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 numberUS20060218689 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/093,395
Publication dateOct 5, 2006
Filing dateMar 30, 2005
Priority dateMar 30, 2005
Also published asWO2006104920A2, WO2006104920A3
Publication number093395, 11093395, US 2006/0218689 A1, US 2006/218689 A1, US 20060218689 A1, US 20060218689A1, US 2006218689 A1, US 2006218689A1, US-A1-20060218689, US-A1-2006218689, US2006/0218689A1, US2006/218689A1, US20060218689 A1, US20060218689A1, US2006218689 A1, US2006218689A1
InventorsTimothy Brown
Original AssigneeBrown Timothy E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Baseball glove
US 20060218689 A1
Abstract
The present invention is directed to a new and improved baseball glove. The glove includes an outer shell that contains a finger portion, a thumb portion, and a palm portion. The finger portion comprises two or three finger holsters, the outermost holster accommodates two or three fingers, the remaining finger holster(s) accommodates one or two fingers. One or more finger separator(s) reside within the outermost finger holster to prevent discomfort of the fingers. A web portion is attached between the finger portion and the thumb portion. A protective padding strip is located within the surrounding area immediately adjacent to the web portion. The finger portion and thumb portion are spaced apart to minimize the impact of a caught ball with the user's hand. A web-reinforcement patch is located over a variable region surrounding the intersection of the lower region of the web portion and the outer shell.
Images(7)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(22)
1. A baseball glove comprising:
a) an outer shell, said outer shell comprising a front surface and a back surface shaped to form a finger portion, a thumb portion, and a palm portion, said outer shell having an opening below said palm portion created by an unjoined region of said front surface and said back surface, said finger portion containing three finger holsters, wherein the outermost finger holster is capable of receiving two fingers of a user;
b) a web portion located between said finger portion and said thumb portion;
c) a finger separator located within said outermost finger holster for the purpose of preventing discomfort and rubbing of a user's fingers; and
d) a padding strip located within said outer shell, said padding strip substantially surrounding said web portion for the purpose of protecting a user's index finger region and thumb region from contact with a ball
whereby to use the glove a user inserts a hand into said glove opening placing the pinky and ring fingers into said outermost finger holster with one finger on each side of or through said finger separator, the middle finger into the middle finger holster, the index finger into the innermost finger holster, and the thumb into said thumb portion.
2. The baseball glove of claim 1, further comprising a web-reinforcement patch removably fixed over a variable region surrounding the intersection of the lower region of said web portion and said outer shell, for the purpose of protecting against separation of said web portion from the baseball glove.
3. The baseball glove of claim 1, further comprising a web-reinforcement patch fixed over a variable region surrounding the intersection of the lower region of said web portion and said outer shell, for the purpose of protecting against separation of said web portion from the baseball glove.
4. The baseball glove of claim 1, wherein said finger separator is comprised of a portion of flexible material, one side of said portion of flexible material of being attached to the inner side of said front surface, the other side of said portion of flexible material being attached to the inner side of said back surface.
5. The baseball glove of claim 1, wherein said finger separator is comprised of a strip of leather formed in a loop, whereby a user places one finger through the loop.
6. The baseball glove of claim 1, wherein said padding strip is substantially comprised of a gel-like material.
7. The baseball glove of claim 3, wherein said web-reinforcement patch is comprised of soft and flexible leather for the purpose of facilitating the trapping of the ball in said web region.
8. A baseball glove comprising:
a) an outer shell, said outer shell comprising a front surface and a back surface shaped to form a finger portion, a thumb portion, and a palm portion, said outer shell having an opening below said palm portion created by an unjoined region of said front surface and said back surface, said finger portion containing two finger holsters within said outer shell, wherein the outermost finger holster is capable of receiving three fingers of a user;
b) a web portion located between said finger portion and said thumb portion;
c) two or more finger separators located within said outermost finger holster for the purpose of preventing discomfort and rubbing of a user's fingers; and
d) a padding strip located within said outer shell, said padding strip substantially surrounding said web portion for the purpose of protecting a user's index finger region and thumb region from contact with a ball
whereby to use the glove a user inserts a hand into said glove opening placing the pinky, ring, and middle fingers into the outermost finger holster with one finger on each side of or through each finger separator, the index finger into the remaining finger holster, and the thumb into said thumb portion.
9. The baseball glove of claim 8, further comprising a web-reinforcement patch removably fixed over a variable region surrounding the intersection of the lower region of said web portion and said outer shell, for the purpose of protecting against separation of said web portion from the baseball glove.
10. The baseball glove of claim 8, further comprising a web-reinforcement patch fixed over a variable region surrounding the intersection of the lower region of said web portion and said outer shell, for the purpose of protecting against separation of said web portion from the baseball glove.
11. The baseball glove of claim 8, wherein each of said two or more finger separators is comprised of a portion of flexible material, one side of said portion of flexible material of being attached to the inner side of said front surface, the other side of said portion of flexible material being attached to the inner side of said back surface.
