East Coast Baseball Tour, Part VIII

Posted by Big League Tours on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 @ 10:00 PM

Our Escorted Baseball Tour Heads to Shea Stadium
June 23, 2008 - Shea Stadium is one place that I don't think will be missed by many when it's gone. Aside from its unattractive appearance on the outside, many of the seats face the wrong direction (center field instead of the pitcher's mound/home plate), even the great seats sit too low so that the people in front of you are blocking some portion of the field, and every two seats you have an aisle or an obnoxious bar next to you. I suppose the bars are supposed to give you the feeling of a "box seat". Instead, it gives you the feeling that you are either watching the game from a cubicle or your own jail cell (which is more likely for many of the Mets' seasons especially last year's melt down in September).

The new Citi Field, however, is very attractive from the outside. You can see it just outside of the outfield walls from Shea Stadium. I've been told that its design was inspired by Ebbets Field. I'm excited to see the new ballpark when we head to New York City for one of our baseball travel tours in 2009.

Tags: baseball tours, baseball stadiums, stadium tours, Citi Field

Big Apple Tour, Part VI

Posted by Big League Tours on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 @ 10:00 PM

Rain Out At Shea
May 9, 2008 - Today the inevitable happened. When your business revolves around outdoor sporting events, you know that at some point you're going to get wet and that at some point you're going to have games canceled or Our tour group huddled up at Shea Stadium w Citi Field in the backgroundpostponed. That day finally arrived. After dodging rain outs all across America for a couple of years, we suffered our first one at Shea Stadium. All wasn't lost, though.

Part of the attraction of MLB road trips is to see the stadiums. While it was raining most of the time we were there, we were still able to walk around and see quite a bit of the stadium. In fact, it was quite nice. Most of the fans stayed away from Shea so we were able to check it out without fighting a large crowd. We essentially turned the time into our own baseball stadium tour. In addition, you could clearly see the new stadium, Citi Field, from inside the old ballpark. Here are some of the folks from our group. That's Citi Field in the background.

About half of the guests on our package tour were staying an extra night in New York City and were able to return to Shea to see the game (and it was a gorgeous day!). Unfortunately for me, I wasn't one of those lucky enough to see the game...

In my opinion, seeing Shea Stadium isn't worth a trip on it's own. If you are going as part of a baseball vacation package or baseball road trip of your own that includes other baseball stadiums, then it's worth making a stop. If nothing else, it will give you a greater appreciation for the new stadiums that are built with the fans in mind.

Tags: baseball stadiums, stadium tours, MLB road trips, tour operator, Mets, Citi Field

Miracle Met Art Shamsky to Join Big League Tours in NYC

Posted by Big League Tours on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 @ 04:00 PM

May 1, 2008 - One of the things that I love about our MLB tours is that we include some features that aren't on any other baseball travel tours available. One of those features is what we call our Big League Player Experience. It's where we bring in MLB players to meet the fans traveling with us, share stories about their playing careers, answer questions, and sign autographs and get pictures with the fans on our small group tours. It's an opportunity to get an inside look Miracle Met, Art Shamskyinto baseball and meet some of the players that we've grown up watching.

Our upcoming trip to New York City is no exception. On this baseball trip, we're going to be joined by Art Shamsky, a member of the 1969 World Champion New York Mets. Here's an excerpt from his biography:

In 1965, Shamsky made the Cincinnati Reds and hit .260 as a backup outfielder. He batted .289 as a pinch-hitter that year. In 1966, despite getting only 272 plate appearances for the, Art was second on the team with 21 homers, trailing Deron Johnson by 3. He homered four times in four at-bats from August 12 through August 14, tying a Major League record. On August 12, Shamsky became the first player in Reds history to hit two extra-inning home runs in one game and the only player in Major League history to hit 3 home runs in a game and not be in the starting lineup. The bat that he used to hit the four home runs in a row is on display in Baseball's Hall of Fame.

During the winter of 1967 Art was traded to the New York Mets and was part of the Miracle Mets that won the 1969 World Series. Art hit .300 that season and batted .537 with 7 hits in 13 at-bats against Atlanta in the National League Playoffs. The 1969 Mets are still recognized as one of the most remarkable stories ever in professional sports. After 13 years in pro baseball and with a World Series ring Art retired from baseball in 1973.

In his post baseball career, Art has been involved in numerous business endeavors and was a radio and television broadcaster that included the New York Mets in 1979, 1980 and 1981. In 2004 Art's popular book, "The Magnificent Seasons', was published.

To read more about Art Shamsky, click here to be taken to his website. Or, if you would like more information about other Big League Player Experiences offered on our baseball vacation packages, visit our website or give us a call!

Tags: baseball tours, MLB tours, Mets, Citi Field