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

This Week's Featured Baseball Vacation Package

Posted by Doug Lawson on Wed, Feb 01, 2012 @ 11:44 AM

Comerica Park in Detroit The Big League Tours' Midwest 2 Tour will make its way to four great, newer ballparks to see eight different teams vying for playoff positions. 

Our guests will arrive in Cincinnati on Wed., July 18th to check into the hotel and prepare for their luxury baseball vacation. On Thurs., we'll head over to Great American Ball Park for an early afternoon game with plenty of time after to visit the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. Cincinnati area sportscaster, Will Chambers, recently blogged about his favorite things at GABP. Here's a link to that blog post Will Chambers on Great American

Friday morning takes our tour up to Detroit to see Prince Fielder and the Tigers battle the White Sox in an evening contest. We're off to Cleveland the next day for the Indians game at 7:05PM. We plan to arrive in Cleveland with plenty of time for you to visit the sites before the game. Want to check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Just ask your tour director to help make the arrangements. 

Finally, our tour ends in one of our favorite ballparks- PNC in Pittsburgh. Here's a link to a blog by SI.com writer Will Carroll about PNC-
Will Carroll on PNC Park

As always, you can expect a Big League Player experience, lower level seats, first class hotels, sensible itineraries and all the BLT extras. CLICK HERE for the complete info on the Midwest 2 Tour. A printable/shareable brochure is available for the Midwest 2 Tour.  Click on this link MIDWEST 2 BROCHURE to get access to the brochure.

Book by Feb. 8 and dinner is on us!

Book the Midwest 2 Tour by the end of the day on Feb. 8 and we'll buy you dinner* at the Palomino Restaurant and Bar in Cincinnati after the game on July 19th. Just use the coupon code DINNER when purchasing your tour. Ready to purchase your tour? Here's our RESERVATION PAGE.

*Dinner gift certificate value is $150. One gift certificate per room booked. Not valid with any other offers or discounts.

PNC Park from the club level

Tags: Jacob's Field, Cleveland, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

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

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

Ballpark Food

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 @ 09:45 PM

February 28 2010-You know, the only food that I can recall from going to the ballpark as a kid are hot dogs or sausages, peanuts, and Cracker Jack. I realize that part of the reason that my recollection could be so limited is that kids often zero in on their favorites and rarely stray from them. I was no different so I get that.

But seeing that Target Field will offer "Walleye on a Stick" (see my post from this morning) has me thinking about the varied foods that have cropped up at ballparks on our MLB tours. From the garlic fries at AT&T Park in San Francisco to the "corn off the cob" at US Cellular Field in Chicago. They serve sushi in Cleveland at Progressive Field - didn't see that one coming. And have some signature sandwiches like the Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh.

Teams have also incorporated former players' shops in or around the stadiums. There are barbeque stands in Citizens Bank Park and Orioles Park that don the names of Greg "The Bull" Luzinski and Boog Powell, respectively. You can buy a Cuban sandwich on Yawkey Way just outside Fenway Park at El Tiante and sometimes get an autograph from Luis Tiant himself.

Soon we'll be heading out on our baseball travel tours hitting baseball stadiums across the big leagues. It will give us a chance to sample the newest food offerings from each of the ballparks. So we want to know...what is your favorite ballpark food whether inside or out of the stadium? What are the gems from each of the cities that you think other baseball fans need to check out? Share your insights with other fans as we all prepare to hit the road for sports travel.

Tags: Progressive Field, Citizens Bank Park, Yawkey Way, sports travel and tours, Cleveland, baseball tours, baseball travel, Pittsburgh, AT&T Park, U.S. Cellular Field, Oriole Park

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

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

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