12. The baseball glove of claim 8, wherein each of said two or more finger separators is comprised of a strip of leather formed in a loop, whereby a user places one finger through the loop.
13. The baseball glove of claim 8, wherein said padding strip is substantially comprised of a gel-like material.
14. The baseball glove of claim 8, wherein said web-reinforcement patch is comprised of softer and more flexible leather for the purpose of facilitating trapping of the ball in said web region.
15. A baseball glove comprising:
a) an outer shell, said outer shell comprising a front surface and a back surface shaped to form a finger portion, a thumb portion, and a palm portion, said outer shell having an opening below said palm portion created by an unjoined region of said front surface and said back surface, said finger portion containing three finger holsters, wherein the outermost finger holster is capable of receiving three fingers of a user;
b) a web portion located between said finger portion and said thumb portion;
c) a finger separator located within said outermost finger holster for the purpose of preventing discomfort and rubbing of a user's fingers; and
d) a padding strip located within said outer shell, said padding strip substantially surrounding said web portion for the purpose of protecting a user's index finger region and thumb region from contact with a ball; and
e) a web-reinforcement patch fixed over a variable region surrounding the intersection of the lower region of said web portion and said outer shell, for the purpose of protecting against separation of said web portion from the baseball glove
whereby to use the glove a user inserts a hand into said glove opening placing the pinky and ring fingers into said outermost finger holster with one finger on each side of or through said finger separator, the middle finger into the middle finger holster, the index finger into the innermost finger holster, and the thumb into said thumb portion.
16. The baseball glove of claim 15, wherein said web-reinforcement patch is removably fixed over a variable region surrounding the intersection of the lower region of said web portion and said outer shell, for the purpose of protecting against separation of said web portion from the baseball glove.
17. The baseball glove of claim 15, wherein said finger separator is comprised of a portion of flexible material, one side of said portion of flexible material of being attached to the inner side of said front surface, the other side of said portion of flexible material being attached to the inner side of said back surface.
18. The baseball glove of claim 15, wherein said finger separator is comprised of a strip of leather formed in a loop, whereby a user places one finger through the loop.
19. The baseball glove of claim 15, wherein said padding strip is substantially comprised of a gel-like material.
20. The baseball glove of claim 15, wherein said web-reinforcement patch is comprised of softer and more flexible leather for the purpose of facilitating trapping of the ball in said web region.
21. The method of making a baseball glove, comprising the steps of:
a) providing an outer shell comprising a front surface and a back surface shaped to form a finger portion, a thumb portion, and a palm portion, said outer shell having an opening below said palm portion created by an unjoined region of said front surface and said back surface, said finger portion containing three finger holsters, wherein the outermost finger holster is capable of receiving two fingers of a user;
b) providing a web region to be attached to said outer shell between said finger portion and said thumb portion;
c) attaching said web region to said outer shell between said thumb region and said finger region;
d) providing a finger separator for location within said outermost finger holster for the purpose of preventing discomfort and rubbing of a user's fingers;
e) attaching said finger separator within said outermost finger holster for the purpose of preventing discomfort and rubbing of a user's fingers;
f) providing a padding strip for location within said outer shell so as to substantially surround said web portion for the purpose of protecting a user's index finger region and thumb region from contact with a ball; and
g) attaching said padding strip within said outer shell so as to substantially surround said web portion for the purpose of protecting a user's index finger region and thumb region from contact with a ball.
22. The method of making a baseball glove according to claim 21, the method further comprising the steps of:
a) providing a web-reinforcement patch for attachment over a variable region surrounding the intersection of the lower region of said web portion and said outer shell for the purpose of protecting against separation of said web portion from the baseball glove; and
b) attaching said web-reinforcement patch over a variable region surrounding the intersection of the lower region of said web portion and said outer for the purpose of protecting against separation of said web portion from the baseball glove.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to the field of sports equipment. More specifically, this patent deals with a new and improved baseball glove designed to minimize the pain and discomfort caused by the impact of a baseball with the user's hand, and to provide the user with a stronger and more controlled closing action of the glove.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The game of baseball has become more advanced since its inception. In the last several decades alone, improvements in the design of the bats and baseballs combined with the more rigorous strength and conditioning programs undertaken by the players has significantly elevated the level of competition. Today's athletes from all levels of play—high school, college, semi-professional, and professional baseball—not only hit the ball harder and farther, but also throw the ball with more velocity than in years past. This evolution in the game can also be recognized in the changes that have manifested in the design of baseball gloves.

