Learning to Love February (For Its Promise of Baseball Games!)

Posted by Christy Millikan on Wed, Feb 08, 2012 @ 01:06 PM

I awoke to a light blanket of white covering my lawn and the smallest of snowflakes falling from gray skies this morning. As my eye caught a bird (not the spring-announcing robin I’d hope to see) consuming berries from a snow-covered tree outside my kitchen window, I was left wondering when spring will truly be here to stay.

Super Bowl XLVI was blessed last week when central Indiana’s temperatures roared past unseasonably warm status.  As temperatures hovered near 60°, my boys were able to get outdoors and rid their young bodies of excessive amounts of stored energy, breathe in fresh air and, yes, slip their hands into their worn, leather mitts and play some baseball. I was so eager to shout aloud that Punxsutawney Phil's forecast was dead wrong, but had to remind myself that it was the first week of February and the weather would continue to be anything but consistently full of sunshine, warm and beautiful here in Indiana.  

But February, sweet February! It’s during THIS gloomy, chilled time of the year when pitchers and catchers report to prepare for the upcoming baseball season. It’s February that marks the beginning of spring training. It’s February when MLB teams begin speaking publicly of their new prospects.  Can you feel the excitement? Is it rushing through your veins and warming your soul? If not, hop on Twitter! Players are tweeting of workouts and preparing to pack, the media are counting down the days, and blog writers are itching to once again find the daily rhythm of writing about the sport that has captured their hearts.

The warm streak of last week has passed. The cold, frigid air is real. But as I watch the blanket of snow disappear as we approach the noon hour I ask myself, who really needs a robin to tell you spring is coming? You don’t have to look hard to see that all the signs indicate it’s already well on its way. Baseball games are fast approaching, are you ready? If not, start preparing! It’s already February!

Topics: baseball vacations, baseball games, MLB road trips

Big League Tours Announces 2012 Baseball Tour Packages

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 @ 09:31 PM
(INDIANAPOLIS—January 23, 2012)- Big League Tours, the luxuryBig League Tours guests on a private stadium tour of Fenway Park baseball travel company, is excited to announce its baseball vacation packages for the 2012 baseball season. Big League Tours helps fans get closer to the game by securing lower level seats, arranging stadium tours and player experiences, and providing first-class hotel accommodations. Flexible itineraries allow fans to experience the best of the best in the greatest baseball cities across the nation.

2012 season tours reach east to west beginning May 14th, and will run throughout the summer. This year’s tours include: Baseball fans interested in reserving spots for any of the baseball trips can call (866) 619-1748, email info@bigleaguetours.com, or visit www.bigleaguetours.com for package information and applications. Fans can also sign up online for special offers and trip updates and be the first to receive information about next season’s baseball tours.  

About Big League Tours
Big League Tours was founded in 2006 by Glenn Dunlap to help fans of all ages experience baseball from a new perspective- from inside the game. Unlike other tours companies, Big League Tours not only takes care of the buses and games for a baseball tour, but also provides all the extras to turn tours into true sports vacations loaded with unique baseball-related events. For more information, contact Big League Tours at www.bigleaguetours.com.

Topics: stadium tours, baseball trips, baseball tours, baseball vacation package, MLB road trips, hall of fame

Opening Day - Finally!!

Posted by Big League Tours on Mon, Jan 16, 2012 @ 06:00 PM
April 2010 (Repost) - After a long, cold, miserable winter, Opening Day finally arrived. And none too soon. We made our way to Cincinnati yesterday for the parade, ceremonies (aren't fly-overs one of the coolest things on the planet??), and ball game at Great American Ball Park. The weather was a little iffOutside GABP on Opening Day 2011y yesterday but it didn't deter the 42,000+ fans from taking in the festivities celebrating the first game of the season of the oldest franchise in the Majors.

As a Reds fan, the game started a little, ok, very rough. If I remember right, Volquez had given up three runs before he recorded his first out. Not the way you want to start off the regular season. But after that, he seemed to settle down for several innings.

