrow = $700/person
Midwest 1:       Today = $1,600/person, Tomorrow = $1,800/person
Midwest 2:       Today = $1,600/person, Tomorrow = $1,800/person
East Coast 1:   Today = $2,600/person, Tomorrow = $2,800/person
East Coast 2:   Today = $1,050/person, Tomorrow = $1,250/person
West Coast 1:  Today = $825/person, Tomorrow = $1,000/person
West Coast 2:  Today = $1,100/person, Tomorrow = $1,300/person
Big Apple:        Today = $1,350/person, Tomorrow = $1,550/person
Texas:             Today = $1,425/person, Tomorrow = $1,600/person
Midwest 3:       Today = $900/person, Tomorrow = $1,000/person
** All prices are per person based on double occupancy

So what do you have to do to secure those prices? Just submit your application for a trip and make your deposit by April 5th and you'll be locked in at the special pricing. Have questions about our tours? Give us a call or drop us an email. But don't wait too long or you'll miss out on these great prices!!



Tags: Atlanta, Detroit, Cleveland, baseball vacation package, Pittsburgh, MLB tours, Cincinnati, great prices

Updates to the Friendly Confines

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 @ 09:15 PM

February 10, 2010 - Fans who have taken baseball travel tours to Chicago, know that Cubs fans love their Wrigley Field - and they should. It doesn't get much better than being in Wrigleyville on game day. From the minute that you step off the "L", you are in the heart of the action. Vendors line the streets selling t-shirts, to peanuts, to water, to tickets. Throngs of people mill around outside the stadium, many of whom are walking to or from the famous Wrigley Field sign that greets you on the corner of Clark and Addison, pictured here during a night game.

As you would expect with any venue built in 1914, there are constant renovations and repairs taking place. One of the coolest changes taking place this year is that we'll be able to watch players working on their swings in the batting cage under the right field bleachers through a one way glass.

Big League Tours is offering a couple of ways to get to Wrigley this year. We have travel package tours that will get you there including our Midwest 1 and  Midwest 2 tours. And for those of you located in Central Indiana, we're offering day trips for the first time this year where we'll leave Indianapolis, head to Chicago, Cincinnati or St. Louis for games and come back after the game. We have a few options to see the Cubbies so check out the tours and join us, won't you?

Tags: baseball vacations, St. Louis, Wrigley Field, big league tours, Chicago, Cubs, Cincinnati

Returning Travelers with Big League Tours

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 @ 09:00 PM

January 30, 2010 - One of the things we pride ourselves on at Big League Tours is offering tour vacations that our guests enjoy. It makes us even happier when our guests become repeat customers. That's why this is such a great time of year for us when we're finding out who is going to join us on our package tours this year.

One such group of guys traveled with us in 2008. They took a Midwestern tour that year but this year they are joining us out West. Here is a testimonial that we received from them.

"I traveled with a relative and his 10-year-old grandson, who was awestruck most of the time. The Midwest 2 Tour was our first with Big League Tours and was by far the best of the four I have taken, the first three with another company.  George had taken two other tours with another company.

The price of all the tours (we've taken) was comparable, but the services provided by Big League Tours was far superior, in our opinion.

"The primary things that set Big League Tours trip apart from the others, in our opinion, was two-fold: 1) location and quality of the hotels and 2) location of the game ticket seats.

"On this tour, we visited four cities and ballparks (Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati). The hotels were all located within walking distance of the ballpark (15 minutes or less), and all our tickets were in the lower level. Great seats at all parks.

"Another added touch that we liked was the idea of staying downtown in the cities visited, which made it easier to become more familiar with the cities (Detroit has a fabulous river walk).

"On this tour, we had a sit-down visit with baseball great Dave Parker, a two-time major league batting champ, who had a long and illustrious major league career. This was a great experience for us. This, to us, was the exclamation point to the whole trip.

"We would recommend traveling with Big League Tours." Bob Ward (Texas) and George Wood (California)

Thanks to Bob and George for the kind words about the group travel tours that we offer. And when booking with us again this year, George commented that, "We didn't even look any where else. We knew we were booking with you." We're glad you're coming back!