Early baseball gloves were designed the same regardless of the fielding position played, generally resembling a mitten with a web portion loosely attached between the finger and thumb portions for receiving the ball. The finger portion was typically one large compartment that housed all of the user's fingers. As time progressed, gloves were designed with more than one finger portion that could accommodate one or more fingers of the user. This enabled the user to close the glove around the ball with a quicker, stronger motion than the glove with one finger compartment. With the realization that all of the positions in the field were not identical in either the frequency or velocity in which the baseball was caught, baseball gloves were later designed for use with specific positions on the field. Examples of the different types of gloves that now exist are the catcher's glove, the first basemen's glove, the infielder's glove, and the outfielder's glove. Additional improvements in the design of baseball gloves included affixing the web portion of the glove more tightly and securely to the rest of the glove to allow for the safe catching of baseballs traveling at higher velocities.

Another more recent baseball glove feature to compensate for the catching of baseballs traveling at higher velocities was the addition of an opening in the back portion of the glove that could enable the wearer to remove the index finger from the inner portion of the glove. This feature was incorporated into the glove to provide the wearer with an extra layer of padding for the index finger region, an area that typically receives a substantial amount of contact with a baseball when the ball is received into the glove.

Several gloves have been designed to relieve the wearer of the pain and discomfort in the index finger region caused by catching a baseball traveling at high velocities, while simultaneously allowing for a stronger and more controlled closing action. Whether or not successful, these attempts have fallen short of the mark in several aspects of glove design, as described herein.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,414,004 granted to A. J. Turner describes a baseball glove comprising a palm portion, a pair of adjacent finger stalls, and a thumb stall. The finger stalls are each designed to accommodate two adjacent fingers of the wearer. The spacing of the thumb stall from the nearer finger stall is greater than the diameter of a standard baseball and the angular relations and relative positions of the thumb and finger stalls are such that the wearer's thumb and is normally spread away from the rest of the hand.

This patent describes a baseball glove designed to form a pocket for catching a ball without absorbing the impact of the ball flatly against a portion of the wearer's hand. Additionally, the glove attempts to provide a stronger gripping action by utilizing different finger placement within the glove. However, the separation of the ring and pinky fingers from the middle and index fingers, combined with the joining of the middle and index fingers, creates a glove closing angle that causes discomfort and awkwardness. Similarly, the wide separation of the finger stalls and the thumb stalls causes the wearer's thumb to be spread farther away from the rest of the hand than normal, resulting in further discomfort. Also, the location of where the fingers are separated and joined reduces the quickness and strength available to the wearer for closing the glove around the ball. Further, the lack of a finger separation device in each finger stall results in an uncomfortable cramping and stiffness of the wearer's fingers during use of the glove.

Thus, it would be highly desirable to provide a flexible baseball glove that can be comfortably worn by intermediate and more advanced players, that significantly minimizes the pain, swelling, and discomfort caused by the impact of a caught ball with a user's hand, and allows for a stronger, quicker, and more natural glove closing action.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,878,436 to Robert B. Jones describes a center-webbed baseball glove which utilizes the natural fold of the human hand and folds into two equal halves increasing the utilizable surface area. The glove is comprised of a central pocket, a set of outer finger slots, and a set of inner finger slots. The glove is worn by placing the pinky and ring fingers into the left outer finger slot, the middle and index fingers into the left inner finger slot, and the thumb into either the outer or inner right finger slots. The glove can also be worn on the right hand by placing the thumb in the left inner or outer finger slots and placing the remaining fingers in the left finger slots of the glove.

