This season, based on requests from our guests, we began offering Destination Tours. Instead of visiting multiple stadiums and cities, these tours give our guests the opportunity to explore one city and ballpark(s) usually over a long weekend. Guests enjoyed 2013 Destination Tours to Chicago and New York, and last week, Boston.
Our host hotel was the Boston Sheraton. The Sheraton is the largest hotel in Boston and is connected to the Prudential Center. The Prudential Center houses a wide variety of shops and restaurants and is "the place" to shop in Boston. Our guests enjoyed the chance to check out the shopping and eateries during the free time they had on the tour.
The first game at Fenway Park featured the Yankees against the Red Sox. The group, with BLT host Mike Gorton, took the short 10 minute walk to Fenway Park to check out the sites and sounds around the ballpark before the game. As always, our guests were seated in the lower level. Unfortunately, the one thing we can't guarantee at Big League Tours is a close game. Our guests watched the Yankees destroy the Red Sox 10-3.
On Saturday, the group had all day in Boston to explore the city. As part of the Destination Tour package, they received a Duck Tour of the city. The Duck Tour is a land/water tour that takes folks through the historic city. Our guests were thrilled with the added attraction provided by Big League Tours and said they would recommend it to anyone visiting Boston.
Sunday was the last day of the Boston Destination Tour. After a full day in the city, we gathered in the lobby to head over to Fenway for a VIP Batting Practice Experience before the nationally televised ESPN game. Our Red Sox tour guide, Sarah, met us at the VIP entrance then escorted to the field where we were able to watch batting practice from behind the screen. Our guests were thrilled with the opportunity to be that close to all the players from both teams, and watched as the hitters bombed ball after ball into the seats. Sarah took us up to the Green Monster in left field to see if we could catch a batting practice homer. None of our guests were able to snag a ball, but the view and the IPA Green Monster beer made up for that.
After settling into their lower level seats, the group was treated to some excitement. This was the game in which Ryan Dempster plugged A-Rod in the bottom of the second inning. The benches cleared, Joe Girardi was tossed, and then the game continued without incident. This game had a lot of action with 26 hits and 15 runs between the two teams. The Yankees were victorious as they defeated the Red Sox, 9-6.
Our Destination Tours have been a big hit in 2013. You can expect to see more offerings in 2014 for Chicago, Boston, and New York. We will also be adding more cities like LA and San Francisco to the Destination Tour list. So, make sure to visit our website and sign up to receive the updates and tour schedules when they become available.
Since joining the Big League Tours crew in early summer, I've had the amazing opportunity to lead two tours. The first time I was the co-pilot with Martha Ellen in Chicago/Milwaukee and the second I was flying solo with the group in New York, Boston and Cooperstown.
As the 2012 MLB season wraps up, I thought this would be a great time to share some of my favorite pictures from the trips this summer (I also threw in a few from the corporate outing we hosted). My iPhone is my best friend and I love snapping shots of absolutely anything and everything! FYI- My iPhone is far from professional so ignore some of the blurry stuff and just imagine the great times everyone was having!
Join me while I recount the amazing people I've met and wonderful places I've been thanks to Big League Tours.
There will be plenty of photos to come next year so stay tuned, hopefully your face will even be featured in a few! Sign up for our 2013 Tours and be the first to recieve the schedule once it's released!
Follow us on Facebook (Big League Tours), Instagram (BigLeagueTours) and Twitter (@BigLeagueTours) to view our other photos!
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!
After 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.
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!
Here's your final chance to visit two of the most iconic stadiums in baseball this season with Big League Tours. We have put together an exciting tour that will make stops at Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium over a long weekend in September.
We will start in Boston when the Orioles visit Fenway Park on September 21st. While in Boston, we'll enjoy luxury accommodations at one the finest hotels in the area. Then on the 22nd, we'll travel by train to New York's Midtown Manhattan to check into another first class hotel, and catch the A's vs. Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Our guests will depart at their leisure on the 23rd.
Not enough baseball for you? CLICK HEREto see additional game options that can extend your tour. Or, give us a call to discuss your requests.
Get all the information on this new Boston and New York tour below:
This is the last call for the Hall of Fame Tour 3. If you are interested in this tour, please make yourreservations by this Friday.
The HoF 3 starts in New York City with games at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. Then, we're off to Cooperstown for a day at the Baseball Hall of Fame. That evening, we'll make our way to Boston for the first of our two nights at the fabulous Boston Park Plaza hotel. The exclusive Big League Tours Player Experience happens before the Red Sox game on June 27th. Our guests will get a behind the scenes tour of Fenway Park with Sox legend Bill "Spaceman" Lee! And don't forget all the Big League Tours extras. Click on the links below to get all the details.
Join us on this fantastic tour. But, you must book before 5PM EDT this Friday.
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 cheeseburgers 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.
June 23, 2011 - This was our first baseball tour of any kind. So, we really have nothing to compare it with. But, we were very pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed it. GREAT HOST! Great seats at each game. Everything was first class. Very well organized. All of our needs were efficiently met. Travel time and events, during the tour, flowed very well. We would definitely join the tour again and would highly recommend Big League Tours.
Name: Tom & Judy King City: Muncie State: Indiana Country: US Your Trip: New York, Cooperstown, Boston
June 1, 2011 - I wanted to share an email I received from Tom H. Tom and his son joined us on our Cubs at Fenway Tour a few weeks ago. His recount of this historic MLB tour really captures the Big League Tours experience. He sent along a few pictures, too, so I have included them as well. Enjoy their story from the second of our nine baseball vacation packages this season.
