THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

Major League Baseball Road Trip of the Week

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Fri, Apr 27, 2012 @ 05:37 AM

I've had in mind this idea of featuring players or teams that have a great week on the road, largely because I think the tie-in to baseball road trips that we offer is pretty cool. But if you've traveled for a week or two, you know how easy it is to get off your rhythm. Imagine doing that for six months and being expected to perform at your best. So here's our first Road Trip of the Week!

Rangers: The Rangers were absolutely on fire this week. They won eight games in a row on the road at Target Field, Fenway Park, and Comerica Park until finally losing to Detroit in the second game of their double header on Saturday. 

Philip Humber: Doesn't get any better than perfect! This week Philip Humber became only theHumber reflects on perfect 21st pitcher to toss a perfect game. His perfecto came on the road while pitching at Safeco Field against the Mariners. Very classy ovation from the Mariners fans, too. (Incidentally, we had a group tour at US Cellular Field in 2009 when Mark Beurhle pitched his perfect game. What an amazing thing to witness!) 

Reds 10,000th win: Dating all the way back to their membership in the American Association, the Reds closed out their 10,000th franchise victory while at Wrigley Field joining the Giants, Cubs, Dodgers, Cardinals and Braves at achieving this milestone.

Congratulations to the players and teams featured this week. Since 2006, BLT has provided the ultimate baseball tours to fans who want to truly get inside the game by providing great seats, player appearances, behind-the-scenes stadium tours, special stadium access, and great travel accommodations. Plan your next baseball vacation with Big League Tours, the team that knows a great Road Trip!!

Tags: Comerica Park, baseball road trips, baseball stadiums, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Safeco Field, U.S. Cellular Field, Target Field

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

Join Us on the Midwest Tour 1 or Chicago/Milwaukee Baseball Tour

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Tue, Jan 17, 2012 @ 09:45 PM

We have had a great response to all of our 2012 baseball vacation packages. In particular, our Chicago/Milwaukee and Midwest Tour 1 packages are filling up fast. Outside Wrigley FieldAs you probably understand, our tours aren’t like other baseball tours. We provide lower level seats, first class hotels, sensible itineraries, and an MLB player experience. In order to do all those things, we have to keep our groups small. If you are interested in joining us on any of our 2012 tours (especially the Midwest 1 or Chicago/Milwaukee), please book early, so you don’t miss out.

Our Midwest Tour 1 will start in Minneapolis with the Twins hosting the Royals at Target Field. The next day, our guests will fly to Chicago where they will settle into our downtown hotel for 4 nights. (We’re not cramming a bus full and driving 7+ hours like other tours might.) From there, we’ll head out to Wrigley Field for a Cubs game. Then take a trip to Milwaukee’s Miller Park to see the Brewers the next day returning to Chicago after the game. And, on our last Chicago day, visit US Cellular Field to catch the White Sox. The next morning we’ll fly to St. Louis for a game on July 4 at Busch Stadium and spend the evening in the Gateway City.

The shorter version of the Midwest Tour 1 is the Chicago/Milwaukee Tour. Our guests will come into Chicago on June 30 and stay for 4 nights. While there, they will join up with our Midwest Tour 1 group and visit Wrigley Field, Miller Park and US Cellular Field.              

Let us know if you would like to book either of these tours. Or, you can click this link to reserve your spot: Purchase a Big League Tour

Tags: Milwaukee, White Sox, Miller Park, Wrigley Field, Chicago, U.S. Cellular Field, Cubs

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

The Bucket List Winners Are...

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 04:45 PM

November 11, 2011 - Thanks to everyone for taking our survey and letting us know what is on your baseball bucket list. We will be using the info to put together our baseball vacation packages for 2012 and look forward to releasing our schedule very soon.Green Monster at Fenway Park

Here are 10 of the top baseball destinations as selected by you.
1.  Fenway Park                                                
2.  Yankee Stadium
3.  Baseball Hall of Fame
4.  Miller Park
5.  Wrigley Field
6.  Oriole Park at Camden Yards
7.  Target Field
8.  Citi Field
9.  AT&T Ballpark
10.  Busch Stadium

Have another favorite or stadium that's still on your bucket list to visit? Drop us a comment and let us know. We'd love to hear from you!

Tags: Citi Field, Miller Park, bucket list, baseball vacation package, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, AT&T Park, Busch Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Target Field, hall of fame, Baseball, Oriole Park, Camden Yards

The Big League Tours Baseball Bucket List Survey

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

October 19, 2011 - Thanks to everyone who filled out our survey about which baseball stadiums you'd like to visit. The response has been tremendous. We thought we would update everyone on the results, so far.

So, here are your top picks with their response percentages:
1.  Tie- Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park 48%
2.  The National Baseball Hall of Fame 35%
3.  Wrigley Field 34%
4.  Miller Park 31%
5.  Oriole Park at Camden Yard 28%

If you haven't filled out the survey yet, just click below and let us know where you want to go with Big League Tours in 2012. We're looking forward to announcing our baseball tours for next season and appreciate your input. Plus, we will give you $100 off your 2012 Big League Tours trip just for completing it. Only one per client.