This patent describes a centered-webbed baseball glove that utilizes adjustable finger holds to enable a user to wear the glove on either hand. While the symmetrical nature of the glove allows for “reversibility”, it does not fully accommodate the needs of more advanced players in several respects. First, due to the centralized web design, the glove “cups” the ball in a “trapping” motion. This leaves the wearer with little room for error in fielding a ball. This symmetrical design similarly allows for the ball to easily slip out of either the top or the bottom of the glove, during infield or outfield use, due to the lack of palm barrier that is present in the typical non-symmetrical baseball glove designs. Furthermore, the centralized web design necessarily restricts the size of the webbing. This causes the fingers to be more closely located to the webbing, which increases the likelihood a user will feel pain and discomfort when catching a ball traveling at high velocity.

Thus, it would be highly desirable to provide a flexible baseball glove that can be comfortably worn by intermediate and more advanced players, that significantly minimizes the pain, swelling, and discomfort caused by the impact of a caught ball with a user's hand, and allows for a stronger, quicker, and more natural glove closing action.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,289,515 granted to Robert M. Fous is directed to an ergonomic fielding glove with at least one finger portion, a thumb portion, and a web joining the thumb portion and the nearest finger portion. The glove also includes a mitten-shaped compartment that holds all four fingers of the wearer, and is fixed at an angle of 90 degrees from a thumb-shaped compartment that holds the wearer's thumb. An adjustable thumb strap is added within both the finger compartment and the thumb compartment for added leverage and comfort of a particular sized hand.

This patent describes a still another baseball glove designed to reduce the surface area where a hit or thrown ball impacts the user's hand. However, this design causes awkwardness of the hand angle by locating all of the fingers on one extreme end of the glove and the thumb on the other extreme, resulting uncomfortable strain and stiffness. A similar result of this hand positioning makes for an uncomfortable and awkward angle of the hand when fielding a ground ball. The design puts a substantial amount of strain on the wrist and effectively teaches an improper way of fielding a ground ball in the process. Further, cramming all of the fingers into the mitten compartment, with no finger separation device, causes a continuous rubbing of the fingers, resulting in an uncomfortable fit.

Thus, it would be highly desirable to provide a flexible baseball glove that can be comfortably worn by intermediate and more advanced players, that significantly minimizes the pain, swelling, and discomfort caused by the impact of a caught ball with a user's hand, and allows for a stronger, quicker, and more natural glove closing action.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,536,046 to Lawrence J. Gilligan describes a baseball glove with a front and back shells joined together to form a finger portion, a heel portion, a thumb portion. A web portion is disposed between the finger portion and the thumb portion. The finger portion comprises at least to finger stalls, with the first of the at least two finger stalls closed so that the fingers of the user cannot be received into that stall. The glove also comprises a first and second hinge assemblies located along the heel portion. One of the hinge assemblies is closer in proximity to the thumb portion of the glove, while the other hinge assembly is closer in proximity to the finger portion of the glove.

This patent describes yet another baseball glove designed to facilitate better control and ease of use by the player using the glove. However, this glove design creates an unbalanced weight distribution between the thumb stall and the non-closed finger stall(s), which results in a stronger closing action for the thumb portion of the glove and a weaker closing action for the finger portion of the glove. Uneven closure of the glove can cause the ball to deflect out of the glove, resulting in a missed catch. Also, the addition of a “closed” finger stall to the glove unnecessarily increases the bulk of the glove, further delaying the quickness of the glove closing action. Moreover, this glove design does not incorporate substantial features to effectively minimize the pain and discomfort to the wearer's index finger region caused by the impact of a ball with the wearer's hand.

Thus, it would be highly desirable to provide a flexible baseball glove that can be comfortably worn by intermediate and more advanced players, that significantly minimizes the pain, swelling, and discomfort caused by the impact of a caught ball with a user's hand, and allows for a stronger, quicker, and more natural glove closing action.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. In addition, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The principal advantage of this invention is to provide a baseball glove designed to minimize pain and discomfort caused by the impact of a caught ball with the user's hand.

Another advantage of this invention is to provide a baseball glove that can be comfortably used by intermediate and more advanced players, such as high school, collegiate, semi-professional, and professional players.

Another advantage of this invention is to provide a baseball glove that positions a user's hand in such a manner so as to enable a quicker, stronger, and more efficient closing action of the glove around the baseball.

And still another advantage of this invention is to provide a baseball glove that can be effectively used at several fielding positions.

