THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

World Series MVP Ray Knight to Join East Coast Big League Tours

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Thu, Jun 26, 2014 @ 09:35 AM

Time and again our guests tell us that the Big League Player Experience was the favorite part of their tour. That means a lot to us when we've also had great seats, stayed in great hotels, andRay Knight at the plate arranged special stadium access for our guests to say they like the player appearance the most. But we understand...that's why we include it!!

Our East Coast and Atlantic Beltway guests are soon to be treated to the experience, too. On Monday, June 30th, World Series MVP Ray Knight will join our guests at Nationals Park. He'll share stories, field questions, sign autographs and take pictures with our guests. 

Ray's playing career spanned 13 years with the Reds, Mets, Astros, Tigers and Orioles. He twice made the All Star team and was the 1986 World Series MVP with the champion Mets. Knight also managed a couple of seasons in Cincinnati. 

To learn about our upcoming 2014 Tours, click the link and check out the details. There's still time to join us this season, but you'll need to hurry!! Wish you were on these tours? We have another set coming up in August. Here are the links for those tours. 

Southwest Tour: April 15-19, 2014

Southwest Tour: April 15-19, 2014

Southwest Tour: April 15-19, 2014

Tags: east coast baseball tour, baseball trips, MLB tours, Nationals Park, Mets

See the Red Sox with Big League Tours in 2014

Posted by Doug Lawson on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 @ 09:54 PM

If you are a Red Sox fan, you will have plenty of opportunities to see the World Series Champs with Big League Tours. Several of our 2014 luxury baseball vacations will catch the Sox at home and on the road. At Fenway Park, we have secured special stadium access and a VIP Batting Practice Experience for our guests on most tours. You will be on the field and close to all the Red Sox stars while they prepare for the game. No matter where you go with Big League Tours, you will enjoy all the tour extras along with lower level seats, a Big League Player Experience, and first class hotels. Click the link below to see the tours that feature the Red Sox in 2014. Don't forget- book by Dec. 15 and get 5% off your tour!

Southwest Tour: April 15-19, 2014

Please feel free to call or email with any questions.

Tags: Boston, baseball vacations, baseball trips, baseball hall of fame, baseball vacation, baseball tour, Fenway Park, big league tours, MLB tours, Green Monster, MLB road trips, hall of fame

Big League Tours Player Experience with Buck Martinez

Posted by Doug Lawson on Wed, Sep 25, 2013 @ 10:32 AM

On every Big League Tours luxury baseball vacation, we put together a meet and greet withGroup with Buck a former player on one of the tour days.  We were so pleased that Buck Martinez, former MLB player/manager and current Blue Jays broadcaster, was able to meet with us before the Yankees/Jays game at Yankee Stadium.

Yankee Stadium has its own Hard Rock Cafe inside the ballpark.  Our group took the easy subway ride to the ballpark and headed into the Hard Rock. But before the meet and greet, we experienced a little excitement at the Hard Rock.  

While waiting on Buck to arrive, we all noticed that an elderly diner in the restaurant was experiencing some problems.  He was choking. His son was unsuccessfully performing the Heimlich maneuver and his father's facial color was changing rapidly.  Our tour guest Nancy (a nurse from Canada) quickly ran around to the man, lowered him to the floor, and thrust his abdomen up expelling the food that had been lodged in his throat.  Great job, Nancy!! 

After things calmed down a bit, Buck began to speak to our group about his background and current position, as well as, his opinions on today's players and the game.  One of the great things about having someone like Buck Martinez is his insights into the current game.  As a broadcaster, he talks with the players and managers on a daily basis and sees many players/teams in his job.  This is the second time we have used Buck as our MLB Player Experience and we hope to have him back again in 2014.  He was great.

If you would like to join us on one of our tours in 2014, just click the link below and fill out the contact form.  We will add you to our mailing list and make sure you are one of the first to know about our 2014 schedule.

www.bigleaguetours.com

Tags: Luxury baseball, Blue Jays, baseball tours, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, baseball tour, MLB tours, Yankees, Yankee Stadium, MLB road trips

Our 2013 Luxury Baseball Tours

Posted by Doug Lawson on Sat, Oct 27, 2012 @ 03:11 PM

Big League Tours Group

They're ready!  We are excited to reveal our 2013 Season Tour Packages to our fans.  We have all your favorites like the Hall of Fame Tours, West Coast Tours, and the Midwest Tours; but we've also added Southwest, Southeast and Windy City tours to our schedule.  Plus, NEW for this year are our Destination Tours and Getaway Day Tours for guests who want a shorter Big League Tours adventure.  Click below to go directly to the Big League Tours website:

BIG LEAGUE TOURS 2013 SCHEDULE

EARLY BOOKING PROMOTIONBook your 2013 Tour before Nov.21, 2012 and receive 5% off your total package price. Just use the coupon code "Early Bird" when booking your tour. 

