Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20040023736 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/197,325
Publication dateFeb 5, 2004
Filing dateJul 18, 2002
Priority dateJul 18, 2002
Publication number10197325, 197325, US 2004/0023736 A1, US 2004/023736 A1, US 20040023736 A1, US 20040023736A1, US 2004023736 A1, US 2004023736A1, US-A1-20040023736, US-A1-2004023736, US2004/0023736A1, US2004/023736A1, US20040023736 A1, US20040023736A1, US2004023736 A1, US2004023736A1
InventorsRonald Cardinale
Original AssigneeCardinale Ronald S.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Training device and method of training a batter
US 20040023736 A1
Abstract
A baseball training device comprises a rod having a handle end portion containing a handle end knob, an intermediate handle portion containing one or more intermediate handle knob(s), a body portion and a distal end. The intermediate handle portion, along with the handle end portion creates a recessed handle area between two knobs providing for an enhanced, repeatable grip of the device, allowing for increased bat speed and resultant swinging power while improving the safety of swinging the device at a ball or similar object. The configuration of the body portion coupled with the enhanced gripping handle of the training device will provide for desired, graduated levels of training a batter to improve hand-eye coordination while optimizing swinging power to strike an effective blow to a ball or similar object. A method comprising steps to: choose a training device with an enhanced gripping handle and desired body portion, grip the training device, and swing the training device to repeatedly strike a ball or similar object with confidence, increased swinging power and improved hand-eye coordination.
Images(19)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(97)
What is claimed is:
1. A training device of the preferred embodiment comprising:
a rod having a handle end containing a handle end expanded diameter section, an intermediate handle portion between the handle end expanded diameter section and an intermediate handle expanded diameter section or between any two intermediate handle expanded diameter sections, a first cross section of the intermediate handle portion taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has a first outer perimeter that is substantially similar to a second outer perimeter of any other cross section of the intermediate handle portion taken parallel to the first cross section, the intermediate handle portion containing one or more intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s), a body portion and a distal end, the body portion representing a substantial length of the overall length of the rod, a first cross section of the body portion taken at a point where an intermediate handle expanded diameter section meets the body portion and at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has a first outer perimeter that may be substantially dissimilar to a second outer perimeter of any other cross section of the body portion taken parallel to the first cross section of the body portion in the direction from where the intermediate handle expanded diameter section meets the body portion of the rod toward the distal end of the rod.
2. The training device of claim 1, wherein any outer perimeter of the rod is substantially circular when the angle is about 90 degrees.
3. The training device of claim 1, wherein the rod is made from a single, homogeneous piece of material.
4. The training device of claim 1, wherein the cross section of either the handle end expanded diameter section or any intermediate handle expanded diameter section taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has an outer perimeter that is greater than the outer perimeter of any cross section of the intermediate handle portion taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod.
5. The training device of claim 1, wherein the intermediate handle portion includes one or more intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) that are substantially similar to the handle end expanded diameter section.
6. The training device of claim 1, wherein any intermediate handle expanded diameter section is located between the handle end expanded diameter section and the body portion of the rod.
7. The training device of claim 1, wherein the outer perimeter of any intermediate handle expanded diameter section is substantially circular when the angle is about 90 degrees.
8. The training device of claim 1, wherein the outer perimeter of the handle end expanded diameter section is substantially circular when the angle is about 90 degrees.
9. The training device of claim 1, further comprising a bore in the body portion of the rod extending from the distal end toward the handle end.
10. The training device of claim 1, wherein a side view of the intermediate handle portion of the rod between the handle end expanded diameter section and the first intermediate handle expanded diameter section proximate to the handle end expanded diameter section or between any two intermediate handle expanded diameter sections has a substantially linear and uniform composition.
11. The training device of claim 1, wherein a cross section of the handle end expanded diameter section taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has an outside diameter between 1 and 4 inches.
12. The training device of claim 1, wherein a cross section of any intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has an outside diameter between 1 and 4 inches.
13. The training device of claim 1, wherein a side view of the handle end expanded diameter section of the rod has an overall width between ⅛ and 2 inches.
14. The training device of claim 1, wherein a side view of any intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) of the rod has an overall width between ⅛ and 2 inches.
15. The training device of claim 1, wherein the distance between the centerline of the handle end expanded diameter section and the centerline of the first intermediate handle expanded diameter section proximate to the handle end expanded diameter section is between ¼ and 18 inches.
16. The training device of claim 1, wherein the distance between the centerlines of any two intermediate handle expanded diameter sections is between ¼ and 18 inches.
17. The training device of claim 1, wherein the preferred embodiment of the rod is between 20 and 48 inches in length and between 10 and 56 ounces in weight.
18. The training device of claim 3, wherein any known material may be selected on the basis of its suitability for the intended use where the material may include but not be limited to wood, metal, plastic, metal alloy, rubber, or composite.
19. The training device of claim 9, wherein the bore is filled with a gas.
20. The training device of claim 9, wherein the bore is filled with a liquid.
21. The training device of claim 9, wherein the bore is filled with a gelatin.
22. The training device of claim 9, wherein the bore is filled with a solid material.
23. The training device of claim 9, further comprising a core residing in the bore of the body portion of the rod.
24. The training device of claim 9, further comprising a plug inserted in the distal end of the rod and thereby enclosing the bore within the training device.
25. The training device of claim 11, wherein the outside diameter of the handle end expanded diameter cross section is when the angle is about 90 degrees.
26. The training device of claim 12, wherein the outside diameter of any intermediate handle expanded diameter cross section is when the angle is about 90 degrees.
27. The training device of claim 23, wherein the core is made from a solid material.
28. The training device of claim 1, wherein the distance between the centerline of the handle end expanded diameter section and the centerline of the first intermediate handle expanded diameter section proximate to the handle end expanded diameter section for any novelty objects of the preferred embodiment of the rod is less than ¼ inch or greater than 18 inches.
29. The training device of claim 1, wherein the distance between the centerlines of any two intermediate handle expanded diameter sections for any novelty objects of the preferred embodiment of the rod is less than ¼ inch or greater than 18 inches.
30. The training device of claim 1, wherein any novelty objects of the preferred embodiment of the rod is less than 20 inches or greater than 48 inches in length and less than 10 ounces or greater than 56 ounces in weight.
31. The training device of claim 1, wherein any novelty objects of the preferred embodiment of the rod is constructed from a single piece of homogeneous material or from the assembly of a combination of wood, plastic, rubber, metal, metal alloy, and/or composite material pieces.
32. The training device of claim 1, wherein an intermediate handle expanded diameter section may be added to the intermediate handle portion of any novelty objects of the preferred embodiment of the rod as a separate piece of material through a mechanical, thermal, and/or chemical process.
33. The training device of claim 32, wherein the material of the intermediate handle end expanded diameter section may be wood, plastic, rubber, metal, metal alloy, and/or composite material.
34. A training device of the further embodiment, comprising:
a rod having a handle end containing a handle end expanded diameter section, an intermediate handle portion between the handle end expanded diameter section and an intermediate handle expanded diameter section or between any two intermediate handle expanded diameter sections, a first cross section of the intermediate handle portion taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has a first outer perimeter that is substantially similar to a second outer perimeter of any other cross section of the intermediate handle portion taken parallel to the first cross section, the intermediate handle portion containing one or more intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s), a body portion and a distal end, the body portion representing a substantial length of the overall length of the rod, a first cross section of the body portion taken at a point where an intermediate handle expanded diameter section meets the body portion and at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has a first outer perimeter that may be substantially similar to a second outer perimeter of any other cross section of the body portion taken parallel to the first cross section of the body portion in the direction from where the intermediate handle expanded diameter section meets the body portion of the rod toward the distal end of the rod.
35. The training device of claim 34, wherein any outer perimeter of the rod is substantially circular when the angle is about 90 degrees.
36. The training device of claim 34, wherein the rod is made from a single, homogeneous piece of material.
37. The training device of claim 34, wherein the cross section of either the handle end expanded diameter section or any intermediate handle expanded diameter section taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has an outer perimeter that is greater than the outer perimeter of any cross section of the intermediate handle portion taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod.
38. The training device of claim 34, wherein the intermediate handle portion includes one or more intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) that are substantially similar to the handle end expanded diameter section.