We hope that you'll join us this year so that you can experience the difference of a Big League Tour!

Tags: group travel, Detroit, Cleveland, baseball tours, Pittsburgh, big league tours, Cincinnati

Big League Tours on BusinessWeek.Com

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 @ 01:45 PM

April 30, 2009 - It's been awhile since we were included on Business Week's Most Promising Startups list, but I just realized that I didn't share this with you. Click here to be taken to the BusinessWeek site. Here are some excerpts:

Glenn Dunlap grew up a Cincinnati Reds fan in Summitville, Ind., but when the marketing consultant looked for baseball vacation packages to visit all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums, all he found were of the overcrowded "bus and ticket" variety. By the start of the 2006 season, Big League Tours was booking deluxe trips to famous ballparks, including meet-and-greets with former players (like those with Ron Kittle pictured to the left), close-in seats, as well as private-bus travel, meals, and four-star lodging.



Tags: baseball stadiums, baseball vacation package, big league tours, Reds, Cincinnati

Batting Stance Guy Hits a Home Run in My Book

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 @ 12:15 PM

March 23, 2009 - Kids every where have imitated the batting stances of their favorite players; from their habits as they enter the batters box, to their stances, to the nuances of their swings, and some of the craziest finishes to their swings. In fact, if you are a fan of baseball, you could likely identify players by those habits.

One guy, Gar Ryness, has taken that to the extreme, becoming known as the Batting Stance Guy. Gar's home grown videos are some of the most hilarious and dead on imitations of big league players. Check out the video of his imitations of Cincinnati Reds players from several eras:

We've read that Gar is going to be traveling to many if not all of the stadiums this summer to entertain the players and fans with his routines. As we learn more information, we'll let you know if we are going to be lucky enough to see him on one or more of our family tours or sports travel packages.

Tags: sports travel and tours, baseball stadiums, Reds, Cincinnati

Testimonial from One of Our Small Group Tours

Posted by Big League Tours on Sun, Nov 20, 2011 @ 10:30 PM

December 4, 2008 - Here's a letter that we received from one of our customers, Bob Ward of Texas. As you'll see, Bob traveled on one of our small group tours through the Midwest in August of '08. Here's what he had to say:

"I traveled with a relative and his 10-year-old grandson, who was awestruck most of the Dave Parker joins one of our group travel tours in Cincinnatitime. The Midwest 2 Tour was our first with Big League Tours and was by far the best of the four I have taken, the first three with another company.  George had taken two other tours with another company.

The price of all the tours (we've taken) was comparable, but the services provided by Big League Tours was far superior, in our opinion.

"The primary things that set Big League Tours trip apart from the others, in our opinion, was two-fold: 1) location and quality of the hotels and 2) location of the game ticket seats.

"On this tour, we visited four cities and ballparks (Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati). The hotels were all located within walking distance of the ballpark (15 minutes or less), and all our tickets were in the lower level. In one case, at Pittsburgh, the seats were right behind the visitors' dugout, and in Cincinnati, we were three rows from field level right by third base. Great seats at all parks, but the two mentioned specifically were special.

"Another added touch that we liked was the idea of staying downtown in the cities visited, which made it easier to become more familiar with the cities (Detroit has a fabulous river walk).

"On this tour, we had a sit-down visit with baseball great Dave Parker, a two-time major league batting champ, who had a long and illustrious major league career. This was a great experience for us. Parker was such a personable, down-to-earth person who acted as if he really enjoyed talking with with us and answering our many questions. He was especially good with the two 10-year-old Little League boys on the trip. This, to us, was the exclamation point to the whole trip.

"We would recommend traveling with Big League Tours, and this is a non-paid endorsement from the heart."

Bob Ward (Texas) and George Wood (California)

Thanks to Bob and George for the kind words about the group travel tours that we offer. We hope that you'll join us this year so that you can experience the difference of a Big League Tour!

Tags: group travel, Pittsburgh, big league tours, group tours, testimonials, Cincinnati

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