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Publication numberUS20030013563 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/175,513
Publication dateJan 16, 2003
Filing dateJun 19, 2002
Priority dateDec 12, 2000
Publication number10175513, 175513, US 2003/0013563 A1, US 2003/013563 A1, US 20030013563 A1, US 20030013563A1, US 2003013563 A1, US 2003013563A1, US-A1-20030013563, US-A1-2003013563, US2003/0013563A1, US2003/013563A1, US20030013563 A1, US20030013563A1, US2003013563 A1, US2003013563A1
InventorsRichard Ryan
Original AssigneeRyan Richard L.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Baseball practice bat
US 20030013563 A1
Abstract
A baseball practice bat having a main bat barrel, a movable handle portion, a fixed handle portion, a shaft running through the handle sections. The shaft may also run through the bat barrel. When properly aligned, a projection on one of the handles impacts the other handle, thereby creating a sharp crack, indicating that the practice swing was good. If the handles are not properly aligned, instead a soft thud is created indicated that the practice swing was not properly executed. The handles take the form of tubes surrounded by resilient grips. In one embodiment, a post extends from the movable handle and a resilient washer with a cut-away portion is located at the top of the fixed handle. When the handles are properly aligned, the post can impact the tube portion exposed by the cut-away portion of the washer. In another embodiment, projections extend from the tubes of the fixed handle and movable handle. When the handles are properly aligned, the two projections impact, creating the sharp crack.
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Claims(20)
What is claimed is:
1. A baseball practice bat, comprising:
a bat barrel,
a shaft extending from said bat barrel,
a fixed handle located around said shaft,
a movable handle located around said shaft between said bat barrel and said fixed handle, said movable handle configured to slid along and rotate about said shaft,
a projection extending from at least one of said fixed handle and said movable handle,
wherein, when said movable handle is rotationally aligned with said fixed handle and moved toward said fixed handle, said projection connects with a first portion of the other of said fixed handle and said movable handle, thereby creating a first sound,
and wherein, when said movable handle is rotationally unaligned with said fixed handle and moved toward said fixed handle, said projection connects with a second portion of the other of said fixed handle and said movable handle, thereby creating a second sound.
2. The baseball practice bat of claim 1, wherein said first portion is a second projection.
3. The baseball practice bat of claim 1, wherein said projection extends from said fixed handle.
4. The baseball practice bat of claim 1, wherein fixed handle includes a first metal tube located around said shaft and a first resilient grip located around said tube.
5. The baseball practice bat of claim 4, wherein said projection is a portion of said tube.
6. The baseball practice bat of claim 4, wherein said movable handle includes a second metal tube located around said shaft and a second resilient grip located around said tube.
7. The baseball practice bat of claim 6, wherein said projection is a portion of one of said tubes.
8. The baseball practice bat of claim 6, wherein said first and second resilient grips each have a flange extending outward from said shaft, said flanges oriented such that when said movable handle is moved against said fixed handle, said flanges meet.
9. The baseball practice bat of claim 1, wherein said movable handle includes a metal tube located around said shaft and a resilient grip located around said tube.
10. The baseball practice bat of claim 9, wherein said projection is a portion of said tube.
11. The baseball practice bat of claim 1, further comprising a resilient washer attached to one of said fixed handle and said movable handle, said resilient washer being said second portion, said resilient washer having a cut-out portion, said cut-out portion located over said first portion.
12. The baseball practice bat of claim 1, wherein said bat barrel and shaft are formed of a single piece of formed metal.
13. The baseball practice bat of claim 1, further comprising a stop located around said shaft and protruding therefrom.
14. A baseball practice bat, comprising:
a bat barrel,
a handle extending from said bat barrel, said handle including:
a shaft,
a fixed handle portion located around said shaft, fixed handle including a first metal tube located around said shaft and a first grip located around said first tube,
a movable handle portion located around said shaft between said bat barrel and said fixed handle, said movable handle portion configured to slid along and rotate about said shaft, said movable handle including a second metal tube located around said shaft and a second grip located around said second tube,
a projection extending from at least one of said fixed handle portion and said movable handle portion,
wherein, when said movable handle portion is rotationally aligned with said fixed handle portion and moved toward said fixed handle portion, said projection connects with a first portion of the other of said fixed handle portion and said movable handle portion, thereby creating a first sound,
and wherein, when said movable handle portion is rotationally unaligned with said fixed handle portion and moved toward said fixed handle portion, said projection connects with a second portion of the other of said fixed handle portion and said movable handle portion, thereby creating a second sound.
15. The baseball practice bat of claim 14, wherein said first portion is a second projection.
16. The baseball practice bat of claim 14, wherein said projection extends from said fixed handle.
17. The baseball practice bat of claim 14, wherein said projection is a portion of one of said tubes.
18. The baseball practice bat of claim 6, wherein said projection is a portion of one of said tubes.
19. The baseball practice bat of claim 14, wherein said first and second resilient grips each have a flange extending outward from said shaft, said flanges oriented such that when said movable handle is moved against said fixed handle, said flanges meet.
20. The baseball practice bat of claim 14, wherein said bat barrel and shaft are formed of a single piece of formed metal.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO OTHER APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Utility patent application Ser. No. 09/735,725 filed Dec. 12, 2000, now issued U.S. Pat. No. 6,406,387, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates generally to the field of baseball equipment. More particularly, the invention relates to a practice bat for baseball.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The game of baseball has been played in the United States for more than one hundred years. The game is played by opposing teams and consists primarily of a pitcher of one team throwing a ball to a batter of the other team who attempts to hit the ball with the bat and to run to each of four bases without being tagged out.