39. The training device of claim 34, wherein any intermediate handle expanded diameter section is located between the handle end expanded diameter section and the body portion of the rod.
40. The training device of claim 34, wherein the outer perimeter of any intermediate handle expanded diameter section is substantially circular when the angle is about 90 degrees.
41. The training device of claim 34, wherein the outer perimeter of the handle end expanded diameter section is substantially circular when the angle is about 90 degrees.
42. The training device of claim 34, further comprising a bore in the body portion of the rod extending from the distal end toward the handle end.
43. The training device of claim 34, wherein a side view of the intermediate handle portion of the rod between the handle end expanded diameter section and the first intermediate handle expanded diameter section proximate to the handle end expanded diameter section or between any two intermediate handle expanded diameter sections has a substantially linear and uniform composition.
44. The training device of claim 34, wherein a cross section of the handle end expanded diameter section taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has an outside diameter between 1 and 4 inches.
45. The training device of claim 34, wherein a cross section of any intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has an outside diameter between 1 and 4 inches.
46. The training device of claim 34, wherein a side view of the handle end expanded diameter section of the rod has an overall width between ⅛ and 2 inches.
47. The training device of claim 34, wherein a side view of any intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) of the rod has an overall width between ⅛ and 2 inches.
48. The training device of claim 34, wherein the distance between the centerline of the handle end expanded diameter section and the centerline of the first intermediate handle expanded diameter section proximate to the handle end expanded diameter section is between ¼ and 18 inches.
49. The training device of claim 34, wherein the distance between the centerlines of any two intermediate handle expanded diameter sections is between ¼ and 18 inches.
50. The training device of claim 34, wherein the further embodiment of the rod is between 20 and 48 inches in length and between 8 and 20 ounces in weight.
51. The training device of claim 36, wherein any known material may be selected on the basis of its suitability for the intended use where the material may include but not be limited to wood, metal, plastic, metal alloy, rubber, or composite.
52. The training device of claim 42, wherein the bore is filled with a gas.
53. The training device of claim 42, wherein the bore is filled with a liquid.
54. The training device of claim 42, wherein the bore is filled with a gelatin.
55. The training device of claim 42, wherein the bore is filled with a solid material.
56. The training device of claim 42, further comprising a core residing in the bore of the body portion of the rod.
57. The training device of claim 42, further comprising a plug inserted in the distal end of the rod and thereby enclosing the bore within the training device.
58. The training device of claim 44, wherein the outside diameter of the handle end expanded diameter cross section is when the angle is about 90 degrees.
59. The training device of claim 45, wherein the outside diameter of any intermediate handle expanded diameter cross section is when the angle is about 90 degrees.
60. The training device of claim 56, wherein the core is made from a solid material.
61. The training device of claim 34, wherein the distance between the centerline of the handle end expanded diameter section and the centerline of the first intermediate handle expanded diameter section proximate to the handle end expanded diameter section for any novelty objects of the further embodiment of the rod is less than ¼ inch or greater than 18 inches.
62. The training device of claim 34, wherein the distance between the centerlines of any two intermediate handle expanded diameter sections for any novelty objects of the further embodiment of the rod is less than ¼ inch and greater than 18 inches.
63. The training device of claim 34, wherein any novelty objects of the further embodiment of the rod is less than 20 inches or greater than 48 inches in length and less than 8 ounces or greater than 20 ounces in weight.
64. The training device of claim 34, wherein any novelty objects of the further embodiment of the rod is constructed from a single piece of homogeneous material or from the assembly of a combination of wood, plastic, rubber, metal, metal alloy, and/or composite material pieces.
65. The training device of claim 34, wherein an intermediate handle expanded diameter section may be added to the intermediate handle portion of any novelty object of the further embodiment of the rod as a separate piece of material through a mechanical, thermal, and/or chemical process.
66. The training device of claim 65, wherein the material of the intermediate handle end expanded diameter section may be wood, plastic, rubber, metal, metal alloy, and/or composite material.
67. A training device of a further embodiment comprising:
A rod made from a single, homogeneous piece of material, having a handle end containing a handle end expanded diameter section, a body portion, and a distal end, the body portion represents a substantial length of the overall length of the rod, a first cross section of the body portion taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has a first outer perimeter that is substantially similar to a second outer perimeter of any other cross section of the body portion taken parallel to the first cross section of the body portion.
68. The training device of claim 67, wherein any outer perimeter of the rod is substantially circular when the angle is about 90 degrees.
69. The training device of claim 67, wherein the cross section of the handle end expanded diameter section taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has an outer perimeter that is greater than the outer perimeter of any cross section of the body portion taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod.
70. The training device of claim 67, wherein the outer perimeter of the handle end expanded diameter section is substantially circular when the angle is about 90 degrees.
71. The training device of claim 67, further comprising a bore in the body portion of the rod extending from the distal end toward the handle end.
72. The training device of claim 67, wherein a cross section of the handle end expanded diameter section taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has an outside diameter between 1 and 4 inches.
73. The training device of claim 67, wherein a sideview of the handle end expanded diameter section of the rod has an overall width between ⅛ and 2 inches.
74. The training device of claim 67, wherein the rod is between 20 and 48 inches in length and between 8 and 20 ounces in weight.
75. The training device of claim 67, wherein any known material may be selected on the basis of its suitability for the intended use where the material may include but not be limited to wood, metal, plastic, metal alloy, rubber or composite.
76. The training device of claim 71, wherein the bore is filled with gas such as air.
77. The training device of claim 71, wherein the bore is filled with a liquid.
78. The training device of claim 71, wherein the bore is filled with a gelatin.
79. The training device of claim 71, wherein the bore is filled with a solid.
80. The training device of claim 71, further comprising a core residing in the bore of the body portion of the rod.
81. The training device of claim 80, wherein the core is made from a solid material.
82. The training device of claim 71, further comprising a plug inserted in the distal end of the rod and thereby enclosing the bore within the training device.
83. The training device of claim 69, wherein the outside diameter of the handle end expanded diameter cross section is when the angle is about 90 degrees.
84. The training device of claim 67, wherein any novelty object of a further embodiment of the rod is less than 20 inches or greater than 48 inches in length and less than 8 ounces or greater than 20 ounces in weight.
85. The training device of claim 67, wherein any novelty device of the further embodiment of the rod is made from a single piece of homogeneous material or from the assembly of a combination of wood, plastic, rubber, metal, metal alloy, and/or composite material pieces.
86. A method of training a batter, comprising:
a rod having a handle end containing a handle end expanded diameter section, an intermediate handle portion between the handle end expanded diameter section and an intermediate handle expanded diameter section or between any two intermediate handle expanded diameter sections, a first cross section of the intermediate handle portion taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has a first outer perimeter that is substantially similar to a second outer perimeter of any other cross section of the intermediate handle portion taken parallel to the first cross section, the intermediate handle portion containing one or more intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s), a body portion and a distal end, the body portion represents a substantial length of the overall length of the rod, a first cross section of the body portion taken at a point where an intermediate handle expanded diameter section meets the body portion and at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has a first outer perimeter that may be substantially similar or dissimilar to a second outer perimeter of any other cross section of the body portion taken parallel to the first cross section of the body portion in the direction from where the intermediate handle expanded diameter section meets the body portion of the rod toward the distal end of the rod, and said rod having opposite ends being between 20 and 48 inches in length and between 10 and 56 ounces in weight for a preferred embodiment, and between 20 and 48 inches in length and 8 and 20 ounces for any further embodiment and further holding the rod at the handle end, at the handle end between a handle end expanded diameter section and an intermediate handle expanded diameter section or between any two intermediate handle expanded diameter sections and swinging the rod at an object.
87. The method of claim 86, wherein the object has a spherical shell.
88. The method of claim 86, wherein the object is solid.
89. The method of claim 86, wherein the object is hollow internally.
90. The method of claim 87, wherein the shell has a diameter of about 2 and ½ inches.
91. The method of claim 86, wherein the object further includes a cloth-like or leather layer.
92. The method of claim 86, wherein the training device further comprising a bore in the body portion of the rod extending from the distal end toward the handle end and swinging the training device at an object.
93. The method of claim 92, wherein the object has a spherical shell.
94. The method of claim 92, wherein the object is solid.
95. The method of claim 92, wherein the object is hollow internally.
96. The method of claim 92, wherein the object further includes a cloth-like or leather layer.
97. The method of claim 93, wherein the spherical shell has a diameter of about 2 and ½ inches.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field Of The Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to devices and methods for training a person to hit a ball. In particular, the present invention relates to training a person to hit a ball with a bat.

