US 1611858 A
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Dec. 21, 1926. l,6l1,858
L. MIDDLEKAUFF BASEBALL BAT Filed Dec. 31, 1923 INVENTOR Patented Dec. 21, 1926.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
LLOYD MIDDLEKA'UFF, 0F 'I'ORRINGTON,
CONNECTICUT, ASSIGNOR- TO UNION HARD- CUT.
BASEBA L BAT. 7
Application filed December It has been customary in the past to make baseball bats out of wood, sometimes solid of one-piece and sometimes laminated. It has also been proposed to interiorly reenforce wooden bats with metal or cores of wood. Ordinarily wooden bats have the disadvantage of being easily dented and broken. As is well known a solid wooden bat must be carefully held to avoid splitting. Laminated and cored constructions are very expensive to make. Furthermore, wooden bats vary very greatly in weight and in any event are easily dented andsplintered.
The main object of my invention is to )rovide a durable baseball bat which can e made at a reasonable cost and turned out in quantity with uniform characteristics as to weight and resiliency. Another object is to provide a construction of this type which can be made with standard methods of manufacture and standard parts in different sizes, Weights, and balance characteristics as it may be required.
In carrying out the invention I make the body of the baseball hat of Steel in the form of a tapered tube provided at the ends with closing caps and suitably reenforced and designed to provide the desired characteristics.
Figure 1 is a side view of a baseball bat embodying the improvements of my invention shown on a small scale.
Fig. 2 is an exploded view of the principal parts of the bat.
Fig. 3 is a full size longitudinal sectional view of a fragment of a handle end.
Figs. 4 and 5 are sectional views showing different forms of joints.
Fig. 6 is a transverse sectional view on the plane of the line 66 of Figure 1.
Fig. 7 is a full sized longitudinal sectional view of a fragment of the outer end of the bat.
The body 10 is preferably formed of steel of the desired length, diameter and taper.
This is tubular in form and may be drawn from a low carbon seamless tube, carbonized and heat treated so as to provide the necessary strength and resiliency, or from a high carbon steel tube in which case heat treatment or carbonizing is unnecessary. This body may also be formed of a strip of sheet steel of suitable grade formed into tubular shape with its edges suitably secured to- 31, 1923. Serial No. 683,660.
gether to form in effect a seamless tube. The edges may be united in any well known manner as for instance by a lock joint seam 11 as shown in Fig. 4, or by a butt joint and inner cover strip 12 as shown in Fig. 5, or by an ordinary lap joint. The edges may be welded, soldered, or brazed in any suitable manner.
The ends of the bod are closed by suitable caps such as 13 and 14. The inner end cap 13 may have a collar 15 fitting in the smaller end of the body and brazed, riveted, or otherwise secured in position. The outer end cap similarly may have a collar or flange 16 secured for instance inside the outer end of the body in any suitable manner such as by means of screw threads, by brazing, welding, rivets or screws.
1 also prefer to reenforce a part of the body of the bat, for instance the outer third of its length, by providing an interior sleeve 17 suitably secured by brazing, riveting, or welding to the body. In fact, this inner sleeve 17 may serve as the means for connecting the edges of the strip of which the body tube is formed so as to simultaneously secure reenforcement and permanent junction of the edges of the strip. This inner tube or sleeve 17 is also preferably of tempered steel although certain advantages of construction may be obtained by using a tubular sleeve of wood veneer or fibre or similar substance.
I may also reenforce the outer end for lnstance by casting or otherwise securing an insert 18 which may conveniently be held 111 place by the inner shoulder 19. This in sert not only reenforces the end so as to prevent it being dented, but also serves as a means for weighting the outer end so as to give the desired balance and swing to the bat. This weighting of the outer cap may be done at the factory when manufacturing in quantity according to desired standards,
or it is possible to leave the outer end cap to be weighted and applied by the purchaser so that the balance of the bat may be adjusted to the particular desires of the individual customer. In this way a purchaser can vary the balance of his bat by experiment so as to get exactly the effect desired.
Such a construction is practically nonbreakable and indestructible. It can be held in any position and gives much greater driving power than an ordinary wooden bat. Furthermore, according to my invention, it is possible to turn out such constructions with absolute uniformity of weight and balance' Ordinarily a skillful player places great reliance upon the exact weight and balance of the bat he is accustomed to use, and his game is very badly interfered with in case his particular bat is broken or missing. According to my invention, the player can be assured of not only a substantially indestructible bat, but he can always be assured of uniformity of weight and balance of the steel bat.
It should be understood of course that the. bat may be painted, enameled, or plated with any desired finish. lhe handle may be wound or provided with any suitable grip 29, In view of the fact that the working surface of the bat is perfectly smooth, hard, and not likely to be dented or splintered as is the case with wood, there is less likelihood of cutting or tearing the ball.
It should be understood of course that the thickness of the metal employed will depend upon a number of considerations such as the characteristics of the metal, the hardening or tempering operation, and the weight of the bat. It should also be understood that such constructions can be made in different grades in which the costof material and labor are important elements.
1. A tapered tubular steel bat formed from a single strip having its edges secured together by interior means constituting longitudinal reinforcement, and closing caps at its opposite ends.
2. A steel bat having a tubular body provided with an interior springy tubular reen forcing sleeve.
3. A. tapered tubular steel bat, closures for the opposite ends thereof and a resilient tubular reinforcing sleeve secured in direct engagement with a wall of the larger end of said bat and extending approximately the entire length of the striking length thereof.
4. A tapered tubular steel bat, a longitudinally extending reinforcement tube secured directly to the interior thereof, and an end cap.