And yet another advantage of this invention is to provide a new and unique catching apparatus that can be used in a variety of different sporting events to enhance the comfort in catching high-velocity projectiles.

The present invention is directed to a new and improved baseball glove. The glove includes an outer shell that contains a finger portion, a thumb portion, and a palm portion. The finger portion comprises three finger holsters, the outermost holster proportioned to accommodate two fingers of the user, the remaining finger holsters proportioned to each accommodate one finger. A finger separator is located within the outermost finger holster to prevent discomfort of the fingers. A web portion is attached between the finger portion and the thumb portion. A protective padding strip is located within the surrounding area immediately adjacent to the web portion. The finger portion and thumb portion are spaced apart to minimize the impact of a caught ball with the user's hand. A web-reinforcement patch is located over a variable region surrounding the intersection of the lower region of the web portion and the outer shell.

An alternative embodiment of the baseball glove is intended to be used by first basemen. This embodiment includes an outer shell that contains a finger portion, a thumb portion, and a palm portion. Two finger holsters are located within the finger portion, the outermost holster is proportioned to accommodate three fingers of the wearer, and the remaining finger holster is proportioned to accommodate one finger. Two or more finger separators are located within the outermost finger holster to prevent uncomfortable rubbing of the fingers. A thumb restraint is located within the thumb portion to enable a quicker, stronger, and more controlled closing action of the glove. A web portion is attached between the finger portion and the thumb portion. A protective padding strip is located within the surrounding area immediately adjacent to the web portion of the glove. The finger portion and thumb portion are spaced apart to minimize the impact of a caught ball with the user's hand. A web-reinforcement patch is located over a variable region surrounding the intersection of the lower region of the web portion and the outer shell.

Another embodiment of the baseball glove is intended to be used by catchers. This embodiment includes an outer shell that contains a finger portion, a thumb portion, and a palm portion. Two finger holsters are located within the finger portion, the outermost holster is proportioned to accommodate three fingers of the wearer, and the remaining finger holster proportioned to accommodate one finger. Two or more finger separators are located within the outermost finger holster to prevent uncomfortable rubbing of the fingers. A thumb restraint is located within the thumb portion to enable a quicker, stronger, and more controlled closing action of the glove. A web portion is attached between the finger portion and the thumb portion. A protective padding strip is located within the surrounding area immediately adjacent to the web portion of the glove. The finger portion and thumb portion are spaced apart to minimize the impact of a caught ball with the user's hand. A web-reinforcement patch is located over a variable region surrounding the intersection of the lower region of the web portion and the outer shell.

With respect to the above description it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, including variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly, and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention. Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described. Accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents fall within the scope of the present invention.

These, together with other objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty, which characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated preferred embodiments of the invention. There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and form a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principals of this invention.

FIG. 1 depicts a partially cut away front view of the preferred embodiment of the baseball glove, showing the web-reinforcement patch located thereon, the placement of the user's hand into the glove, as well as the finger separator located within the glove, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 depicts a top view of a horizontal cross-section of the finger portion of the baseball glove, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 depicts a front view of a planar cross-section of a prior art baseball glove, showing the padded regions of the glove;

FIG. 4 depicts a front view of a planar cross-section of the preferred embodiment of the baseball glove, showing the padded regions of the glove, constructed in accordance with the present invention, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 depicts a front view of the preferred embodiment of the baseball glove, showing the placement of the hand into the glove as well as the web-reinforcement patch located thereon, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 6 depicts a top view of a horizontal cross-section of the baseball glove extending from the thumb portion to the innermost finger holster, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 7 depicts a side view of a vertical cross-section of the web region and the area beneath the web region of the preferred embodiment of the baseball glove, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 8 depicts a front view of an alternative embodiment of the baseball glove, showing in particular the web-reinforcement patch located thereon, the placement of the hand into the glove, the placement of the protective padded region, and the placement of the finger separators located therein, constructed in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 9 depicts a front view of another alternative embodiment of the baseball glove, showing in particular the web-reinforcement patch located thereon, the placement of the hand into the glove, the placement of the protective padded region, and the placement of the finger separators located therein, constructed in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings, wherein similar parts are identified by like reference numerals, there is seen in FIG. 1 a partially cut away front view of the preferred embodiment of fielder's glove 10, in place on the hand of a user. As those familiar with gloves will recognize based on its size and shape, fielder's glove 10 is a standard fielder's glove. Fielder's glove 10 has an outer shell 20 composed of a front surface 22 and a back surface 24 (not shown). Outer shell 20 has an opening 25 at the lower portion of fielder's glove 10. Front surface 22 and back surface 24 are joined together at various parts of opening 25 by lacing 26, to form a glove opening 28. Outer shell 20 is shaped to form a palm portion 30, finger portion 40, and thumb portion 50. A web region 60 is located between finger portion 40 and thumb portion 50. A web-reinforcement patch 62 is attached over the intersection of the lower portion of web region 60 and outer shell 20. It should be recognized that web-reinforcement patch 62 is not limited in size and can be situated on fielder's glove 10 to cover a variable region immediately surrounding the intersection of the lower portion of web region 60 and outer shell 20, including the areas directly above, below, and on both sides of the intersection.