[0003] It is an object of the present invention to provide a means to teach a baseball player to efficiently and effectively swing a baseball bat to improve the striking of a baseball or similar object, by providing an intermediate handle portion of a bat where both hands can grip the bat between one or more intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) or knob(s) and a handle end expanded diameter section or knob, creating a locked-in feeling and creating a grip with confidence, repeatability, and as a result, increased swinging power.

[0004] It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved safety feature of shielding a portion of ones hand from being hit by a baseball, or similar object upon swinging the bat to strike a blow to a thrown baseball or similar object, with the intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s).

[0005] It is another object of the present invention to provide a means to improve a batter's hand-eye coordination while practicing the art of hitting a baseball or similar object by providing a bat with a reduced diameter of the body portion of the practice bat while maintaining the locked-in grip feature of the one or more intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) along with the handle end expanded diameter section.

[0006] It is a further object of the present invention to provide a means to improve a batter's hand-eye coordination while practicing the art of hitting a baseball or similar object by providing a bat with a reduced diameter of the body portion of the practice bat while maintaining a handle end expanded diameter section and a bat consisting of one single piece of homogeneous material without any assembled parts from manufacturing. When the weight of the device becomes an initial factor in training a young individual, this particular embodiment may be used to provide a device that is easier to swing while at the same time providing hand-eye coordination training.

[0007] It is a further object of the present invention to reduce, if not eliminate, hand slippage while swinging a baseball bat at a thrown baseball or similar object. The multi-knob handle provides for a recessed handle to place one's hands when gripping a baseball bat and maintains them in the same well defined area or envelope without slipping out while swinging the training device.

[0008] It is a further object of the present invention to restrict the use of the commonly used adhesive commercially known as “pine tar” on a baseball bat to enhance one's grip of the bat. Instead of using pine tar indescriminantly along the handle and up the barrel portion of the bat, any use of pine tar may be used and restricted within the confines of the recessed handle area between any two intermediate handle knobs or between a handle end knob and an intermediate handle knob.

[0009] It is a further object of the present invention to provide an intermediate knob of the bat to act as a handle end knob when “choking-up” on the bat. When “choking-up” with a conventional bat one loses the use of the handle end knob to rest one's lower hand upon. The present invention allows one to graduate to the next knob up the intermediate handle and use an intermediate handle knob as a handle end knob preventing a batter's hands from slipping downward during the act of swinging the training device.

