THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

2011 Baseball Tours Are Now Available

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 04:15 AM

November 27, 2010 - Big League Tours' sixth season of offering one-of-a-kind baseball tours will begin in April with a sports travel package that is making its first appearance on our roster - a tour that includes two days of the Masters tournament in Augusta and a pair of Braves games in Atlanta. This is just one of the unique additions that we've incorporated into our baseball tours this year.

In addition to seeing lots of big league baseball around the country, we've included some other sites into our tours like the Masters tournament, Niagara Falls, and Disneyland. Our tour vacations also provide free days in MLB cities, like San Francisco or Washington D.C., where you'll have time to visit monuments and museums in the nation's capitol making these great family tours.

Here's the schedule of our 2011 baseball tours:
  • Augusta & Atlanta - April 5-10
  • Cubs at Fenway - May 20-22
  • Boston, Cooperstown & New York - May 21-25
  • Southern Cal - June 10-14
  • East Coast - June 11-19
  • New York, Cooperstown & Boston - June 15-19
  • Northwest - July 1-5
  • Midwest Plus - July 20-26
  • Chicago & Milwaukee - August 2-6
  • Big Apple - August 10-14
Take a peak at the schedules, find which of the sports travel tours best fits your schedule, and join us next year for some exciting big league baseball and much more!

Tags: Washington D.C., San Francisco, Atlanta, Braves, sports travel and tours, baseball tours, big league tours

Lucky's Cafe: Big League Eats in Cleveland

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 04:00 AM

November 27, 2010 - Our Midwest Plus Tour is swinging through Cleveland on Saturday, July 23rd. Luck be a lady for this big league baseball tour, and her name is Heather Haviland, Chef and Owner of Lucky's Cafe, just outside of Cleveland. We'll definitely be working our itinerary around a visit to this local eatery. On the weekends, they serve up an amazing brunch menu that is bound to send us to the baseball stadium feeling more than satisfied. In fact, it looks like we'll be prepared for extra innings!

Watch the video and tell me if the Reuben sandwich that she grills up doesn't look like the best Reuben you've ever seen made in your life. It looks fantastic. Oh, and the biscuits and gravy look divine, too. So maybe we'll have to go there twice?? The granola looks fantastic as well. It's fortunate for us, or "lucky", that we'll be in Cleveland over a weekend for one of our sports travel tours and we'll be able to take advantage of this menu!!

Tags: sports travel and tours, Cleveland, baseball tours, baseball stadiums

Catching the Game at U.S. Cellular Field

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

August 30 - The Tuesday night game of our Midwest 1 and 2 Tours was at U.S. Cellular Field between the Chicago White Sox and the Texas Rangers. After a sweltering Sunday afternoon game at Wrigley on Sunday, it was great to get a break from the heat on this night game. It's interesting to note how the fans on our MLB tours pick up on the difference between the fans at Wrigley and those at Josh Hamilton takes the plate during one of our group travel tours in Chicago.the Cell. Even though the Sox lost the game, it was interesting and the hometown fans were stoked about their team. The White Sox webpage has videos and the box score from the game.

Here's a photo that I took from our seats at the game. Not a bad view, huh? I can't reinforce enough how important it is for us to get you great seats for the games. Other sports travel companies won't get you this close. You'll likely be in group seats in the upper deck out by the foul pole. We've been told by our customers that they didn't dream they would sit this close on any travel package tours. We want you to be satisfied but it doesn't need to be a surprise!

Tags: White Sox, Rangers, sports travel and tours, Wrigley Field, MLB tours, Chicago, U.S. Cellular Field

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

Road Tripping with the Family

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 12:30 AM

May 22, 2010 - I just returned home from our Atlanta Tour - a three-day, two-night trip that featured two baseball games at Turner Field. We had fantastic weather, the hotel was great, our seats were even better (pictured on the left), Dad and Son at Turner Fieldand both games ended with walk-off hits or homers. They don't get much more exciting!

But as I reflect on the tour, I'm reminded of the things that caused me to want to start Big League Tours in the first place.

I really love the game of baseball and want to experience it in a unique way every time I take a trip. That's why we get to the park early, sit in great seats, and arrange for meet and greets with MLB players.

I also really enjoy getting to spend quality time with my family. On this tour, I was accompanied by my dad and son, the two folks who inspired me the most to start this business. Our small group tours provide you with the advantage of having things included that I mentioned before and also giving you the flexibility to do things on your own. And when taking family tours, we think it's important that you get that time so we make it available to you.

And finally, traveling can be difficult or at least a challenge, especially if the mode of transportation isn't great or the locations of your stay are suspect. We make sure that all of the logistics are top notch and take care of all the details so that you can just show up and enjoy a premier sports travel tour.

Those things sound simple but they are what make us different from the other guys. It's what got me in this business and it's what we love to do.