[0004] The bat is round in cross section and narrow in diameter, thereby making it difficult to hit a ball, which tends to be only slightly larger in diameter than the bat barrel. Bats are generally constructed of wood or aluminum. There tend to be no moving parts on a baseball bat. Baseball players tend to spend many hours practicing their hitting technique so that when they play the game, they can hit the ball with maximum efficiency.

[0005] Hitting coaches know that the most efficient way to swing a bat for optimal performance is to have the leading arm do most of the work until the ball makes contact with the barrel of the bat. After that, both hands and arms are used equally. It is difficult, with a standard bat, for the batter or the coach to verify that the batter is actually using his or her leading arm properly. Additionally, coaches train their players to hold the bat in such a way that the batters knuckles of one hand are aligned with the knuckles of the other hand. This ideal alignment is also difficult to verify during the swinging process.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention takes the form of a baseball practice bat having a main bat barrel, a movable handle portion, a fixed handle portion and a shaft running through the handle sections. The shaft may also run through the bat barrel. When properly aligned, a projection on one of the handles impacts the other handle, thereby creating a first audible sound, typically a sharp crack, indicating that the practice swing was good. If the handles are not properly aligned, the first audible sound is not created, instead a second sound, such as a soft thud, is created indicating that the practice swing was not properly executed. The handles take the form of tubes surrounded by resilient grips. In one embodiment, a post extends from the movable handle. A resilient washer is located at the top of the fixed handle. The washer has a cut-away portion. When the handles are properly aligned, the post can impact the tube portion exposed by the cut-away portion of the washer. When improperly aligned, the post impacts the resilient washer. In another embodiment, projections extend from the tubes of the fixed handle and movable handle. When the handles are properly aligned, the two projections impact, creating the first audible sound, the sharp crack. When the handles are not properly aligned, the projections do not meet, only the flanges of the grips meet, thereby creating a soft sound.

[0007] Other objects and advantages of the invention will no doubt occur to those skilled in the art upon reading and understanding the following detailed description along with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008]FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of the baseball practice bat.

[0009]FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a person starting a swing using the practice bat.

[0010]FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a person during a swing using the practice bat.

[0011]FIG. 4 is a partial cut-away view of a second embodiment of the practice bat.