[0010] 2. Prior Art

[0011] Various prior art devices exist that attempt to provide means to learn and practice swinging a baseball bat. All of these devices attempt to address the body portion of the bat commonly referred to as the flared end, the body, the ballast or the barrel end. None of these prior art devices address nor provide proper means for enhancing a batter's grip on the handle portion through the incorporation of both a handle end knob and intermediate handle knob(s).

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 4,819,935, issued to Dirksing et al, discloses a training bat for ball games that includes the selective adjustability of the ballast by rotating the ballast relative the handle while the handle, adjustment stem and ballast are integrally attached. The ballast is considered the barrel of the bat. Further it provides no specific means for improving a batter's grip and resultant bat speed and safety, and has only a handle end knob and no intermediate handle knob(s).

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 514,420, issued to Charles Jacobus of New York, N.Y., discloses an improvement in baseball bats, and has for its objects to reduce the weight of the body of the bat at its outer end when held ready for a stroke. The bat has an axial perforation in its body, and a weight free to slide in said perforation. The disposition of the sliding weights within the bat will permit the batsman to quickly and forcibly swing the bat for a stroke enabling the batsman to strike a forcible blow. Although the Jacobus bat does address a more forcible blow to a baseball, the Jacobus baseball bat only contains one end knob and no intermediate knob(s) to enhance one's grip, to create a repeatable grip, and to provide the safety of a grip. Once again only the ballast or barrel end of the baseball bat is addressed.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 875,273, issued to C. E. Kimble, discloses an exercise bat that contains a bored-out body portion for the reception of a metallic tube such as lead. Kimble further claims a bat for not batting a ball, but an exercise bat conforming in shape to the ordinary bat used in batting a ball, whereby the same muscles will be brought into play as in handling the usual bat, but this exercise bat being so heavily weighted renders it unfit for use in actually batting the ball. Kimble only addresses the body (ie. Ballast or barrel) portion of the bat, maintains one handle end knob and no intermediate handle knobs. Therefore, the effectiveness, safety, and enhanced repeatability of the bat grip is not addressed.

[0015] U.S. Pat. No. 5,219,163, issued to H. Kirk Watson, discloses a foam toy bat that produces a loud clapping noise when it strikes a person or object. The recreational toy neither has a handle end knob nor intermediate handle knob(s). Therefore, the object of this device is not to address the handle grip portion of a bat but the body or barrel portion only. The invention further claims the bat includes a solid, generally cylindrical handle and a long, flexible tubular impact barrel longitudinally connected to another elongated portion. The impact portion has a blind coaxial bore which closes momentarily when the bat strikes an object and subsequently reopens, thereby generating a loud noise.

[0016] U.S. Pat. No. 4,682,773, issued to Gino Pomilia, discloses a baseball training bat that maintains a uniform outside diameter from its handle through its extension to the opposite end. Pomilia further claims the invention is a bat particularly adapted for use as a practice bat to develop batting strength, bat speed and hand-eye coordination. One of the features of the invention is that the practice bat is much heavier than a conventional baseball bat of equal length and it includes a shaft portion which is substantially thinner than that of a conventional bat. The Pomilia device posses a handle end knob on the handle end but does not have any intermediate handle knob(s) along the handle portion of the bat. The device is made of many assembled parts and therefore the device is not made from a single piece of homogeneous material but heterogeneous in construction and requires multiple manufacturing and assembly steps. The device also highlights a lead pipe for the body or barrel portion which means the Pomilia device cannot provide for an increasing diameter of the body portion from the handle end to the distal end of the bat. The Pomelia device also does not address an improved and enhanced handle grip between two or more knobs for improved safety, increased bat speed and resultant power because the device only has one knob. The Pomelia device features a design to strike a standard hardball used in baseball and coupled with a lead constructed body portion makes for a heavy device not necessarily designed and effective for a young individual to swing: especially during the initial training stages where it becomes extremely important to establish confidence in the young individual.

[0017] It is an object of the present invention to provide a means to teach a baseball player to efficiently and effectively swing a baseball bat to improve the striking of a baseball or similar object by providing an intermediate handle portion of a bat where both hands can grip the bat between two or more intermediate expanded diameter sections (or knobs) creating a locked-in feeling and creating a grip with confidence, repeatability, and increased swinging power.

[0018] It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved safety feature by shielding a portion of one's hand from being hit by a baseball, or similar object upon swinging the bat to strike a blow to a thrown baseball or similar object, through the incorporation of the intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s).

[0019] It is another object of the present invention to provide a means to improve a batter's hand-eye coordination while practicing the art of hitting a baseball or similar object by providing a bat with a reduced diameter of the body portion of the practice bat while maintaining the locked-in grip feature of the two or more intermediate handle expanded diameter sections (intermediate handle knobs) along with the handle end expanded diameter section (handle end knob).

[0020] It is a further object of the present invention to provide a means to improve a batter's hand-eye coordination while practicing the art of hitting a baseball or similar object by providing a bat with a reduced diameter of the body portion of the present invention while maintaining a handle end expanded diameter section (handle end knob) and a bat consisting of one, single piece of homogeneous material without any assembled parts from manufacturing. This particular configuration may be used as the initial stage to train a young individual who is just starting to learn to swing a bat to strike a ball or similar object.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0021] In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, there is disclosed a novel baseball batting apparatus comprising a device for training a person to hit a ball with a bat that provides an improved handle grip between a handle end knob and an intermediate handle knob or between two or more intermediate handle knobs. It is also an object of the present invention to provide a method for training a person to hit a ball with a bat that maintains an enhanced gripping handle. The foregoing objectives are realized by a training device according to the present invention. The training device includes a rod having a handle end containing a handle end knob section, an intermediate handle portion between the handle end knob and an intermediate handle knob or between any two intermediate handle knobs, a first cross section of the intermediate handle portion taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has a first outer perimeter that is substantially similar to a second outer perimeter of any other cross section of the intermediate handle portion taken parallel to the first cross section, the intermediate handle portion containing one or more intermediate knobs, a body portion and a distal end. The body portion represents a substantial length of the overall length of the rod, a first cross section of the body portion taken at a point where an intermediate handle knob meets the body portion and at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has a first outer perimeter that may be substantially similar or dissimilar to a second outer perimeter of any cross section of the body portion in the direction from where the intermediate handle knob meets the body portion of the rod toward the distal end of the rod. Where the cross sections of the body portion taken at a point where an intermediate handle knob meets the body portion and at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has a first outer perimeter that may be substantially similar to a second outer perimeter of any cross section of the body portion in the direction from where the intermediate handle knob meets the body portion of the rod toward the distal end, the body portion will have a configuration that maintains a substantially uniform diameter or circumference. Where the cross sections of the body portion taken at a point where an intermediate handle knob meets the body portion and at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has a first outer perimeter that may be substantially dissimilar to a second outer perimeter of any cross section of the body portion in the direction from where the intermediate handle knob meets the body portion of the rod toward the distal end, the body portion will have a configuration with cross sectional diameters graduating and increasing toward the distal end of the rod maintaining a flared appearance commonly seen in a conventional baseball bat.