 Please call (866) 619-1748 with any questions. 

 

Tags: baseball vacations, Luxury baseball, baseball road trips, baseball trips, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, ballpark tours, big league tours, MLB tours, group tours, family tours, MLB road trips, Baseball

Big League Tours To Host 2013 Baseball Tour Announcement Party

Posted by Kayla Wininger on Wed, Oct 03, 2012 @ 02:12 PM

Mark your calendar baseball fans, we’re throwing a party and you’re invited!  For those of you who have been waiting for the release of the 2013 tour schedule, this is an event you won’t want to miss. 

logosmall

Join Big League Tours and Reds sportscaster Chris Welsh on Thursday, October 16th between 4:30PM and 8:30PM for the formal launch of the baseball tours for the 2013 season. The 2013 baseball tour schedule is jam-packed with opportunities to visit your favorite stadium and check some items off of your bucket list!

Guests will be welcomed with a ballpark themed buffet and giveaways throughout the evening. Winners will also be announced for a Grand Prize Getaway Day for two!

Can’t make it to the party but still want to enter the Grand Prize drawing?  Just click here and sign up for your chance to win.

Whether you're interested in planning a company outing or a weeklong baseball vacation, you won't want to lose your spot in these grand slam packages! RSVP to the event today and get full event details by clicking here

Get your friends together and we’ll see you at the party!

Tags: group travel, stadium tours, Luxury baseball, baseball trips, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, big league tours, MLB tours, company outing

Baseball and Koala Bears

Posted by Kayla Wininger on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 @ 10:37 AM

I headed to the East Coast for my first Big League Tours adventure, flying solo! Although I could have spent days enjoying the city, it was down to business when the wheels hit the ground at Boston Logan.  enway will always hold a special place in my heart since it was the first Major League Baseball game I ever attended. I was glad to be back and start sharing what I knew about the stadium with our guests!

IMG 3476After meeting BLT Host and permanent Boston resident, Mike G. for some secrets of Fenway and a little confidence boost, it was time to hit the hotel and meet my guinea pigs!  I’m thrilled to say that my first ever tour group couldn’t have been more fantastic. Within the first five minutes, the Australian’s had the whole group rolling with laughter while comparing their accents to the Texans on the trip.

We quickly learned that we’d be helping each other a lot over the next week as most of the group learned how to ride a metro system! Once we made it to Fenway the group was off exploring the stadium and checking out one of the best gift stores in MLB.  Secret #1 that I discovered, the Bleacher Bar is a must! Enjoy a cheap (for a sporting event) beer while watching batting practice from the outfield!

Secret #2 of the trip, be selective when you try to escape the heat in the Yankee Stadium gift shop, they aren’t all air-conditioned! I’m not sure what he was doing, but the weather god wasn’t looking down on us in New York. With temperatures in the 100’s on Wednesdays and 60’s on Friday at Citi Field, I thought I was back in Indiana’s crazy weather.

The heat and rain couldn’t keep our die-hard fans away, especially the Lantz’s who had seen every stadium in the country prior to the addition of six more. With a tour of Yankee Stadium and private meet and greet with 1969 World Series Champion, Art Shamsky, they were thrilled to see more than just a game.

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Outside of the scheduled events, our group became very close and spent most of our free day exploring New York City together. With a trip to Lombardi’s Pizza, the first coal oven pizza place in the United States, and then the World Trade Center Memorial, the off time was definitely used for more than testing the pillows in the hotel room. 

There were definitely lessons learned on my first tour and one of those was how quickly a group of strangers can turn into a temporary family.  We even added a few family members, thanks to the Aussie’s who gave us stuffed koalas as a souvenier! I couldn’t have asked for a better group to share my first trip with, hopefully it won’t be the last time we’ll be seeing each other!