The topper of the day, though, was the 2-out, 3-run walk off home run by Ramon Hernandez! The Reds had 40 some come from behind victories last year and started off the same way they finished the regular season last year. Here's the box score from the game.

Heading to the ballpark yesterday just made us more excited for baseball road trips that we have planned for the 2011 baseball season. If you are looking for baseball vacation packages that are done the way you want 'em, make sure you check out our site for the details on all of our upcoming tour vacations. You'll be glad you did!

Topics: Opening day, sports travel and tours, baseball trips, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, MLB road trips

Twin Cities Getting Pumped about Target Field

Posted by Big League Tours on Mon, Jan 16, 2012 @ 05:00 PM
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!

Topics: Minnesota, baseball tours, Twins, Target Field, Minneapolis, MLB road trips

Baseball Tour Package Weekly Feature

Posted by Doug Lawson on Tue, Jan 10, 2012 @ 09:42 AM

Baseball on the Bay (includes Seattle)

Like several of our tours this season, this baseball vacation package was created based on the requests of our fans.
Safeco Field
Baseball on the Bay, June 29-July 3
We're expecting beautiful weather and exciting baseball on this late June/early July tour to the Bay area. First, though, we'll start in Seattle to catch the Red Sox as they take on the Mariners. From there, we'll jet to San Francisco and check into one of the finest hotels in downtown. That evening you'll be treated to a San Francisco food tour courtesy of BLT.

On Sunday, it's back to baseball and our MLB player experience. There will be plenty of time to explore the city on your own after the 1:05pm game. And then, on Monday, you'll have more time to venture out before we make the short trip to Oakland to see the A's take on the Red Sox. If the schedule allows, we will also add behind the scenes tours of the stadiums.

AT&T Ballpark
Featured Tour Special- Book by the end of the day on Jan. 14 and receive $200 off per room booked. *
Use coupon code 200BAY when booking your tour.
CLICK HERE to reserve your spot. 

*some restrictions apply/not valid with any other offer

We're excited to present this baseball tour for the first time. Below are the links to the tour page, brochure request and stadiums. We hope you will join us.

Baseball on the Bay Tour Page

Baseball on the Bay Tour Brochure Request

AT&T Ballpark

The Oakland Coliseum
Safeco Field

Topics: stadium tours, baseball vacations, sports travel and tours, baseball trips, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, sports vacation, AT&T Park, MLB road trips

Free Hotel Night on All 2012 Baseball Tours**

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Mon, Dec 26, 2011 @ 10:15 AM


Private stadium tour at Fenway Park

We've been getting such tremendous feedback on our Early Booking Promotion that we've decided to extend it until the end of the year!! Book your baseball vacation package with us by December 31, 2011, and you will receive one free extra hotel night per room.  That means you can go to your first destination a day early, or stay a day after your tour, and Big League Tours will pick up the room!!

Check out our 2012 Baseball Tours and book your package this week to extend the trip and lock-in your free hotel night!

**Some restrictions apply.

Topics: sports travel and tours, baseball trips, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, MLB road trips

Announcing Our 2012 Baseball Tours

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 10:15 PM
Everyone at Big League Tours is excited to present our 2012 baseball vacation packages. We used the info we collected from our “bucket list” survey, as well as, customer comments and experiences to put together our baseball tours. We think this is one of the most varied and extensive seasons we have ever offered. We will be adding a College World Series package soon, so keep an eye on our website and your email for info on that tour.  