[0022] In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, there is disclosed a novel method of teaching batting skills comprising the steps of:

[0023] (a) holding the training device at the handle end

[0024] (b) gripping the training device between the handle end knob and intermediate handle knob or between any two intermediate handle knobs

[0025] (c) swinging the training device at an object

[0026] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is disclosed a novel baseball batting apparatus comprising a device for training a person to hit a ball with a bat that improves a batter's hand-eye coordination. The training device is comprised of a single piece of homogeneous material and does not consist of any assembled parts from manufacturing. The training device is further comprised of a rod having a handle end containing a handle end knob section, a body portion, and a distal end. The body portion represents a substantial length of the overall length of the rod, a first cross section of the body portion taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis of the rod has a first outer perimeter that may be substantially similar to a second outer perimeter of any cross section of the body portion maintaining a configuration that has a substantially uniform diameter throughout the rod.

[0027] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is disclosed a novel method of teaching batting skills further comprising the steps of:

[0028] (a) holding the training device of another aspect of the present invention at the handle end

[0029] (b) gripping the training device of another aspect of the present invention above the handle end knob or handle end expanded diameter section

[0030] (c) swinging the training device of another aspect of the present invention at an object

[0031] Other advantages, features and characteristics of the present invention, as well as functions of the related elements of the structure, and the combination of parts and economies of manufacture, will become more apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description and the appended claims with reference to the accompanying drawings, the latter of which is briefly described hereinbelow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0032] The novel features which are believed to be characteristic of the multi-knob, baseball bat training device according to the present invention, as to its structure and use, together with further objectives and advantages thereof, will be better understood from the following drawings in which a presently preferred embodiment of the invention will now be illustrated by way of example. It is expressly understood, however that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration and description only, and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention. In the accompanying drawings:

[0033]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the multi-knob baseball bat training device according to the present invention, and also showing one handle end knob, one intermediate handle knob, and a body portion that flares-out from the intermediate handle end toward the distal end of the device and includes the longitudinal axis;

[0034]FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the further embodiment of the multi-knob baseball bat training device similar to FIG. 1 however the outside perimeter of the body portion maintains a substantially uniform composition from the point where the intermediate handle portion meets the body portion going in the direction toward the distal end and includes the longitudinal axis;

[0035]FIG. 2A is a perspective view of a further embodiment of the baseball bat training device similar to FIG. 2 where the outside perimeter of the body portion maintains a substantially uniform composition from the point where the handle end meets the body portion going in the direction toward the distal end, includes a handle end knob and a longitudinal axis;

[0036]FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the multi-knob baseball bat training device similar to FIG. 1 with one handle end knob and two intermediate handle knobs;

[0037]FIG. 3A is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the multi-knob baseball bat training device similar to FIG. 3 with one handle end knob and two intermediate handle knobs creating more than one intermediate handle portion;

[0038]FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the further embodiment of the multi-knob baseball bat training device similar to FIG. 2 with one handle end knob and two intermediate handle knobs;

[0039]FIG. 4A is a perspective view of the further embodiment of the multi-knob baseball bat training device similar to FIG. 4 with one handle end knob and two intermediate handle knobs creating more than one intermediate handle portion, and also a body portion that substantially maintains a uniform diameter composition from the intermediate handle end toward the distal end of the device;

[0040]FIG. 5 is a partial side view of a device according to the present invention;

[0041]FIG. 5A is a partial side view of a device according to a further embodiment of the present invention as shown in FIG. 2A;

[0042]FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the device shown in FIG. 1 taken along the line 4-4 where the outside perimeter of a cross section of the body portion increases from the point where the intermediate handle portion meets the body portion going in the direction toward the distal end;

[0043]FIG. 6A is a cross section of both a preferred embodiment and a further embodiment of a device according to the present invention taken at a point where the intermediate handle expanded diameter section meets the body portion;

[0044]FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view of the intermediate handle portion of the preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 1 and the intermediate handle portion of a further embodiment shown in FIG. 2 where the outside perimeter of any cross section taken at an angle along a longitudinal axis of the intermediate handle portion maintains a substantially uniform composition;

[0045]FIG. 8 is a cross sectional side view of the preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 1 which includes a bore, a core, and a distal end plug;

[0046]FIG. 8A is a cross sectional side view similar to FIG. 8 with one handle end knob, two intermediate handle knobs, and also includes a bore, a core, and a distal end plug;

[0047]FIG. 8B is a cross sectional side view similar to FIG. 8A with one handle end knob, two intermediate handle knobs creating more than one intermediate handle, and also includes a bore, a core, and a distal end plug;

[0048]FIG. 8C is a partial cross sectional side view of the device shown in FIG. 8 without the core;

[0049]FIG. 9 is a cross sectional side view of the further embodiment shown in FIG. 2 which includes a bore, a core, and a distal end plug;

[0050]FIG. 9A is a cross sectional side view similar to FIG. 9 with one handle end knob, two intermediate handle knobs, and also includes a bore, a core, and a distal end plug;

[0051]FIG. 9B is a cross sectional side view similar to FIG. 9A with one handle end knob, two intermediate handle knobs creating more than one intermediate handle, and also includes a bore, a core, and a distal end plug;

[0052]FIG. 9C is a partial cross sectional side view of the device shown in FIG. 9 without the core;

[0053]FIG. 9D is a cross sectional side view of a further embodiment shown in FIG. 2A with one handle end knob and includes a bore, a core, and a distal end plug;

[0054]FIG. 10 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 8-8 shown in FIG. 8;

[0055]FIG. 11 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 10-10 shown in FIG. 9;

[0056]FIG. 12 is a side view of a distal end plug according to the present invention and as shown in FIG. 8 and FIG. 9;

[0057]FIG. 13 is an end view of the core shown in FIG. 8 and FIG. 9;