Tags: Red Sox, Citi Field, New York, ballpark tours, Fenway Park, MLB tours, sports vacation, Yankees, Yankee Stadium, hall of fame, Mets

In the News: Big League Tours Featured in the Indianapolis Star

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 @ 05:17 PM

The following article appeared in the Indianapolis Star today. It's a very nice feature of our company history and the unique baseball trips that we offer. 

Big League Tours arranges special trips for baseball fans

It took awhile, but Glenn Dunlap has figured out how to pitch deluxe package tours to major league baseball fans.Ron Kittle meets with fans prior to a game at US Cellular Field

Sell East Coast games to West Coast fans. Schedule frequent tours to historic Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. And promise customers short bus rides, stays in convenient downtown hotels and meet-and-greets with ex-big leaguers.

"It's inevitably one of the most popular things our guests experience," Dunlap said of the drop-in visits he arranges with former baseball stars. "It just gives you a different perspective when you talk to (ex-Pirate) Dave Parker about hitting and you are standing on the field."

Dunlap's Indianapolis company, Big League Tours, expects its formula to produce its first profitable year this season, after the recession of 2007-09 threw his 6-year-old business a curve.

Based on pre-bookings, sales this year should be 10 percent to 20 percent higher than his best year of 2008, said Dunlap, who works a day job as a business consultant for startups.

Dunlap's tours aren't for the faint of wallet, which is one reason the recession hit the business hard.

Big League Tours' most popular option (offered four times this year) is a combo package of games at Fenway Park in Boston, and New York's Yankee Stadium and the new home of the Mets, with a stop at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., thrown in. The cost: $2,440 per person, including hotels and meals.

Dunlap found he can market to a sub-section of baseball fans he dubs "stadium hunters," who want to visit as many of the 30 major league ballparks as they can, often taking children, spouses or parents along for a family bonding experience. To keep logistics simpler, Dunlap limits tours to 15 to 20 people. Repeat visitors make up 40 percent of bookings, which tells him his concept is a hit.

Ron Kittle, a former slugger for the Chicago White Sox and other teams who does public appearances for the White Sox, has spoken to several of Dunlap's tour groups.

"He's created a pretty good reputation for himself," Kittle said of Dunlap. "It's great what he offers."

Fans especially like the ballpark tours and early admittance to the stadiums that Dunlap arranges, Kittle said. "Not everybody gets a chance to be in a stadium and see things up close. Nowadays, with security procedures, it's hard to get in early."

This year, Dunlap added two one-day bus trips, both leaving from Indianapolis to see the Cincinnati Reds play. He's marketing the day trips to companies to give to employees as motivational rewards.

So far, Dunlap sees little demand for spring training tours, despite rising fan attendance at spring training camps.

Dunlap is tour guide for some of his trips and hires three guides to handle the others.

The business gives Dunlap, a baseball fan since boyhood, the chance to pursue his personal goal to visit all 30 major league parks. He's up to 24, with two set to be added to his list in 2012.

What: The business offers baseball vacation packages to major league baseball games. Thirteen baseball travel tours are offered this year.
Headquarters: Indianapolis.
Owner: Glenn Dunlap.
Founded: 2006.
Customers: Forty percent are repeat customers. Less than 5 percent are from Indiana.
Trivia: The company has had only two rainouts in six seasons.
Online: www.bigleaguetours.com.

You can learn more about our 2012 Baseball Tours by following the link.

Tags: baseball road trips, east coast baseball tour, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, MLB tours

8 Things I Love About Our Baseball Tours (and Can't Wait For!!)

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 @ 11:30 AM

As we're putting our finishing touches on the 2012 Baseball Tours (and as the snow flies outside my window...), I was thinking about all the things I love about taking our tours and thought I'd share the list with you:

8) Family Time - I love going to games with my family. In fact, that's largely what got me into the business. Sometimes I'll travel with one family member, make it a guys trip, or take the whole clan. It doesn't really matter to me. Quality time with my family at the park is always a great time.

7) Food - So I like to eat. Nothing's as good as Dad and daughter with me at Yankee Stadiumexploring new restaurants around the country and trying out new cuisine. We have found some great places this way. If you are a foodie, too, let us know and we'll help you find something that suits your tastes.

6) New Stadiums - Most baseball fans have at least one stadium on their bucket list - if not all 30! I'm no different. I have just a couple left on my bucket list so I'll be completing it soon. It's always a treat to make it to a new stadium.

