US 20040068777 A1
An improved ball capturing sports glove incorporating a web attachment between the thumb and forefinger is disclosed. The web preferably consists of a unitary relatively thin sheet of material forming an extension of the palm portion of the glove and may be comprised of a variety of materials that facilitate the capturing and holding of a thrown ball including rough surfaced and tacktified leather.
1. A sports glove for use in capturing a game ball comprising in combination:
a. A back portion;
b. A palm portion joined to said back portion, said palm and back portions in combination adapted to cover the fingers of a hand;
c. A thumb covering portion attached to said palm and back portions: and
d. A web of material connected between said thumb portion and said palm and back portions, said web extending from at least the position of the knuckle of said thumb portion and at least the position of the first knuckle of the index finger of the palm and back portions.
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 This application is a utility patent application based on the disclosure of U.S. Design Pat. No. D450,161 S issued Nov. 6, 2001 to the same inventor.
 1. Field of the Invention
 The invention resides in the field of gloves worn in the practice of sports and more particularly relates to gloves designed to catch or capture and secure a thrown ball.
 2. Description of the Prior Art
 A variety of arrangements for enhancing the gripping power of a glove are known in the prior art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 2,167,226, Wells et al, shows a dress glove with a plurality of small, regularly placed rubber gripping elements disposed on the palm and thumb while U.S. Pat. No. 3,096,523 discloses neoprene gripping patches located on the finger tips and palm of a football glove.
 Further, U.S. Pat. No. 1,179,871, St. John, presents a glove having a substantial part of the palm side coated with a non-sticky gum and similarly U.S. Pat. No. 2,465,136 illustrates a golfer's glove with an alveolated or sponge rubber palm surface. U.S. Pat. No. 4,691,387, Lopez; and U.S. Pat. No. 5,168,578, Stanley, relate to gloves arranged to enhance the gripping of sports implements such as baseball bats or golf clubs or the like.
 Finally, U.S. Pat. No. 4,051,553, Howard, discloses a padded football glove having a palm side composed of friction material while U.S. Pat. No. 5,867,830, Chen, provides an anti-slip pad attached to a wrist flap in combination with a wrinkle releasing slot positioned on the palm.
 In contrast to the prior art, the invention disclosed herein presents a unique structural improvement to a glove which greatly enhances the ability of a sports player to capture and hold a thrown ball. The improvement consists of a web attachment between the thumb and forefinger and is particularly suitable for the game of football.
 The invention may be summarized as a sports glove having a web disposed between the thumb and forefinger consisting of a relatively thin sheet of flexible material, preferably forming an extension of the same sheet material used to fabricate the palm portion of the glove. The web enhances the ball capturing ability of the glove by presenting a greater ball contact surface area and by combining the forefinger and thumb as a single structural entity.
 The web is stretched taught as the forefinger and thumb are parted to the maximum extent allowed by the hands physical structure and may extend from the tip of each or a lesser amount from at least the first knuckle of each.
 The construction of the entire glove is relatively light in the nature of a general purpose gardening or work glove and may include a palm and web surface composed of a material such as a rough or tacktified leather which will further assist in capturing and holding a ball.
 These and other features and advantages of the invention will become more clear from the description of the preferred embodiment taken with the drawing which follows.
 The FIGURE is a plan view of the preferred embodiment of the invention.
 Referring to the FIGURE, a plan view of the enhanced ball capturing sports glove comprising the preferred embodiment of the invention is shown in which a back portion 10 and palm portion 12 are joined together by continuous seam 14 to form a glove which will completely cover the four fingers of a hand. The back portion is preferably constructed of a suitable synthetic material such as spandex and/or synthetic leather and the palm portion of a grip enhancing material such as tactified leather available from Active Sport Products, West Chester, Ohio. While shown in glove format with individual finger coverings, the invention may also be constructed as a mitt.
 Thumb covering portion 16 is sewn to palm portion 12 along seam 18 and, as illustrated, comprises a front portion 20 and back portion 22, preferably constructed of tacktified leather and spandex and/or synthetic leather respectively.
 Web 24 is disposed between thumb portion 16 and the upper index finger covering edge 26 of palm portion 12. Web 24 provides the enhanced ball capturing improvement of the glove which is the primary feature of the invention. Web 24 extends at least between the knuckle of the thumb portion and the first knuckle of the index covering edge of back portion 10 and palm portion 12 and as shown may extend to the tips of the thumb and index finger covering portions. Preferably, the construction material of web 24 is tactified leather and, as illustrated, may comprise an extension of palm portion 12 for strength reinforced by seam 28 or may constitute a separate unit attached by stitching.
 As will be seen, the web provides an enhanced ball capturing capability by increasing the surface area of the glove, by joining the index finger and thumb as a unit, and, when tactified leather or a similar material is employed, presenting a surface of increased gripping power than is normally found in conventional gloves
 As variations in the above described preferred embodiment will now become obvious to those skilled in the art, the invention is accordingly defined by the following claims.