[0058]FIG. 14 is a side view of the core according to the present invention and as shown in FIG. 8 and FIG. 9;

[0059]FIG. 15 is a partial cross sectional side view of the preferred embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 8 having an internally threaded bore and externally threaded core;

[0060]FIG. 15A is a partial cross sectional side view of the further embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 9 having an internally threaded bore and externally threaded core;

[0061]FIG. 16 is a side view of an externally threaded core;

[0062]FIG. 17 is a method for training a batter in sequential steps;

[0063]FIG. 18 is a preferred object to be used with a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0064]FIG. 19 is a further embodiment of the object to be used with a further embodiment of the present invention;

[0065]FIG. 19A is a cross section of the further embodiment of the object shown in FIG. 19;

[0066]FIG. 20 is an illustration of a batter's grip of a preferred or further embodiment of the present invention when the present invention is gripped between a handle end expanded diameter section and an intermediate handle expanded diameter section;

[0067]FIG. 20A is an illustration of a batter's grip of a preferred or further embodiment of the present invention when the present invention is gripped between two intermediate handle expanded diameter sections;

[0068]FIG. 20B is an illustration of a batter's grip of a preferred or further embodiment of the present invention when the present invention is gripped above the intermediate handle expanded diameter section where it meets the body portion;

[0069]FIG. 20C is an illustration of a batter's grip when a further embodiment of the present invention is gripped above the handle end knob in the absence of any intermediate handle knobs or intermediate handle expanded diameter sections.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0070] Reference will now be made to FIGS. 1 through 20C of the drawings, which show the preferred embodiment and further embodiments of the multi-knob baseball training bat of the present invention, as indicated by the general reference numeral 30.

[0071]FIG. 1 shows a training device of the preferred embodiment according to the present invention. The training device includes a rod 30 having a handle end 5, an intermediate handle portion 7, a body portion 11, and a distal end 13. The handle end 5 has an expanded diameter section 3. The intermediate handle portion 7 has one or more intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) 9. The body portion 11 is a substantial length of the overall length of the rod 30.

[0072] The combination of and the distance between a handle end expanded diameter section 3 and an intermediate handle expanded diameter section 9 or the combination of and the distance between any two intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) 9 create a multi-knob device containing a defined, recessed area for a batter to grip one's hands between. In a sideview of the preferred embodiment (FIG. 1) or the further embodiment (FIG. 2) of the present invention, the distance between the centerline of the handle end expanded diameter section 3 and the centerline of the first intermediate handle expanded diameter section 9 proximate to the handle end expanded diameter section 3 is between ¼ and 18 inches. These same values apply to the distances between the centerlines of any two intermediate handle expanded diameter sections 9 of the rod 30. Alternatively, the distances between these centerlines, in the manufacturing of any novelty objects having configurations within the scope of this invention will be determined by its intended use and objective and much less or more than the preferred embodiment and further embodiment values of the present invention. For novelty objects these centerline-to-centerline distances may be less than ¼ or more than 18 inches.

[0073] The recessed area of the intermediate handle portion 7 created between the handle end expanded diameter section 3 and the first intermediate handle expanded diameter section 9 proximate to the handle end expanded diameter section 3 or between two intermediate handle expanded diameter sections 9 provides for a grip that has a locked-in feeling for a safer, more efficient, more effective power swing of the rod 30. In a preferred embodiment of the rod 30 according to the present invention, the rod 30 may be made of but not limited to material such as wood, a metal like aluminum, rubber, metal alloy, a plastic or composite materials. It should be noted that any intermediate handle portion 7 may be covered with a compressible material 19 (FIG. 5A), such as rubber, leather or adhesive tape to provide improved gripping of the rod 30. The preferred embodiment of the training device has a weight between 10 and 56 ounces and has a length between 20 and 48 inches. Alternatively, novelty objects of the preferred embodiment will have overall weights and lengths much less or more than the preferred embodiment and suitable for the intended purpose and objective. These novelty weights and lengths may vary outside the scope of the preferred embodiment of the invention. These weights may be less than 10 ounces or greater than 56 ounces. Additionally, the novelty lengths of the preferred embodiment may be less than 20 or greater than 48 inches. Also, for the purposes of manufacturing novelty objects of the preferred embodiment of the present invention and to emphasize recycling and reuse as alternatives to disposal of material, the rod 30 may be constructed from the assembly of a combination of wood, plastic, rubber, metal, metal alloy, and/or composite material pieces.

[0074] When materials such as plastic and/or aluminum are utilized in the construction of the rod 30, the density of the material relative to material such as wood is reduced and therefore the overall weight of the rod 30 will be reduced. The use of such material for the rod 30 may be preferred to train younger individuals, however, construction of the rod 30 is not limited to these materials.

[0075] A further embodiment of the rod 30 with a diameter of the body portion that is substantially uniform in composition or circumference (as shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 2A) may have a weight between 8 and 20 ounces and a length between 20 and 48 inches. Alternatively, novelty objects of any further embodiment of the present invention will have overall weights and lengths much less or more than further embodiment values and suitable for the intended purpose and objective. These novelty weights and lengths may vary outside the scope of further embodiments of the present invention. These novelty weights of further embodiments may be less than 8 ounces or greater than 20 ounces. Additionally, the novelty lengths of further embodiments may be less than 20 inches or greater than 48 inches. Also, for the purposes of manufacturing novelty objects of any further embodiments of the present invention and to emphasize recycling and reuse as alternatives to disposal of material, the rod 30 may be constructed from the assembly of a combination of wood, plastic, rubber, metal, metal alloy, and/or composite material pieces.