We hope you will join us in the Big Leagues on a Big League Tour in 2012. Please click on the links below to see the tours. As always, call or email with any questions.
Book between now and Dec. 23, 2012, and you will receive one free extra hotel night per room. That means you can go to your first destination a day early, or stay a day afteryour tour, and Big League Tours will pick up the room. Some restrictions apply.
Hall of Fame Tour 1- includes Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field
May 14- 19, 2012

Big Apple Tour- includes Yankee Stadium and Citi Field
May 16- 20, 2012

Hall of Fame Tour 2- includes Yankee Stadium, Citi Field and Fenway Park
June 4- 8, 2012

East Coast Tour – Touch ‘Em All Out East!!- includes Nationals Ballpark, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field, Yankee Stadium, The Hall of Fame, and Fenway Park
June 21- 28, 2012

Hall of Fame Tour 3- includes Yankee Stadium, Citi Field and Fenway Park
June 24- 28, 2012

Texas Swing Tour - Includes Rangers Ballpark and Minute Maid Park
June 22- 27, 2012

West Coast Tour – Touch ‘Em All Out West!! – includes Safeco Field, AT&T Ballpark, The Coliseum, Dodger Stadium, Angels Stadium, Petco Park and Chase Field
June 29- July 8, 2012

Baseball on the Bay with Seattle- includes Safeco Field, AT&T Ballpark, and The Coliseum
June 29- July 3, 2012

Southern California Tour with Arizona- includes Dodger Stadium, Angels Stadium, Petco Park and Chase Field
July 4- 8, 2012

Midwest Tour 1- includes Target Field, Wrigley Field, Miller Park, US Cellular Field, and Busch Stadium
June 29- July 5, 2012

Chicago/ Milwaukee- includes Wrigley Field, Miller Park, and US Cellular Field
June 30- July 4, 2012

Hall of Fame Tour 4- includes Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field
July 16- 21, 2012

Midwest Tour 2- includes Great American Ballpark, Comerica Park, Progressive Field and PNC Park
July 19- 23, 2012

Topics: bucket list, baseball tours, group tours, family tours, MLB road trips

Final Destination for Our Tour: Fenway Park

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 02:45 PM
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 View from our seats at Fenwaycheeseburgers 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.

Topics: Red Sox, Boston, sports travel and tours, baseball trips, baseball tours, baseball travel, Fenway Park, MLB tours, MLB road trips

Touring Yankee Stadium

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 01:30 PM

June 22, 2011 - Friday morning of our tour allowed our guests some time to explore some sites in New York City. We thenOur group outside Yankee Stadium gathered together to go to Yankee Stadium for one of their escorted tours. Here's the group just outside the House That Ruth Built (v2, anyway...)

I've taken this baseball stadium tour many times and would have to say that our guide, Greg, was the best I've had in the new stadium. He did a great job of incorporating historic details into the presentation as we stood in the museum and monument park. Many times before we would be rushed from place to place in the ballpark but that wasn't the case this time.

Because the team was out of town, we were able to exit the Yankees' dugout and go through the tunnel to see the batting cages and the team clubhouse. I'd love to show you pictures but cameras, cell phones, etc. are strictly off limits in those areas. Steinbrenner monument

To the left is the newest monument in Monument Park. It's obviously to George Steinbrenner, The Boss, who passed away last year. Mr. Steinbrenner had a terrific impact on the Yankees, the improvement of the team's performance, and continuing the legacy of the team's history. It's interesting to note, and comments were being made on this tour as I'm sure they are on other small group tours, that this is the largest monument in the park.

As you set out on MLB road trips, the behind the scenes looks that baseball stadium tours provide are something you should include. This is especially true in New York where the Yankees franchise, love 'em or hate 'em, has such a fantastic history and tradition. It's well worth the visit.

Topics: sports travel and tours, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, big league tours, MLB tours, Yankees, Yankee Stadium, MLB road trips, Baseball

SpaceMan is Out of this World!

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 09:45 AM
On Yawkey Way with Bill LeeMay 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!Talking with Bill Lee

Name: Theresa & Frankie
City: Branchburg
State: New Jersey
Country: USA
Your Trip: Red Sox vs. Cubs 2011

Topics: stadium tours, Red Sox, Boston, Fenway Park, big league tours, Chicago, Green Monster, MLB road trips, Baseball, Cubs