THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

Late Season Baseball Tour Perfect for This Reds Fan

Posted by Christy Millikan on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 @ 07:30 AM

PNC Park by the riverDo you by chance remember hearing the news that MVP Joey Votto was on the DL? Perhaps youare a fan of another NL Central team and you cheered on your chances, but I for one sat devastated and hoped he wouldn’t be gone long. My confession: I thought I could kiss post-season play goodbye all because my favorite first baseman was out of the lineup. 

Joey’s teammates, however, thought otherwise. Over the past several weeks I’ve gleefully watched my team step up to the plate by making amazing double plays, hitting back-to-back single and two-run homers and have even watched a few heart attack comeback victories. What an amazing and flat out fun team to watch right now! Make no mistake, Votto is a great asset to the Cincinnati Reds baseball organization, and thankfully he will be back. My advice Joey, don’t rush it! Get yourself healthy. Your team has things under control! Have you seen Todd Frazier and Zach Cozart?! Have you glanced at the MLB Standings? The Reds are seven games up on the second place Pirates. SEVEN!  

How exciting to be attending the Reds Road Trip to Pittsburgh and see this great matchup at PNC Park on September 29th and 30th! If you haven’t already booked your tour, do it today!

Tags: baseball trips, PNC Park, Pirates, Pittsburgh, big league tours, Reds, MLB road trips

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

Midwest 3 Tour Kicks Off This Friday

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 02:15 AM

August 3, 2010 - Where has the summer gone? I can't believe that the last of our small group tours is going to kick off this Friday. It should be a fantastic trip. We'll start in Detroit on Friday, catching the Angels at Comerica Park against the Tigers. We'll then load up the bus on Saturday and make our way to Cleveland. Once in Cleveland we'll take a private stadium tour of Progressive Field before seeing the division rivalry of the Twins and the Indians.

Sunday involves a short hop over to PNC Park in Pittsburgh for an afternoDave "The Cobra" Parkeron game between the Rockies and Pirates. For our travelers who haven't been to this stadium, it's a fantastic place to catch a game, especially a day game with the view of the river, bridges and downtown Pittsburgh as the backdrop. After the game, the group will make its way to Cincinnati for the next two nights.

Monday will be the perfect ending to the tour. We'll take a tour of Great American Ball Park and be joined by Mr. Dave Parker. As most of you will recall, The Cobra was the MVP in 1978, appeared in six All Star Games, won three Gold Glove Awards, and was an instrumental member of the 1979 World Series Championship team with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cobra will share stories from his playing days, talk baseball with our guests, and take pictures with the group. Here's a picture from his appearance with our group in 2008. Looks like he could still play, doesn't it?

We'll finish the tour with the heated division rivalry between the Cardinals and the Reds with a game and series that couldn't be hotter or mean more for these two teams.

Stay posted for up to the minute posts from the final tour of our 2010 sports travel packages.

Tags: Rockies, Comerica Park, Tigers, Indians, Progressive Field, Detroit, sports travel and tours, Cleveland, PNC Park, Pirates, group tours, Cardinals, Reds, Great American Ball Park

Twin Cities Getting Pumped about Target Field

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 @ 10:45 PM

April 11, 2010 - One of our greatest joys is to visit baseball stadiums in their inaugural seasons. We've been able to do this for the new Busch Stadium, Nationals Park, Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. This year, we're heading up to Target Field in the Twin Cities on one of our early MLB tours to see the Twins in their brand new ballpark. Columnist Rick Shefchik writes today on TwinCities.com about the increase in demand to visit Minnesota on group travel tours this year.

Here are a few excerpts:

Frank Miles of Jacksonville, Ala., is a stadium counter. A 76-year-old baseball fanatic, Miles has been in every major league ballpark — except Target Field.

Like hundreds of other baseball stadium tourists around the country, Miles will check Target Field, the brand-new Twins ballpark, off his list this summer. He loves the old classics like Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, but he likes the new ones, too, including recently opened PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Busch Stadium in St. Louis and Citi Field in New York.

"I've seen 'em all, every major league ballpark — all the new ones, except this one," Miles said. "I've not heard much about it, but I'll be there this year on a tour." 

Glenn Dunlap, owner of Big League Tours in Indianapolis, said he'll be bringing a group into Minneapolis this summer for the first time in his company's five years of operation.