[0012]FIGS. 5A and 5B are partial cut-away views of the handle of the second embodiment of the practice bat.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0013] Detailed descriptions of the preferred embodiments are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure or manner.

[0014]FIG. 1 is a side, sectional view of the baseball practice bat of the present invention. Although the following description will refer to the term baseball bat in describing the present invention, it should be understood that the present invention also includes softball bats. The bat is comprised of four main elements, the main bat barrel 300, the movable handle 200 and the fixed handle 100, all connected by a centrally located generally rigid shaft 6. The shaft 6 may be made from a tubular material such as stainless steel or may be made of solid material such as fiberglass, aluminum or wood. The shaft 6 is centered and secured to the barrel 4 by a collar 22, which is held fixedly in place by a setscrew 20. The rigid shaft 6 is also fastened to the top cover 2 of bat barrel 300 by a screw 114 as it passes through a bushing 116. The shaft 6 is fixedly secured to non-movable, fixed handle 100 by adhesive or other known means. Movable handle 200 has a brass inner tube 8 that slidably fits around the shaft 6. The brass tube 8 can also be constructed of rigid slidable plastic, such as nylon, or other sturdy metals and materials. A rubber or other resilient grip 10 surrounds the brass tube 8 and terminates at one end in a flange 12. A metal post 14 is secured to the flange 12, protruding out approximately one quarter of an inch in a perpendicular fashion with relation to the flange 12. The fixed handle 100 is made of aluminum 28 and coated with a thin rubber or resilient material 29 and terminates at one end in a flange 30. A rubber washer 16 is fixedly attached to the flange 30 and has a cut-out portion 31 allowing the post 14 to penetrate the washer 16 and strike the aluminum handle 28 when the movable handle 200 is slid down. Molded in finger grip locators 112 found in the movable handle 200 and the fixed handle 100 allow the user to check alignment of the movable handle 200 with the fixed handle 100. This feature is useful because the user can position his or her hands on handles 200 and 100, align his or her knuckles on both hands so that the knuckles of both hands form a straight line.

[0015] The practice bat of the present invention is used in the following way, as shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 3. The user 50 grips the bat handles 100, 200 so that the movable handle 200 is slid up close to bat barrel 300. The leading arm and hand 52 is held in the normal fashion. One key to optimal hitting is to let the leading hand and arm 52 do most of the work until the pitched ball 62 strikes the bat barrel 300, after which point both the leading arm 52 and the trailing arm 54 share the work equally. If the batter is using his leading arm 52 correctly the sliding handle 200 will slide down and meet the fixed handle 100 at the same moment that the ball 62 strikes the bat barrel 300. Additionally, if the batter's hands have remaining in the correct orientation, the knuckles of each hand are lined up, the post 14 will strike the metal portion of the non-moving handle 100, thereby making a loud clinking sound as the ball 62 hits the bat 300. If the knuckles have moved out of alignment, the post 14 will hit the rubber washer 16, thereby making a soft thud.

[0016] A second embodiment of the practice bat is shown in FIGS. 4, 5A and 5B. In this embodiment, the barrel 402 of the bat 400 is formed by standard manufacturing, such as grinding a wood bat on a lathe or by rotary swedging or hammering of a metal bat, such as aluminum. Instead of the standard handle found on most bats, a shaft 404 with a smaller diameter is formed. Although the shaft 404 may be the same diameter as a standard bat handle, for familiarity of feel and ease of gripping, the shaft 404 is made smaller such that when the handles 406, 408 are added, the feel of the bat 400 is similar to a standard bat.

