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November 15, 2018

The 2019 Trip Schedule

by Mark Jent

The calendar may say November and much of the country might have a wintry mix in the forecast this week, but Simply A Fan is ready to release it’s 2019 trip schedule! After organizing 11 trips and mobilizing over 140 people this past season, I have learned a ton from my hiccups and mistakes from Year 1 and am ready to improve on the baseball adventures for Year 2.

First and foremost, releasing the schedule now in mid-November will hopefully give fans plenty of time to plan accordingly in both your schedules and finances. Secondly, having launched simplyafan.com at the All-Star Break this past July is giving this new venture a better landing spot for friends and fans across the country to find the necessary information on all the trip details. And finally, my hope is that by offering a diverse trip portfolio that is comprised of a variety of length in trips, cost of trips, destinations of locations and special adventures, that there will be something for just about every baseball fan no matter one’s favorite team or budget.

Before you take your first glance at the schedule, here are a few items to note:

  • Today Simply A Fan is releasing a full slate of 13 trips that will give you trip locations, dates and descriptions.
  • Trip prices are included for all 12 of the 13 trips, excluding London. It is coming soon.
  • Each trip has it’s own designated “trip page” where you can find a more detailed trip schedule and more. Trip pages are currently available for all trips being offered February thru May. Trip pages for offerings June thru September are coming very soon!
  • To secure your spot on the trip(s) of your choice, all you have to do is register online and pay your trip deposit.
  • A new caveat to all 2019 trips, is that each trip will have a “trip minimum number of people necessary” in order for each trip to confirm, along with a sign-up deadline date so Simply A Fan and other fans can plan accordingly. The number of registrations will be updated periodically on each trip page.

So now that the pre-game festivities have taken place, the umpires are in place and you’re in position, here’s the first pitch! Friends, thanks for being on the journey with me and I’d like to welcome you to next year’s baseball season as you enjoy browsing and dreaming as you take a first glance at the 2019 Simply A Fan trip schedule!!!



SPRING TRAINING BASEBALL + GRAND CANYON VISIT
Location:  Glendale, AZ
Dates:       February 19-24
Cost:         $1,525

Description / Itinerary:
We will depart Nashville on the evening of Tuesday, February 19th flying to Phoenix. We will wake up Wednesday morning to enjoy the sights and sounds of spring training watching practice on the backfields of multiple Cactus League teams. (FYI – actual games do not start until Friday.) On Thursday we will take a day-trip to the Grand Canyon. We will then watch one game at a different ballpark each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday before flying home to Nashville on Sunday night. We will also catch other practices on backfields each morning before that day’s game.

Cost Includes:
The cost will include roundtrip airfare, 5 nights lodging, ground transportation throughout the trip (rental+gas+game parking), tickets to all three games, admission to the Grand Canyon National Park and a detailed trip itinerary.

Click here for the Arizona Spring Training trip page.



CINCINNATI:  MLB OPENING DAY
Location:        Cincinnati – Great American Ballpark
Matchup:       Pirates @ Reds
Trip Dates:    Wednesday, March 27 – Thursday, March 28
Game Date:   Thursday, March 28 – 4:10pm
Cost:               $325

Description / Itinerary:
We will kick-off the 2019 season in the Queen City, the location of the most storied Opening Day throughout all of Major League Baseball! So that we can enjoy all of the sights, sounds and festivities that the city of Cincinnati has to offer, this will be a two day, one night road trip from Nashville. We will leave out on Wednesday morning and return after the game on Thursday. We will stop by the Louisville Slugger Museum on our way north, tour the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum and spend the night in or near Cincinnati. We will get up Thursday morning so we can enjoy the 100th annual Findlay Market Opening Day Parade. Did you know that the Reds are the only team in baseball who are guaranteed to open their season at home every year? Fun fact! The 2019 season marks the Reds 150th team anniversary dating back to their inception in 1869, which they recently announced they are celebrating the anniversary with 15 vintage alternate uniforms throughout the season – one for each decade.

Cost Includes:
The cost will include ground transportation from Nashville (rental+gas+game parking), admission to the Louisville Slugger Museum, admission to the Reds Hall of Fame, one night lodging, your ballgame tickets and a detailed trip itinerary.

Click here for the Reds Opening Day trip page.