"The Metrodome was not much of an attraction," said Dunlap of the Twins' former home. "We didn't have a lot of demand from baseball fans to come up to the Metrodome."

Increased tourism to Minneapolis for Twins games is bound to have a positive effect on surrounding businesses. As Dunlap points out, baseball is only part of the lure for ballpark tourists. They like to come early, stay late and thoroughly explore what the ballpark and the city have to offer.

"People are interested in the walleye-on-a-stick and the s'mores they're offering there (at Target Field)," Dunlap said. "State Fair food — that's great. It's part of what people enjoy about visiting different stadiums — the influences on local food and what's in and around the park.

"Target could be a great park. The part that makes a ballpark interesting is what the city does around it. Look at a Coors Field, right in the heart of Denver. That was in a district they've since built up around it, and it has become a great destination spot for the city."

Conversely, Dunlap said, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., is in an area that needs to be developed.

"They've got a long way to go before people will go hang out there," Dunlap said. "It's what's around Target Field, what's welcoming to baseball fans, not just Twins fans.

Want to visit the new Target Field on one of our baseball vacation packages? Click here for details about this tour and all of our sports travel packages. You'll be glad you did!

Tags: sports travel and tours, baseball vacation package, Fenway Park, PNC Park, Pirates, MLB tours, Busch Stadium, Cardinals, Yankee Stadium, Nationals Park, Twins, Target Field, Minneapolis

2010 Baseball Trip Feature: Midwest 3

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 @ 08:15 PM

January 6, 2010 - Looking for one of the best baseball bus trips available? Check out our Midwest 3 tour package. You'll get to see four of the Midwest's best baseball stadiums in four days. We'll travel in a private luxury motor coach to the stadiums and between the games, we'll setup baseball stadium tours and other escorted tours when the schedule allows.

Comerica Park night gameThis tour starts in the Motor City where the Angels will be in town to take on the Detroit Tigers. Comerica Park, pictured at the left, is a great park to visit. The team and the city really did a great job with this ballpark.

The next day we'll drive to Cleveland to see the Twins take on the Indians at Jacob's Field. (I know it's Progressive Field but that still doesn't seem right...)

Sunday morning we'll take a short drive to Pittsburgh for an afternoon game at PNC Park, another very well done stadium that replaces a 60's/70's vintage concrete bowl that was so prevalent in those days. Don't forget your Primanti Brothers sandwich!

We'll wrap up the last of our tour vacations for the summer with a stop in Cincinnati. We'll snag a tour of the Reds Hall of Fame Museum before seeing the NL Central division rivalry between the Cardinals and Reds at 7:10PM. I'd recommend the Montgomery Inn barbeque. Can't go wrong there!

This baseball vacation package promises to be a great time. For more details on this baseball tour and our other sports tours, visit BigLeagueTours.com.

Tags: stadium tours, Comerica Park, Indians, baseball tours, baseball vacation package, PNC Park, Pirates, big league tours, Reds

Pittsburgh Pirates on Midwest 1 Baseball Tour

Posted by Big League Tours on Sat, Nov 19, 2011 @ 06:30 PM

Package Tours Make A Stop In Pittsburgh
August 25, 2008 - The next stop on our tour was Pittsburgh, PA to see the Pirates take on the Cincinnati Reds.  We were all very impressed with PNC Park it was even nicer than we had heard. I loved Camden Yards and many parks have been based off of its design including PNC Park.  It is very pleasing to the eye, well kept, and fun for all ages.  Baseball Stadium ToursMy only complaint would be when you are in the outfield area it can get a little confusing to where you are supposed to go, but I found my way back to home plate. 

This was also such a great experience because we were in the fourth row from the visiting team, Cincinnati Reds, dugout.  This gave us a great view of the players as the came in and out of the dugout and an amazing view of the entire field.  However, being this close to the field along the baseline can be dangerous so we had to be aware at all times. 

Unfortunately, just like all the games before the home team lost again.  I don't know if our group being there put a jinx on all the home teams, but the home team lost again.  The Cincinnati Reds took the Pirates for a win 3-1.  We were able to see Chris Dickerson, the rookie of the team, first career RBI in the sixth inning.  To read more about the games or to see official stats please click here.

Tags: baseball trips, baseball vacation package, PNC Park, Pirates, Pittsburgh