[0076] The handle end expanded diameter section 3 and any intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) 9 may be similar in shape to those found on common baseball bats. Alternatively, the handle end expanded diameter section 3 and any intermediate handle expanded diameter section (s) 9 may be substantially spherical, as shown in FIG. 5. FIG. 5 also shows the handle end 5 where the intermediate handle portion 7 meets the handle end expanded diameter section 3. FIG. 7 shows a first cross section of an intermediate handle portion 7 taken at an angle to a longitudinal axis 15 of the rod 30. The cross section has an outer perimeter 25. According to the present invention, all cross sections of the intermediate handle portion 7 taken at the same angle ∝ to the longitudinal axis 15 of the rod 30 have outer perimeters that are substantially similar in shape and size to each other. In a preferred embodiment of the training device, when the angle ∝ is about 90°, the outer perimeter 25 of any cross section of the intermediate handle portion 7 is substantially circular. Furthermore, the intermediate handle portion 7 of the preferred embodiment has a diameter DIH smaller than the smallest diameter of a handle end expanded diameter section 3 and any intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) 9. FIG. 6 shows a first cross section of the body portion 11 of the rod 30, taken at an angle ∝ to a longitudinal axis 15 and along the line 4-4 of FIG. 1. The cross section taken at a point 17 (as shown in FIG. 1) where the intermediate handle expanded diameter section 9 meets the body portion 11 has an inner perimeter 23 (as shown in FIG. 6A) that increases to the outside perimeter 21 at the distal end 13 of the rod 30 (FIG. 6). In the preferred embodiment of the present invention (FIG. 1) cross sections of the body portion 11 taken at the same angle ∝ to the longitudinal axis 15 of the rod 30 have outer perimeters that increase or remain substantially the same in shape and size to each other when the cross sections are taken from the point 17 where the intermediate handle expanded diameter section 9 meets the body portion 11 and while going in the direction toward the distal end 13 of the rod 30. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention when the angle ∝ is about 90°, the outer perimeter(s) of all cross-sections of the body portion 11 are substantially circular. FIG. 3 and FIG. 3A show variations in configurations in the preferred embodiment of the rod 30 shown in FIG. 1 when more than one intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) 9 are provided and in combination with a handle end expanded diameter section 3. FIG. 2 and FIG. 2A show further embodiments of the present invention where all cross sections of the body portion 11 taken at the same angle ∝ to the longitudinal axis 15 of the rod 30 and taken along the line 6-6 have outer perimeters 23 (as shown in FIG. 6A) that are substantially similar in shape and size to each other. In the further embodiments of the training device, when the angle ∝ is about 90°, the outer perimeter 23 of any cross section of the body portion 11 is substantially circular. Furthermore, FIG. 6A shows a cross section of the body portion 11 of the further embodiments taken along the line 6-6 (as shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 2A) having a diameter D17 smaller than the smallest diameter of a handle end expanded diameter section 3 or any intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) 9. In a further embodiment, the cross sectional diameter D17 (as shown in FIG. 6A) at the point 17, where the intermediate handle expanded diameter section 9 meets the body portion 11 (as shown in FIG. 2), or where the handle end expanded diameter section 3 meets the body portion 11 (as shown in FIG. 2A) maintains a substantially uniform diameter going in a direction toward the distal end 13 of the rod 30 of about 1 inch. It is within this configuration that the overall weight of the rod 30 may be reduced depending on the material being used for the construction of the rod 30. It is also this configuration that is conducive to training a batter to improve hand-eye coordination in swinging the rod 30 and striking a ball 200 (FIG. 19 and FIG. 19A) or similar object.

[0077]FIG. 4 and FIG. 4A show variations in configuration of the further embodiment of the rod 30 shown in FIG. 2 when more than one intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) 9 are provided and in combination with a handle end expanded diameter section 3.

[0078]FIG. 2A shows a further embodiment of the rod 30 as shown in FIG. 2 with one handle end expanded diameter section 3, a body portion 11, a distal end 13, and no intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) 9. Due to the reduced outside diameter of the body portion 11 combined with the reduced weight and construction from a single, homogeneous material, this configuration is attractive for training young individuals to swing a bat, improve hand-eye coordination, and learn not to fear getting hit by a pitch with the use of the further embodiment ball 200 (as shown in FIG. 19 and FIG. 19A).

[0079]FIG. 8 shows a side view cross section of the rod 30 shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 8 shows that the body portion 11 may have a bore 27 extending from the distal end 13 toward the handle end 5. The bore 27 may remain unfilled (as shown in FIG. 8C), or alternatively, the bore 27 may be filled at least in part with a gas such as air, a liquid, a gelatin or solid material such as sand to change the mass or weight and center of gravity of the rod 30. FIG. 10 shows a cross section of the rod 30 taken along the line 8-8 of FIG. 8. The cross section shows a plug 31 placed in the bore 27 and the outside perimeter of the bore 27 and the plug 31 being substantially less than the outside perimeter 21 at the distal end diameter Dde.

[0080] In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, when the bore 27 is provided, the rod 30 may include a solid insertable core 29, shown in FIG. 13 and FIG. 14, residing in the bore 27 of the body portion 11. To achieve the desired mass and/or center of gravity of the rod 30, the density of the core 29 can be selected to be greater than, equal to or less than the density of the body portion 11, and furthermore, the length and diameter of the bore 27 and the core 29 may be varied. It will now be apparent that the core 29 need not be as long as the bore 27. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, when the bore 27 and core 29 are provided, to keep the core 29 within the bore 27, as shown in FIG. 15, the bore 27 may have internal threads 32 and the core 29 may have matching external threads 34 as shown in FIG. 15 and FIG. 16. When threaded together, the core 29 will not leave the bore 27 simply by swinging the rod 30. Alternatively, the rod 30 may include a plug 31, (shown in FIG. 12, FIG. 8 and FIG. 8A). The plug 31 is preferably made from the same material as the body portion 11 or a resiliently compressible material such as but not limited to rubber. The plug 31 is inserted in the distal end 13 of the rod 30 to seal the bore 27. The plug 31 is sized to fit snuggly in the bore 27 and thereby keeping the plug 31 in the bore 27. Alternatively, or in addition, an adhesive such as a common, commercially available glue may be used to attach the plug 31 in the distal end 13 of the rod 30.

[0081]FIG. 8A and FIG. 8B show variations in configuration of the rod 30 shown in FIG. 8 when more than one intermediate handle expanded diameter sections 9 are provided and in combination with a handle end expanded diameter section 3.

[0082]FIG. 9 shows a side view cross section of a further embodiment of the present invention illustrated in FIG. 2. FIG. 9 and FIG. 9D show that the body portion 11 of FIG. 2 FIG. 2A, respectively, may have a bore 27 extending from the distal end 13 toward the handle end 5 of the rod 30. The bore 27 may remain unfilled (as shown in FIG. 9C), or alternatively, the bore 27 may be filled at least in part with a gas such as air, a liquid, a gelatin or solid material such as but not limited to sand to change the mass or weight and/or center of gravity of the rod 30. FIG. 9 and FIG. 9D show a further embodiment of the present invention as shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 2A respectively, when the bore 27 is provided. The rod 30 of the further embodiment may include a solid insertible core 29, shown in FIG. 13 and FIG. 14, residing in the bore 27 of the body portion 11. To achieve the desired mass and/or center of gravity of the rod 30 in any further embodiment, the density of the core 29 can be selected to be greater than, equal to or less than the density of the body portion 11, and furthermore, the length and diameter of the bore 27 and the core 29 may be varied. It will also now be apparent that the core 29 need not be as long as the bore 27 of any further embodiment of the rod 30.

