Sports Travel and Tours is ‘the Only Way to Go’

Eight devoted baseball fans sat around a table in a restaurant in a New York hotel, gripped by tales told by retired American and Major League baseball umpire Al Clark. As the guests enjoyed their lunch, Al excitedly shared stories from his 26 years as an umpire, focusing on his journey to the major leagues.

Debra Waldron of Seattle, Washington, listened attentively, fascinated by Al’s unique perspective. “I had no idea how umpires got to the big leagues, nor how it worked for them to move from one league to another, or that they would act as an umpire in other countries, where baseball has various leagues,” Debra says.

“One thing that stuck with me is Al said every game has three teams on the field: two baseball teams and an umpire team,” she adds. “I had never thought of it that way.”

Debra Waldron and Beth Schultz at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

After Al and the guests chatted about their opinions of Pete Rose and Edgar Martínez, Debra and her traveling companion Beth Schultz departed in high spirits, ready for the 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend in Cooperstown, New York.

“It was the best way to start off the induction weekend,” Debra says of Al’s presentation, “Ump’s Eye View,” a routine feature of Sports Travel and Tours’ baseball packages.

Not only did the Hall of Fame induction weekend mark Debra’s first time meeting Al, it also was her first time traveling with Sports Travel and Tours. Looking for a way to see Ken Griffey Jr.’s induction, Debra began searching the internet and found Sports Travel and Tours through the Seattle Mariners’ website.

“I really wanted to go to the Hall of Fame when Griffey was going to be inducted,” Debra says. “Beth and I both really felt if we were going to go to the Hall of Fame at some point, why not go when the first Seattle Mariner was being inducted?”

Debra and Beth booked the trip, even working in an additional stop in Niagara Falls; the adventure did not disappoint. “The whole weekend was a dream and filled with joy,” Debra says. “You are surrounded by others who love baseball as much as you do, so everyone was happy, and I felt very well cared for throughout the weekend.”

One of the trip highlights for Debra was the Parade of Legends Saturday night, featuring numerous Hall of Famers who ride through the streets of Cooperstown. “It was a simple parade, but so emotional to see all those greats up close,” Debra remembers. “All of the Seattle fans that were there made it special, too.”

Plus, being treated like a V.I.P. didn’t hurt either.

“During the weekend, we were able to get in and out of the Hall of Fame through the side door with our Sports Travel and Tours’ ID lanyards,” Debra explains. “That was such a plus, as the lines to get in the front door were so long they were winding down the street, but we just beat the line. Sports Travel and Tours has definitely developed a lot of relationships with various venues and businesses, so you get some perks that you wouldn’t get by traveling with another company.”

Something Debra didn’t expect is that her Sports Travel and Tours travel package would be a gift she gave to herself that would keep on giving even after she returned home.

“Something that I got through Sports Travel and Tours that I didn’t appreciate until after I got home was the membership in the Hall of Fame, which was part of the package,” she says. “It seemed like once a week I was getting something from the Hall of Fame, including the 2016 Hall of Fame yearbook, literature about the Hall of Fame and a limited edition painting.”

Debra says that, having seen how Sports Travel and Tours knowledgably caters to the needs of sports fans, her first trip with the company will certainly not be her last. If Edgar Martínez gets inducted into the Hall of Fame, Debra says, she’ll be off to Cooperstown again in a heartbeat.

“Sports Travel and Tours is the only way to go.”

Hall of Fame Induction Weekend Leaves Travelers with Life-long Memories

For Steve Tatro of Bellingham, Washington, Ken Griffey Jr. is the greatest baseball player of his generation. Steve remembers following the former Seattle Mariners centerfielder in the minor leagues when he was in college, and the stops he made in Bellingham at Joe Martin Field.

So, in the months leading up to Griffey’s induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, this year, Steve knew he wanted to witness the ceremony in person, no matter what.

Skylar, Former Major League Umpire Al Clark, and Steve (left to right)
Skylar, Former Major League Umpire Al Clark, and Steve (left to right)

Steve stumbled across Sports Travel and Tours online, and saved enough money for him and his 20-year-old daughter Skylar, a fellow baseball fan, to participate in a Hall of Fame weekend travel package. As part of the trip, Steve and Skylar attended “Ump’s Eye View,” a private lunch session with retired American league and major league baseball umpire Al Clark.

Steve and Skylar sat around a table with six other devoted baseball fans, all of whom had traveled from Washington for the ceremony, as Al spoke about his experience as an umpire rising through the ranks of minor league, winter league and major league games.