Tags: Miller Park, baseball stadiums, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, big league tours, Yankee Stadium, hall of fame, Oriole Park, Camden Yards

Chris Welsh to Appear on Our Reds Road Trip

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 03:15 PM

July 16, 2011 - Chris Welsh
Big League Tours is pleased to announce that former Major Leaguer, and current Reds Chris Welsh on the field with the Cincinnati Redsbroadcaster, Chris Welsh will be joining us in Chicago as our part of our exclusive Big League Player Experience on the Reds Road Trip to Wrigley.  Chris will visit with our group on Saturday evening after the Reds/Cubs game that afternoon.

Bio: Chris Welsh is in his 19th season as Reds TV analyst following a 5-year Major League career with the Padres, Expos, Rangers and Reds. Chris went 21-31 with a 4.45 ERA, 8 complete games and 3 shutouts in 122 career appearances, including 75 starts. From 1993-2009 Chris and partner George Grande worked together for the 17 seasons as the longest-running TV duo in Reds history.

He is a graduate of Cincinnati's St. Xavier High School and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida, where his baseball coach was Hall of Famer Robin Roberts. In addition to his television work, Chris is a partner in Champions Sports Academy, which builds and operates numerous sports training facilities throughout the country. He also teaches pitching in the offseason, is the featured speaker at several national baseball forums and publishes articles on baseball.

Trip Details
In case you've missed it, transportation is now included with the Reds Road Trip.  We will be picking up guests in Cincinnati for the ride to Chicago.  There is a possibility of a stop in Indianapolis, too. 

We will pick up folks in Cincinnati on Thursday, August 4 for the first night's lodging in Chicago.  Then we'll go to the game on August 5th fresh and well rested.  We'll attend the games on 6th and 7th, then return home after the Sunday game so everyone can be at work on Monday (yuck, we know, but we don't control that part!).

But, book your tour this week.  We will be closing the reservations for this tour on Monday, July 18.

Tags: Wrigley Field, big league tours, Chicago, Reds, Baseball, Cubs, Cincinnati

Talking Baseball Tours on WXIX Fox 19 in Cincinnati

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 03:00 PM

July 7, 2011 - Today we're in Cincinnati for a media tour to talk about the remaining baseball vacation packages that we're offering this season.
 
One of the tours that we discuss in the clip the is the Reds at Wrigley tour. We still have a few spots left on this group package so check out the details and join us in Chicago.

Tags: baseball vacation package, Wrigley Field, Chicago, Reds, Cincinnati

Phillies versus the Cubs

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 11:30 AM

June 14, 2011 - Our group tour headed out to Citizens Bank Park on Saturday afternoon to see the Phillies host Tony Luke's sandwichthe Cubs. As is usual for our tours, we arrived plenty early for our guests to walk around and explore the ballpark. One thing we had to do was grab a cheesesteak from Tony Luke's. After plowing through one of these myself, I can understand why Philly natives love these sandwiches (and why the line was so long!!).

After a 30 minute rain delay, the game got underway and was great fun. Cliff Lee pitched very well and the host team prevailed. Chase Utley even hit a home run just so our group could see the Liberty Bell in centerfield light up. (Thanks, Chase!)
Cliff Lee at CBP during one of our small group tours
CBP is a really nice ballpark. It's well laid out and maintained. They've incorporated local favorites like Tony Luke's and Chicky Pete's. And they don't allow fans to run up and down the aisles during an at bat, which is a huge pet peeve of mine in other ballparks.

One downside to CBP is that there really isn't much of anything to do around the ballpark. Part of the great experience at other parks like Coors Field, PETCO Park, and of course Wrigley and Fenway, is that there are so many great things to do before and after the game. I understand that there are things in the works to be built near CBP which will improve that part of the experience.

Off to Baltimore!!

Tags: Coors Field, Citizens Bank Park, Baltimore, Phillies, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Cubs

Have You Covered the Bases for Dad and Father's Day?

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 10:15 AM

Wouldn't Dad love a luxury baseball tour from Big League Tours this year?  It's a great vacation for the whole family, or the perfect father/son-daughter trip.  There are several MLB tours still available for the 2011 season.  Just click on a link below to see all the info.

Midwest Plus, July 20- 26, 2011

Chicago/Milwaukee, August 2- 6, 2011

Reds Road Trip, August 5 - 8, 2011

Big Apple, August 10- 14, 2011

Oktoberfest in Cincinnati, September 16 - 18, 2011

Escorted tours make great gifts for baseball fans. Check out the tours still available and give Dad a gift that he'll remember for a lifetime!!

Tags: stadium tours, Luxury baseball, Milwaukee, Miller Park, baseball games, baseball tours, Wrigley Field, big league tours, Brewers, Chicago, Baseball, Cubs