ATLANTA:  BRAVES HOME OPENER
Location:  Atlanta –  Suntrust Park
Matchup:  Cubs @ Braves
Date:          Monday, April 1st – 7:20pm
Cost:          $105

Description / Itinerary:
The baby Braves might have “arrived a year early,” but expectations are high going into 2019 as they look to defend their National League East division title! This will be Simply A Fan’s back-to-back home opener at Suntrust Park as we saw Nick Markakis win-it with his epic walk-off HR this past season (click here to watch). This road trip from Nashville will just be an all-day down and back excursion.

Cost Includes:
The cost will include ground transportation from Nashville (rental+gas+game parking), behind-the-scenes ballpark tour of Suntrust Park and your ballgame ticket.

Click here for the Braves Home Opener trip page.


ST. LOUIS:  CARDINALS HOME OPENER
Location:       St. Louis –  Busch Stadium
Matchup:      Padres @ Cardinals
Trip Dates:   Thursday, April 4
Game Date:  Thursday, April 4 – 3:15pm
Cost:              $265

Description / Itinerary:
This day trip adventure from Nashville will take us west of the Mississippi to the Arch! This will be a road trip from Nashville, leaving out early Thursday morning and returning late Thursday night after the 3:15pm game. See trip page for schedule details. We will embark on both a Busch Stadium behind-the-scenes ballpark tour along with taking in the Cardinals Hall of Fame & Museum. We will also go up the Arch!

Cost Includes:
The cost will include ground transportation from Nashville (rental+gas+game parking), behind-the-scenes ballpark tour of Busch Stadium and admission to the Cardinals Hall of Fame.

Click here for the Cardinals Home Opener trip page.



LOS ANGELES:  JACKIE ROBINSON DAY
Location:      Los Angeles –  Dodger Stadium
Matchup:      Brewers @ Dodgers, Reds @ Dodgers
Trip Dates:   Saturday, April 13 – Tuesday, April 16
Game Date:  Saturday, April 13 vs. Brewers
                         Monday, April 15 vs. Reds, Jackie Robinson Day
Cost:              $1,305

Description / Itinerary:
This four-day, three-night adventure will take you to the third oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball to celebrate the 72nd Anniversary of the Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier!  We will fly out early Saturday morning, April 13th, take a behind-the-scenes ballpark tour of Dodger Stadium, visit the largest baseball card shop in the world in Burbank and go to the Brewers-Dodgers game on Saturday night. On Sunday, fans will have a choice of either taking in the sights and sounds of Los Angeles with Simply A Fan or attending the Sunday afternoon Brewers-Dodgers game. On Monday, we will hit additional iconic stops in the Los Angeles area before going to Dodger Stadium for the Reds-Dodgers game to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day. We will fly home Tuesday, arriving back to Nashville by late afternoon.

Cost Includes:
The cost will include roundtrip airfare, ground transportation throughout the trip (rental+gas+game parking), the behind-the-scenes ballpark tour of Dodger Stadium, three nights lodging and your two ballgame tickets.

Click here for the Jackie Robinson Day trip page.



COOPERSTOWN: HALL OF FAME CLASSIC
Location:      Cooperstown, NY – Baseball Hall of Fame
Matchup:      Legends vs. Legends
Trip Dates:   Friday, May 24 – Monday, May 27
Game Date:  Saturday, May 25
Cost:              $1,190

Description / Itinerary:
Kick-off summer with this epic trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame! This four-day, three-night adventure to baseball heaven does not include ANY official MLB ball games, but does include an adventure and experience of a lifetime. We will fly Nashville to Albany, NY on Friday and return to Nashville on Monday night. The Hall of Fame Classic Weekend is probably known to be the second largest annual event at the Baseball Hall of Fame each year (with the first being Induction Ceremony Weekend). You will have unlimited admission to the Hall of Fame for all four days. The Hall of Fame Classic game will take place on Saturday at Double-day Field as two teams full of former major league players take the field and will be coached by Hall of Famers often including the likes Ozzie Smith, Rollie Fingers, Gaylord Perry, Tim Raines, Goose Gossage and more. On pinnacle of the weekend will be the “Night at the Museum” on Saturday. Upon entry to this special ticketed event, you will be greeted by the legends and they will spend two hours roaming the hallowed halls of Cooperstown with fans as the museum comes to life.

Cost Includes:
The cost will include roundtrip airfare, ground transportation throughout the trip (rental+gas), an annual Hall of Fame membership pass with unlimited entry, the ballgame ticket and three nights lodging.

Click here for the Hall of Fame Classic trip page. 