[0083] In the further embodiment of the present invention to keep the core 29 within the bore 27, as shown in FIG. 15A, the bore 27 may have internal threads 32 and the core 29 may have matching external threads 34 as shown in FIG. 15A and FIG. 16, respectively. When threaded together the core 29 will not leave the bore 27 simply by swinging the rod 30 of the further embodiment. Alternatively, the rod 30 of the further embodiment may include a plug 31, shown in FIG. 12. The plug 31 is preferably made from the same material as the body portion 11 or a resiliently compressible material such as but not limited to rubber. The plug 31 is inserted in the distal end 13 of the rod 30 to seal the bore 27. The plug 31 is sized to fit snuggly in the bore 27 and thereby keep the plug 31 in the bore 27. Alternatively, or in addition, an adhesive such as a common commercially available glue may be used to attach the plug 31 in the distal end 13 of the rod 30 of the further embodiment.

[0084]FIG. 11 shows a cross section taken along line 10-10 of FIG. 9 and FIG. 9D. The cross section shows a plug 31 of the rod 30 placed in the bore 27 and the outside perimeter of the bore 27 and the plug 31 being substantially less than than the outside perimeter 38 of the handle end expanded diameter section 3 or any intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) 9.

[0085]FIG. 9A and FIG. 9B show variations in configuration of the rod 30 shown in FIG. 9 when more than one intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) 9 are provided and in combination with a handle end expanded diameter section 3.

[0086] The present invention includes a method of training a batter. In one such method described in part by FIG. 17, a training device (rod 30), similar to any of the embodiments described above is provided (step 75). Next, the rod 30 may be gripped (step 78) at the handle end 5 portion, between a handle end expanded diameter section 3 and an intermediate handle expanded diameter section 9 (as shown in FIG. 20), between any two intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) 9 (as shown in FIG. 20A), above the intermediate handle expanded diameter section 9 where it meets the body portion 11 (as shown in FIG. 20B) or above the handle end expanded diameter section 3 (as shown in FIG. 20C). When the gripping method as shown in FIG. 20B is used, this is commonly referred to “choking-up” on the bat in the game of baseball. The rod 30 of the present invention provides the use of an intermediate handle expanded diameter section 9 to rest one's lower hand when “choking-up”. When the rod 30 is gripped, it may be swung at an object (step 81). The object may be moving or stationary. A preferred object shown in FIG. 18 is a hard ball 100 similar to that commonly used in the game of baseball and to be used with the preferred embodiment of the present invention, training device, rod 30 (as shown in FIG. 1).

[0087] A further embodiment of the object shown in FIG. 19 and FIG. 19A is to be used with the further embodiment of the present invention as shown in FIG. 9 and FIG. 9D. The further embodiment of the object is a compressible ball 200 having a diameter Db of about 2 and ½ inches. The ball 200 may have a spherical shell 203 of resiliently compressible material, and may also have a cloth-like outer layer 206 similar to a tennis ball.

[0088] The particular embodiment of the compressible ball 200 described above permits the batter to focus his or her attention on hitting the ball 200 with a further embodiment of the rod 30 of FIG. 2 or FIG. 2A. The natural tendency for a batter to fear being hit by a pitch is reduced by using the compressible ball 200 because being hit by the compressible ball 200 will not likely injure a batter like a hard baseball would. Gripping the further embodiment of the present invention at the handle end portion 5 (as shown in FIG. 20C) that has a handle end expanded diameter section 3 (as shown in FIG. 2A) may be swung at a further embodiment of the object ball 200 (as shown in FIG. 19).

[0089] The ball 200 is preferably primarily white in color with grooves 209 to improve visibility and to mimic the appearance of a baseball. The grooves 209 also enable an individual to pitch the ball 200 in ways used in the game of baseball such as but not limited to a curve ball, a sinker or a slider.

[0090] A person attempting to hit the ball 200 with any further embodiment of the present invention rod 30 shown in FIG. 2 or FIG. 2A, will find that more concentration is required to hit the ball 200 with the rod 30 since the rod 30 of any further embodiment does not have an enlarged hitting area. For example, if a rod 30 of any further embodiment of the present invention having a body portion 11 with a cross sectional diameter D17 of about 1 inch is used routinely, the individual using such a further embodiment of rod 30 to successfully hit a ball 200 will develop skills such as the eye-arm coordination required to successfully hit a standard baseball 100 (as shown in FIG. 18) with a preferred embodiment of the present invention (as shown in FIG. 1). Swinging the training device of the present invention rod 30 at an object is further enhanced by using the improved gripping envelope provided by the area between the intermediate handle expanded diameter section(s) 9 and a handle end expanded diameter section 3. Initial training of a young individual to swing a rod 30, to strike an object 200, may be with a further embodiment of the present invention (as shown in FIG. 2A) where the training device only has a handle end expanded diameter section 3. The use of a low density, light weight material for the construction of a further embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 2A, along with the use of a further embodiment of the object ball 200 provides for a combination of light weight and compressibility, respectively, to safely train a young batter to not fear getting hit by a pitch while simultaneously improving hand-eye coordination. The young individual can then be graduated to the use of the further embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 2 to further improve the grip and resultant bat speed for increased power swinging. A batter may then be further advanced to the use of the preferred embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1, combined with the use of the preferred object hard ball 100 to further enhance the grip and bat speed for increased safety, and striking power.

[0091] Other variations of the above principles will be apparent to those who are knowledgeable in the field of the invention and such variations are considered to be within the scope of the present invention. Further, other modifications and alterations may be used in the design and manufacture of the training device of the present invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the accompanying claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7737944Jan 18, 2007Jun 15, 2010Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.Method and system for adding a new player to a game in response to controller activity
US7782297May 8, 2006Aug 24, 2010Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.Method and apparatus for use in determining an activity level of a user in relation to a system
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/457
International ClassificationA63B71/14, A63B69/00, A63B59/06, A63B59/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B71/14, A63B59/06, A63B69/0002, A63B59/0014, A63B2069/0008
European ClassificationA63B59/06, A63B69/00B, A63B59/00B