My 13 yr old and I just completed our first trip with Big League Tours, and it was amazing. At first blush, the package price seems a little high compared to what I could do on my own, but after experiencing this event, the cost of the trip was MORE than worth it. Not only were the seats fantastic, but the behind the park tour, and the stories told by Bill "Spaceman" Lee were incredible.
My son is a huge Red Sox fan, and I've been a lifelong Cubs fan. Neither of us had been to Fenway, but we have been to Wrigley Field and a half dozen other major league parks. Fenway is an experience every true baseball fan should enjoy at least once in their life. It was amazing (although I'm still partial to Wrigley Field and the surrounding area!)
Boston itself was a beautiful city, much different than I expected. My only regret is that we scheduled an early morning flight back on Sunday, so we did not get to see very much of the city. If I did this over again, I would plan more time for site -seeing throughout the town.
We arrived on Friday afternoon to find our hotel was one of the oldest and nicest in Boston, and we had rooms on the concierge floor with all the amenities we could ask for. Our tour guide Mike was awesome, and met us downstairs a little before the appointed time. Mike took care of us the entire trip, going above and beyond the call of duty even though it meant backtracking for him at the end of the night to go pick his car back up and head for home! You're great Mike, and if you get back "home" to Texas look me up and we'll do Ranger's Stadium!!)
We departed on the subway (an experience for those of us in car-only states) and within 3 exits were at Fenway Park. Even 3 hours before the game, the area was going wild with activity. We walked around taking in the sites outside, then went in to our seats. For the first game, our seats were behind homeplate, about 20-30 rows up. Even though these were incredible seats, I was disappointed at first with the fact that the net came the entire length of the lower deck, making it impossible to catch a foul ball (or so I thought!) Boy was I wrong. About the 5th or 6th inning, a foul ball rolled all the way up the net, and found a hole in the net! The next thing I know a ball is coming down about three stories toward us. My right hand was full of bags from the Fenway gift shops, but with the speed of light I stuck out my left hand across my body and snagged the foul ball one handed for my Fenway Jewel! The park photographer was there within seconds to capture that moment forever, and even caught my grinning son next to me to make the memory perfect!
After the game, our guide gave us the option of taking the subway back to the hotel, which would have been very crowded and very slow, or walking back to the hotel. When he gave me that choice, thinking of Chicago or New York, or even Texas, I looked puzzled and asked if the walk would be safe?? We were about a mile and a half away!! He said yes, so we took out walking. I was amazed how many groups of people were out walking around Boston at midnight, many of these groups of young college age women. I felt completely safe, and enjoyed the beautiful sites of 200 yr old apartments and churches on the way back to the hotel.
Saturday we slept in longer than I had hoped, but did have time to take a bus tour around the town. Saturday afternoon we had an incredible tour behind the scenes at Fenway Park, and got to meet one of the most colorful Boston players ever, Bill "Spaceman" Lee. Bill and his lovely wife stayed with us the entire tour, telling stories about the park and his career. Every Boston fan seemed to remember Bill, and wanted their picture taken with him. He seemed to LOVE being out with the people and making everyone happy! Thanks Big League Tours for letting us meet the Spaceman, and THANK YOU BILL for being so great. My son is still telling your stories, and has hardly put down the bat you gave us!
Saturday's game was even better than Friday ( partially because the CUBS won!!). Our seats were EVEN BETTER than Friday, about 8-10 rows from the field, right behind home plate. Amazing!!
Boston was a gorgeous city, and getting around was very easy. My son and I LOVED the entire Big League Tours experience, and look forward to going on another one very soon. The cost was worth every penny, considering the location of the seats, the 4-5 star hotel, and all of the other package perks! Big League Tours certainly lived up to their name, as this experience was BIG LEAGUE all the way!!
Thanks, Tom, for sending this to me and for letting me post it on the blog. We are looking forward to having you join us on one of our baseball road trips with Big League Tours again soon!
May 24, 2011 - Here's a great story that appeared May 23rd on OregonLive.com. The story caught my attention for a couple of reasons. First, the story begins when a group of Red Sox fans are at AT&T Park last June. They were there to see the Giants host the Red Sox in interleague play. The significance is that one of our small group tours hosted by Big League Tours in 2010 was at two of the three games of that series.
Second, this story, while it takes a dramatically unexpected turn, is about the love of baseball that runs generations deep in families and friends. It's a love for the game that drove me to start Big League Tours in 2006, a love that was instilled in me by my dad and grandpa. A love that I've been instilling in my kids. And a love that I see demonstrated by the many different guests that we meet on the baseball road trips that we offer each season.
I often tell people that it hit me one day that I wasn't going to have my dad with me forever and that my son wasn't going to think I was "cool" for much longer. So the dream that we shared of seeing all the Major League parks together had a window on it that wouldn't stay open for long.
We've nearly completed getting our three generations to all 30 MLB baseball stadiums on family tours of our own and while hosting Big League Tours' travel package tours. But take a peak at the story on OregonLive.com and see if you are inspired to follow your favorite team on the road, return to your favorite team's stadium, or visit all of the MLB parks.
If you are like us, and the group of folks in the Diehards, you'll appreciate things like great seats, meeting the players, and staying in great accommodations. Those are all things that we do for you on each of our tours. Join us on a tour that will provide memories that will last a lifetime, won't you?
May 23, 2011 - We just got back from our Big League Tour trip to Boston to see the Red Sox play the Cubs for the first time since 1918! As usual, BLT comes through again! The hotel was in a terrific location, the seats to both games were phenonemal, but we truly had a terrific time meeting Bill Lee! Our 1:1 time with him was really special - he is a very down-to-earth guy and full of really fun stories. BLT never disappoints!
Name: Theresa & Frankie City: Branchburg State: New Jersey Country: USA Your Trip: Red Sox vs. Cubs 2011