“He had such an infectious laugh and was really engaging,” Steve remembers. “If you mentioned the name of a player—Gaylord Perry, Ricky Henderson, Randy Johnson, you name it—he had a story. His recollections were so vivid he was really able to bring each game to life.”

Of course, Al had stories about Ken Griffey Jr., too.

“He talked about Ken Griffey Jr. and his father, Ken Griffey Sr., who was also a ball player with the Cincinnati Reds,” Steve says. “Al said the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.”

Looking back, Steve describes “Ump’s Eye View” as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“It was great to start off the trip by talking baseball, sitting with other fans and getting a perspective on the game from somebody behind the plate, rather than in front of it,” Steve says.

Throughout the rest of the weekend, Steve and Skylar visited the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, where they saw such things as stadium artifacts and World Series rings from every year. “Skylar’s favorite piece was the actual letter from Lou Gehrig’s doctor that stated he was no longer physically able to play the game due to the illness that has since been named after him,” Steve says.

“The whole weekend, from Ump’s Eye View to the museum, you got a feel for how baseball intertwines in American history,” Steve says.

The two also watched the Parade of Legends, where Hall of Famers paraded through Cooperstown on pick-up trucks, giving fans a chance to see them up close. It all led up to the moment all the travelers had been waiting for—the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Sunday.

“The speeches by inductees were so heartfelt and genuine,” Steve says. “It will be something I remember for the rest of my life, and, hopefully, my daughter will too. We can look back and say we did that together.”

Steve says experiencing the Hall of Fame induction is something any baseball fan should put on their bucket list. Learn more about Sports Travel and Tours’ trips to upcoming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

Un Viaje de Béisbol

Sports Travel and Tours is offering a baseball trip like never before—or, should we say, un viaje de béisbol. Brush up on your Spanish, fly overseas and experience the sport from a whole new perspective during Sports Travel and Tours’ “Cuba Baseball Experience.”

Baseball originally landed in Cuba in the 1860s as citizens returned from travels abroad in the United States and as American sailors arrived in Cuban ports. The sport took the island nation by storm and firmly rooted itself in Cuban culture with the founding of the Cuban League in 1878.

Today, baseball is the national sport of Cuba. It is played by children in schools and in the streets, and passionately discussed at La Esquina Caliente, a café in Havana’s Parque Central whose name is translated as “The Hot Corner.”

Don’t miss the chance to trade hot takes with Cuban locals. Allow Sports Travel and Tours to take you there through this eight-day trip that kicks off Saturday, November 5 in Miami.

Travelers are asked to arrive in Miami by 4 p.m., in time for a trip reception and dinner, and will spend the night at the Pullman Hotel, which features complimentary shuttle service to the airport and a lagoon-side pool with a cascading waterfall.


On Sunday, travelers will take flight from Miami International Airport to Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba’s capital. Once there, they’ll visit the community art project of Muraleando, where murals that are the natural outgrowth of art classes taught in the streets depict fanciful celebrations of Cuban life.

Travelers will enjoy dinner at La Guarida, Havana’s most well-known privately-owned restaurant, and spend the night at Meliá Cohiba, a five-star hotel overlooking the Havana coastline.

The hotel features a cigar bar, the Casa del Habano cigar store, a gallery selling artwork and antiques, a nightclub with live shows, a beauty salon and a market. Hotel employees will even change your American dollars into Cuban pesos, so no need to find an exchange bureau. Get comfy—travelers on the “Cuba Baseball Experience” trip will be staying at Meliá Cohiba for all six nights spent in Cuba.

Starting Monday morning, travelers will meet with a representative of the Baseball Federation of Cuba, the governing body of baseball in Cuba, for a briefing on the Cuban baseball system. No need to worry if you’re new to Cuban baseball—Sports Travel and Tours has got you covered!

Travelers will explore Old Havana with a walking tour that will also give them a chance to meet business owners and learn about the 500-year-old city architecture. On the way, they’ll stop at Hotel Ambos Mundos, a home to author Ernest Hemingway for seven years. Room 511 now serves as a small museum to Hemingway.

To round out the day Monday, travelers will watch a game at Estadio Latinoamericano, a 55,000-capacity stadium known as “The Colossus of Cerro.” The stadium is currently the home of Havana’s most popular team, Los Industriales.

On Tuesday, travelers will learn more about the history of baseball in Cuba from sports historian Ismael Sene, visit La Esquina Caliente, enjoy a guided walk around the University of Havana campus, learn about the role tobacco has played in Cuba’s history with a tour of a tobacco factory and a game at Estadio Nelson Fernández featuring one of Cuba’s newest teams, the Mayabeque Huracanes.