Epic Midwest:  A Father/Son Weekend Road Trip
Location:       Nashville – Chicago – Iowa – Kansas City – St. Louis
Trip Dates:    Thursday, June 20 – Sunday, June 23
Schedule:       Thu 6/20:   Mets @ Cubs
                         Fri 6/21:   Iowa – Field of Dreams
                         Sat 6/22: Twins @ Royals
                         Sun 6/23: Angels @ Cardinals
Cost:                $655

Description / Itinerary:
In what may be my personal most anticipated trip for the 2019 season, this father/son road trip will be about so much more than just the baseball we watch throughout the weekend. As we found out this year on our Louisville-Cincinnati-Chicago father/son trip, the relationships, conversations and fellowship far outweigh whatever takes places between on the field. We will hit three games in four days in three parks plus an iconic corn field in the middle of Iowa where we might hear voices or see ghosts from the past.

This road trip will leave from Nashville the morning of Thursday, June 20th and we will return late night on Sunday, June 23rd. We will cover six states and 1,700 miles. Our first stop will be Wrigley Field to see the Cubs take on the Mets. Friday morning we will drive to the cornfields of Dyersville, Iowa to the movie site of the Field of Dreams. Just like Ray Kinsella did in 1989, we will walk through the cornstalks, we will listen for the voice, we will laugh on the sidelines like Terrace Mann did and finally….if all the stars align, we will grab our gloves (possibly with watery eyes!) and play a friendly game of catch with your son or your dad, or both if you bring three generations! On Saturday we will drive to Kansas City where we will tour the historic Negro Leagues Hall of Fame followed by game two of our epic midwest trip as the hometown Royals take on the Twins. On Sunday we will drive across the Show-Me-State to Busch Stadium where we will see the Cardinals take on the Angels and the culmination of Albert Pujols’ Return Weekend.

Cost Includes:
The cost will include ground transportation (van rental+gas), three nights lodging at Hampton Inns with free hot waffles each morning, tickets to all three ballgames, admission to the Field of Dreams site and possibly behind-the-scenes ballpark tours (if travel time allows).


London: MLB in London
Location:        London, England
Matchup:       Red Sox vs. Yankees (2 games)
Trip Dates:    Wednesday, June 26 – Wednesday, July 3
Cost:               Express Interest. Inquire Within.

Description / Itinerary:
Grab your passport and join Simply A Fan on its first international trip! In the spring of 2018 Major League Baseball announced that it would send two teams to London in the summer of 2019 for its first two regular season games ever in Europe! Similar to the NFL-in-London scheduling that has become commonplace in recent years, MLB is expanding it’s borders and has slotted one of baseball’s most fierce rivalries to kick it off – the Red Sox and Yankees. We will leave Nashville on Wednesday, June 26th, travel to London, launch right into the sightseeing adventures of London, catch the Saturday and Sunday ballgames, have a final day of sights on Monday before returning home on Tuesday July 3rd.

Cost Includes:
The cost will include roundtrip airfare to London, public London ground transport, five nights lodging, tickets to both ballgames and a detailed trip itinerary of London sightseeing.


Prior to the inception of Simply A Fan in 2018, one of the first “group trips” I organized was to Cincinnati in 2015 for the All-Star Game and other festivities including the Futures Game, Celebrity Softball Game, FanFest and the HR Derby.

Cleveland: MLB All-Star Break
Location:      Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Field
Trip Dates:   Sunday, July 7 – Wednesday, July 10
Schedule:      Sun 7/7:   Futures Game + Celebrity Softball Game + Fanfest
                        Mon 7/8: HR Derby + FanFest
                        Tue 7/9: All-Star Game + FanFest
Cost:              $1,730

Description / Itinerary:
As the game takes its annual mid-season reprieve, hit the road with Simply A Fan for the All-Star Break! We will fly in to Cleveland on Sunday morning, July 7th and return on Wednesday, July 10th. Sunday will be packed with the MLB FanFest, the Futures Game and the Celebrity Softball Game that often features Jennie Finch, Snoop Dogg and numerous MLB Legends. On Monday we will continue to enjoy FanFest and then take our seats for to watch the clock tick down as baseball’s best bashers swing for the fences in the HR Derby. On Tuesday we will continue to enjoy Cleveland and get ready for the evening’s All-Star Game.

Cost Includes:
The cost will include roundtrip airfare, local transit and ground transport, three nights lodging, tickets to all events and FanFest.