[0017] Two handles 406, 408 are placed on the shaft 404. Although alternate construction may be used, the embodiment shown uses metal tubes 410, 412 slightly larger than the diameter of the shaft 404. A resilient grip 414, 416 is attached to the outside of each tube 410, 412. The lower handle 408 is fixedly attached to the shaft 404 at the lower end thereof. The knob 418 of the bat 400 is then attached at the base of the shaft 404. These attachments may be formed in any secure means, such as welding, adhesive, mechanical or other suitable means. Both the top end of the tube 412 in the lower, fixed handle 408 and the bottom end of the tube 410 of the upper movable handle 414 have a raised portion or projection 420, 422 around part of its diameter. The length of the projection 420, 422 may be different for different bats, thereby allowing the user to choose the level of accuracy to practice. The length of the projection 420, 422 may be anywhere from an eighth to half of the circumference of the shaft 404. More preferably, the projection 420, 422 is from a quarter to a third of the circumference. If preferred, only one of the two handles 406, 408 may have a projection 420, 422. In this case, the end of the tube 406, 408 is lengthened to allow the projection 420, 422 to impact against the other tube 410, 412. Then a portion of the tube 410, 412 is covered by resilient or sound deadening material.

[0018] Although non-resilient grips may be used, a resilient grip 414, 416 provides better comfort for the user. As with the prior embodiment, the grips 414, 416 have ridges 424 for the fingers, thereby allowing for proper alignment of the handles 406, 408 during swinging. The resilient grips 424 also have a flange 426. On the fixed handle 408, the flange 426 is located at the top end. On the movable handle 406, the flange 426 is located on the bottom end. The flanges 426 are arranged such that the flanges 426 meet when the handles 406, 408 are brought together, thereby decreasing the likelihood of any foreign objects interfering with the impact of the projections 420, 422. Also, in the embodiment shown, the flanges 426 deform slightly to seal around the impact area. This assures that the movable handle 406 is moving with sufficient momentum to create the deformation of the flanges 426 and still impact the fixed handle 408 with sufficient force to create the sharp noise audibly.

[0019] A stop 428 is attached to the top of the shaft 404 to prevent the movable handle 406 from being forced up the widening section leading to the barrel 402 and getting stuck. The stop 428 may be attached in any suitable manner, including welding, adhesive, mechanical means.

[0020] In the above described and illustrated way, a batter can practice the correct method of hitting by verifying that his or her leading arm is doing most of the work prior to the ball hitting the bat and to verify that his or her hands remain correctly aligned.

[0021] In other embodiments, the sound may be generated by an alternate mechanism. For example, an air bladder could be impacted and compressed by the projection on the handle. When the air bladder was compressed, air escaping the chamber could pass through a sound generating orifice. Also, an electronic substitute could be used with the projection hitting a button or other actuation mechanism to activate a prerecorded sound on a microchip.

[0022] Many features have been listed with particular configurations, options, and embodiments. Any one or more of the features described may be added to or combined with any of the other embodiments or other standard devices to create alternate combinations and embodiments.

[0023] Although the examples given include many specificities, they are intended as illustrative of only a few possible embodiments of the invention. Other embodiments and modifications will, no doubt, occur to those skilled in the art. Thus, the examples given should only be interpreted as illustrations of some of the preferred embodiments of the invention, and the full scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6929573 *Mar 10, 2004Aug 16, 2005Jung-Shih ChangBat for baseball
US7052419 *Jun 10, 2004May 30, 2006Jung-Shih ChangBall bat
US7147580Jan 12, 2005Dec 12, 2006Nutter Sports, L.L.C.Warm-up bat
US7166046 *Oct 25, 2005Jan 23, 2007Shyr Sheng Enterprise Co., Ltd.Retractable baseball bat
US7297077Dec 13, 2004Nov 20, 2007Robert BattaglinoBat exercise, practice, and training device
US7351167Feb 15, 2006Apr 1, 2008Richard HathawayBaseball bat training aid and method of use
US8167744 *Apr 3, 2010May 1, 2012Daniel SilvainSwing assist and training device
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/457
International ClassificationA63B59/00, A63B69/00, A63B59/06
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2069/0008, A63B59/0044, A63B59/0029, A63B59/004, A63B59/06, A63B59/0014, A63B59/0025, A63B69/0002
European ClassificationA63B69/00B, A63B59/00B