Tags: Atlanta, Turner Field, sports travel and tours, big league tours, group tours, family tours

Welcome, Vida Blue!

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 @ 11:45 PM


May 11, 2010 - Excitement isVida Blue with BLT guests in San Francisco mounted here at Big League Tours about our upcoming baseball road trips as today we received word that Cy Young Award winner and Oakland A's great, Vida Blue, will be taking time to meet and chat with all of us while in the 'City By the Bay'!

Blue, one of the most storied left-handed pitchers of all time will be joining the Big League Tours group on June 25th - fielding questions, signing autographs and taking photos with fans. No stranger to BLT, Blue has regaled our group with classic stories surrounding his days in the league as well as winning an MVP award and an insider look at winning the World Series.

Vida Blue is just the first of many baseball greats (former and current) who will join the tour to give us all more insight into the game and help us deliver the complete fan experience to make your sports travel or sports tour the ultimate trip.

Tags: sports travel and tours, baseball trips, big league tours, Oakland

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

Helpful Tips About Our Package Tours

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 @ 10:00 PM

March 22, 2010 - BASEBALL, BASEBALL, BASEBALL.It’s not ALL we think about. In fact, while every Big League Tour is designed to provide you with an experience that’s loaded with unique baseball-related events, we’ve also designed each trip to provide you with the freedom to plan some of your own activities. Restaurants, museums, even shopping malls - you’ll have time to explore these unique destinations on your own. Just don’t be late for the game!   
 
Here are some more details about our baseball vacation packages you might find helpful.
 
TICKETS
In most cases we’ve secured field level tickets for the games, attempting to make the sportsShot from our seats at Fenway Park tours as enjoyable as possible. Certain tours will feature reserved suites or party rooms which will allow us to have former major league players join us for private meetings at the ball park.
 
RENDEZVOUS POINT
Every trip starts at a specific rendezvous point in our destination city (most likely our hotel). Unless otherwise noted, you’ll be able to get to the rendezvous point whichever way works best for you - live close, drive on over - live farther away, you’ll probably fly in to join us. Have a question? Give us a call and we’ll talk it over.
 
WALKING
Some walking will be required on our trips. Whenever possible we’ll be taking baseball stadium tours, and when possible walking from the hotel to the stadium. As most stadiums (and our hotels) will be situated in the downtown areas, plan on walking to lunches, dinners and shopping. The bottom line? Bring comfortable shoes and be prepared to see the sites!
 
HOTELS
We’ll be staying in great hotels (Hyatt-, Marriott-, and Omni-level hotels). Hotels have been chosen based on their quality, location to the stadium, and proximity to other points of interest. You won't be stuck 200 miles away from civilization on our group travel tours. You'll be able to fully enjoy the cities that we visit.
 
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
The trips are designed for fans of all ages. You should consider that the trips will require time on a motor coach, sitting at games, and walking. As long as anyone is capable of handling these elements, they should get along fine. No events are planned in facilities that have age limits. The only request is that you think about the others on the trips so they aren’t put in an uncomfortable situation.

Tags: stadium tours, sports travel and tours, baseball stadiums, baseball vacation package, big league tours

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

2010 Baseball Trip Feature - East Coast 1

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 @ 06:45 PM

Orioles Park at Camden YardsDecember 17, 2009 - East Coast 1 is the granddaddy of our baseball vacation packages. The tour package includes 6 games in 6 different baseball stadiums, a free day to explore New York City, a day at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a player appearance, and baseball stadium tours at some of baseball's most hallowed halls.

We'll begin in Baltimore, making the hotel there our home base for a few days. We'll have a kickoff reception at the hotel on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, we'll head to Nationals Park for an afternoon game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Nationals. Monday, we'll drive up to Philadelphia to see the Padres and Phillies. Tuesday, we'll take a stadium tour of Orioles Park and see the Yankees and Orioles play.

On Wednesday, we'll board the motor coach and head up to New York City, our home base for the next three nights. We'll go to Citi Field to see the Mets host the Padres. Thursday, you'll have the day on your own to shop 5th Avenue, take escorted tours of the city's sites, or to stroll through Central Park.

Friday we'll tour Yankee Stadium and see the Yankees play the Astros. Saturday we'll trek up to Cooperstown for the day at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. We'll grab dinner in Cooperstown and then head to Boston. Sunday, we'll take in the Phillies and Red Sox and, if the schedule allows, we'll take a stadium tour of Fenway Park.

The hotel is provided Sunday night after the Red Sox game as part of the package. You also have the option of coming into Baltimore early or staying later in Boston so let us customize your sports vacations for you.

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

Tags: stadium tours, Citi Field, Orioles, sports travel and tours, New York, Baltimore, Fenway Park, big league tours, MLB tours, sports vacation, Yankees, Nationals Park, Reds, hall of fame, Cooperstown, Mets, Oriole Park