Boston:
Re-Match of the 2018 World Series
Location:      Boston – Fenway Park
Trip Dates:   Friday, July 12 – Monday, July 15
Schedule:      Fri 7/12:   Dodgers @ Red Sox + Fenway Tour
                        Sat 7/13: Boston sightseeing
                        Sun 7/14: Dodgers @ Red Sox
Cost:              $1,405

Description / Itinerary:
As the second half of the season gets underway, Simply A Fan will travel to Fenway Park for an interleague series that is a re-match of the 2018 World Series, Dodgers @ Red Sox. We will catch two games (Friday and Sunday) with Saturday being put aside for Boston sightseeing or fans will have the choice to catch the Saturday game. Upon arrival on Friday we will take a behind-the-scenes ballpark tour of Fenway Park, walk the streets outside that George Ross strolled prior to Game 1 of the World Series and then warm-up our vocals with the Fenway faithful for the 8th inning stretch of ‘Sweet Caroline.’ On Saturday we will enjoy historic Boston including Quincy Market, the Old North Church, Paul Revere’s House, the Freedom Trail, Bunker Hill and more. On Sunday we will settle in our seats to watch the great Clayton Kershaw pitch his third perfect game of the season, setting a major league record. We will return home on Monday.

Cost Includes:
The cost will include roundtrip airfare, local transport, three nights lodging, ballgame tickets to both games, Fenway Park ballpark tour and a detailed trip itinerary of Boston sightseeing.


Chicago:     The National Sports Collectors Convention
Location:      Chicago – Wrigley Field
Trip Dates:   Thursday, August 1 – Sunday, August 4
Schedule:     Thu 8/1: Day 1, The National
                       Fri 8/2: Day 2, The National + Brewers @ Cubs
                       Sat 8/3: Day 3, The National
                       Sun 8/4: Day 4, The National
Cost:             $925

Description / Itinerary:
“The National” as it is known among sports card and memorabilia collectors is the single largest baseball card show in the country. An annual five-day event attended by collectors, dealers, manufacturers, distributors and others, The National is the premier showcase event of the sports collecting industry. Each year dozens of current and former baseball, football and basketball players are also present to meet fans for paid autograph signings. We will attend the event each of the four days. On Friday afternoon, we will hit Wrigley Field for the 1:20 Brewers-Cubs game. Currently it is to be determined whether this will be a road trip or a flight. Either way, we will leave Thursday morning, August 1st and return Sunday night, August 4th.

Cost Includes:
This road trip cost will include transportation (ground and/or flight), admission to all four days of The National, your ballgame ticket to Wrigley Field and three nights lodging.


Epic East:   Three Games – Three Cities – Three Parks
Location:      BAL – WAS – PHI
Trip Dates:   Thursday, September 12 – Sunday, September 15
Schedule:     Thu 9/12:   Dodgers @ Orioles
                       Fri 9/13: Braves @ Nationals
                       Sat 9/14: DC Sights
                       Sun 9/15: Red Sox @ Phillies
Cost:             $1,335

Description / Itinerary:
Want to check three ballparks off your baseball bucket list? Join Simply A Fan as we embark on Epic East – a four day, three night trip where we will see three games in three parks in three cities. We will fly into Baltimore/DC on Thursday, visit the Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum, take a behind-the-scenes ballpark tour of Camden Yards before catching the evening interleague matchup between the Dodgers and Orioles. On Friday we will catch a few DC sights during the day before watching the Bryce Harper-less Nationals (prediction!) take on the Braves Friday night. On Saturday we will catch more historic DC sights before driving up the coast to Philadelphia where if travel time allows we will do the same in the City of Brotherly Love. On Sunday we will settle in our seats for an interleague matchup of the Red Sox and Phillies. We will return home late Sunday night.

Cost Includes:
The cost will include roundtrip airfare, ground transportation from DC to Philly (van rental+gas), three nights lodging, tickets to all three ballgames, admission to the Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum and admission to the Camden Yards ballpark tour.


City TBD:    2019 World Series, Game One
Location:        Ballpark TBD
Matchup:       AL vs. NL
Trip Dates:    3rd Week of October
Cost:               $2,100

Description / Itinerary:
Join Simply A Fan for it’s third straight World Series Game One!

Cost Includes:
Everything, but please don’t faint on the flight.


There you have it, the Simply A Fan 2019 trip schedule is all yours – all 15 trips!!! And for those of you looking ahead to Black Friday sales, Small Business Saturday deals and Cyber-Monday specials – Simply A Fan will be selling Christmas gift certificates if you want to buy a trip or pay a deposit for that special baseball fan in your life! More details will be released next week as trip prices are listed.

November 15, 2018

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