Come Wednesday, travelers will spend the day touring Matanzas, known as the “Athens of Cuba” and the “City of Bridges” for the 17 bridges crossing the city’s three rivers. The tour will include the Pharmaceutical Museum, containing medicines from the early 1800s, and Ediciones Vigia, an independent publishing collective specializing in handmade books.

Travelers will also visit Castillo de San Severino on Wednesday, a military fortress built by the Spanish in 1735 that was once used as a prison for Cuban patriots and as a slave trading port. They’ll finish the day with a game at Victoria de Girón Stadium, home of the Matanzas Cocodrilos.

Thursday will bring visits to: one of the most distinguished cemeteries in Latin America, Cementerio de Colon; Finca Vigía, Ernest Hemingway’s 12-acre home that contains original furniture, artwork and personal memorabilia; and the Children’s Academy of Baseball, where many major league Cuban players got their start.

On Friday, the final full day spent in Cuba, travelers will attend a performance by Habana Compás, an Afro-Cuban dance group renowned for its energetic performances. After, travelers have a final chance to get all their questions about Cuba and Cuban baseball answered by a panel of Cuban experts. They’ll dine together one last time at Paladar San Cristobal, an eatery in a restored 19th century mansion.

Finally, on Saturday, Nov. 12, a plane will take the travelers back to the United States, to Miami International Airport, concluding the trip.

The trip cost includes all transportation within the itinerary, breakfast and lunch every day and tips to all porters, escorts, drivers and guides. Twenty-four-hour travel assistance is just a call away, and all guests will receive a souvenir to remember their stay in Cuba. Additional add-on nights at Pullman Hotel are optional.

Interested in seeing baseball like you’ve never seen it before? Learn more about Sports Travel and Tours’ “Cuba Baseball Experience.” But act quickly—the trip is limited to only 20 travelers.



Cuba Baseball Experience: Hotel Melia Cohiba

Meliá Cohiba

  • Situated in the centre of the city, overlooking the Havana coastline
  • Personalised service, exclusivity and privacy on THE LEVEL
  • Habana Café nightclub with live shows
  • Convention area with capacity for 1000 people
  • Cigar bar and Casa del Habano cigar store
  • Gallery with the exhibition and sale of artwork and antiques
  • Free Wi-Fi



Privileged location in Vedado, on the shores of Havana Waterfront and near the Historic Center of Havana. Elegant and sumptuous five-star hotel with 462 rooms. The luxurious comfort of its THE LEVEL Service and its bohemian nightclub Habana Café make a difference.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Stadium Stops on the Induction Plus Trip

The Induction Plus trip will offer two games and tours of two of America’s most iconic baseball stadiums: Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. Here’s a look at what you can expect to experience at each.

Yankee Stadium

 Date/Time: The tour, which is scheduled for Friday, July 22, is expected to last approximately one hour.

Tour Stops: While areas visited on the tour are subject to availability, each tour begins at Gate 6 and will end in right field (sections 105 and 106) to watch batting practice or warm-ups prior to a game.

Stops include Monument Park in honor of the greats, the New York Yankees Museum, the clubhouse/batting cage area and the dugout. The museum offers an exclusive program called “Hands of History,” where guests can actually touch historic Yankees artifacts while the museum curator shares related stories.

Each guest is able to hold between 10 and 15 artifacts, which can include Babe Ruth’s bat, Mickey Mantle’s bat from the 1958 World Series and/or his outfielder’s glove, Derek Jeter’s jersey from his 3,000th hit game, the home plate from the final game at the former stadium and the first game at the present stadium, and World Series rings and trophies. Photography is welcomed and encouraged during the program.

Click here to see panoramic views of the stadium’s most popular attractions.

Notable Eateries:

  • Hard Rock Café (located at Gate 6)
  • Mohegan Sun Sports Bar (at centerfield)
  • Gluten free NY Grill (at the Great Hall)

Fenway Park

Date/Time: The tour, which is scheduled for Monday, July 25, is expected to last approximately one hour.

Tour Stops: Stops include the field’s warning track, the Press Box, the State Street Pavilion Club and a break to sit in seats from the stadium’s reconstruction in 1934.

The experience concludes atop the fabled Green Monster, which contains 269 seats—just recently installed in 2003—and measures 231 feet long as well as 37 feet, 2 inches high overlooking left field.

Areas seen through the tour are subject to availability and dependent on the weather conditions.

Notable Eateries:

  • Pavilion Right Field Grill
  • Wheels Up Clubhouse (section 157)
  • Van Ness St. Grill (section 94)

Learn more about the Induction Plus trip, which is scheduled from Thursday, July 21 to Tuesday, July 26.