5) My Team - My team is the Cincinnati Reds. If I'm not at the ballpark for one of our tours, I'm typically watching or listening to their games. It's great to see them play at home or on the road.

4) New Cities and Sites - One of the best parts of travel is getting to see new cities. Every place has its own culture, feel, and vibe. And whether it's the first time or fiftieth, there are always new things to see and do.

3) Seeing Families Connect - I knew that starting a baseball travel business would allow me to travel with my family and experience things together. What I didn't expect was how much I would appreciate and enjoy seeing our guests connecting. Hearing a grandpa tell his grandkids about players, stadiums, and games from a different era has been great. Added bonus! (And tell me those kids won't remember that forever..?)

2) Meeting New Ballplayers - We arrange player meet & greets on all of our tours which is always a guest favorite (and mine, too!). Talking shop with Big Leaguers and getting their take and perspective from inside the game is very interesting.

1) Fenway Park - What can I say? Fenway is my favorite park in all of baseball. I love the neighborhood, the atmosphere, the age and smell of the park, the Green Monster, wood seats and 100 years of history and nostalgia. It's hard to match that experience anywhere else!

That gives you a few hints about my plans for the summer and what I'll be doing on our ballpark tours. How about you? What do you like about baseball road trips? What do you look forward to the most? Drop us a note so we can share it and potentially incorporate it into our tours!

Tags: baseball road trips, bucket list, Fenway Park, MLB tours, family tours

Final Destination for Our Tour: Fenway Park

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 02:45 PM

July 1, 2011 - Saturday morning the 18th, we loaded up the motorcoach and made our way to Boston. For some of the folks on our tour, this will have been the 6th game in 8 days. For others, it would be their third game in four days. But one thing they had in common, all were very excited to get to Boston to see the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

We arrived in Boston early in the afternoon and checked into the hotel. Our guests then had a few hours to go explore the sites around bean town. Our hotel was located near the start of the Freedom Trail so many folks started there and explored as much as they could in the time that we had.

My wife and I met some friends at Tasty Burger, a great little burger joint within view of Fenway Park. The food was fantastic. We had classic double View from our seats at Fenwaycheeseburgers and split a 50/50 (half fries, half onion rings). This will be a permanent stop on all the baseball tours I host in Boston.

Here's a photo from our seats. I kept waiting for a foul ball to roll up the screen above us, hit the face of the upper deck, and then fall into my outreached hand, but no such luck. I think only one or two foul balls were hit up there all night. Maybe it was the style of the pitchers that night? Or, could have just been the way the game was going. Here's the link to the box score on MLB.com.

This is still my favorite ballpark in all of the Majors. It's size, character, atmosphere inside and outside the park, history, and fans all make it a great place to visit on our MLB road trips.

Tags: Red Sox, Boston, sports travel and tours, baseball trips, baseball tours, baseball travel, Fenway Park, MLB tours, MLB road trips

Meeting Art Shamsky

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 01:45 PM

June 22, 2011 - On each one of our MLB tours, we include a player meet and greet. It's what we've named our Art w guests on our group travel toursBig League Player Experience. This time, while in New York City, we brought in Art Shamsky, member of the '69 Miracle Mets team. Here's Art to the left as our guests are arriving to meet him.

Art's story of breaking into the Majors is really interesting. He came up through the Reds organization and then was traded to the Mets a couple of years after their formation. The team was known as the lovable losers and came out of nowhere to win the World Series in 1969. It was a young team that gelled at the right time with players such as Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, and Tug McGraw. A signed baseball while on sports travel and tours

Art shared with us that he typically hears three questions from fans that he meets on baseball trips. One, wouldn't you like to be playing today and making the kind of money these players are making? Two, should Pete Rose be in the Hall of Fame? And three, what's it like to have a bulldog named after you on the show "Everybody Loves Raymond"? (If you want to know his answers, you'll have to join us in NYC!!)

Here's one of our guests holding the signed baseball that he received at our Big League Player Experience with Art Shamsky. Time and again, this is one of, if not the favorite events, for our guests as they travel with us on our baseball road trips. It's another way to get closer to the game by talking with guys who have been in the big leagues. Their stories and experiences make these baseball vacation packages that much more special.

Tags: New York, baseball trips, baseball vacation package, MLB tours, Baseball, Mets