A user inserts his or her hand 70 into glove opening 28 to use fielder's glove 10. Finger portion 40 is comprised of finger holster 41, finger holster 42, and finger holster 43. Finger holster 43 is sized to accommodate two fingers of a user. To use fielder's glove 10 a user inserts thumb 72 into thumb portion 50, index finger 74 into finger holster 41, middle finger 76 into finger holster 42, and ring finger 78 and pinky finger 79 into finger holster 43. It is to be recognized that thumb portion 50 can also contain a thumb tab for the purpose of securing thumb 72 into thumb portion 50. Thumb tabs are standard in many modern baseball gloves, and typically consist of a strip of leather formed in a loop within the thumb region, with the two ends of the strip of leather protruding from the outer shell of the glove and tied together into a knot. Standard thumb tabs can be adjusted by loosening the knot and either increasing or decreasing the amount of leather used to form the loop. Ring finger 78 and pinky finger 79 are separated in finger holster 43 by a finger separator 44. Finger separator 44 can be comprised of a strip of conditioned leather, fabric, cloth, or other type of soft and flexible material that will not cause discomfort when contacting ring finger 78 and pinky finger 79.

It is to be recognized that fielder's glove 10 can embody both an infielders glove and an outfielder's glove. In the infielder's glove embodiment, web region 60, finger portion 40, and thumb portion 50, will be shorter in height than in the outfielder's glove embodiment.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, there is seen a top view of a horizontal cross-section of finger portion 40, including finger holster 41 containing index finger 74, finger holster 42 containing middle finger 76, and finger holster 43 containing both ring finger 78 and pinky finger 79 separated by finger separator 44. Finger separator 44 can be attached to the inside of the back surface 24 and to leather separator 80. Such attachment can occur by any means, including, but not limited to stitching, sewing, and gluing. In an alternative embodiment, fielder's glove 10 can use a finger separator comprised of a strip of leather formed in a loop, whereby, depending on the positioning of the finger separator within finger holster 43, a user inserts either ring finger 78 or pinky finger 79 through the loop. Leather separator 80 serves to provide a comfort barrier between hand 70 and finger and thumb padding 82. Leather separator 80 is joined at various parts to outer shell 20 by lacing 26.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, there is seen a front view of a planar cross-section of a prior art baseball glove, showing the finger and thumb padding indicated by the cross-hatched region.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, there is seen front view of a planar cross-section of fielder's glove 10, showing the finger and thumb padding 82 as well as protective padding strip 90 located within outer shell 20 and substantially surrounding web region 60. It should be recognized that protective padding strip 90 can be disposed within outer shell 20 to completely or partially surround web region 60. Protective padding strip 90 can be comprised of various types of material, including but not limited to standard glove padding, cloth, fabric, sponge, leather, gel-like substances, or any other type of suitable padding material.

As illustrated in FIG. 5, there is seen a front view of the preferred embodiment of fielder's glove 10 with web-reinforcement patch 62 located thereon and user's hand 70 shown in phantom, including thumb 72 and index finger 74.

As illustrated in FIG. 6, there is seen a top view of a horizontal cross-section of fielder's glove 10 extending from thumb portion 50 to finger holster 41, including web region 60, web-reinforcement patch 62, and protective padding strip 90. Finger and thumb padding 82 is located within thumb portion 50 between thumb 72 and leather separator 80, and within finger holster 41 between index finger 74 and leather separator 80.

As illustrated in FIG. 7, there is depicted a side view of a vertical cross-section of web region 60 and the area beneath the web region 60, including web-reinforcement patch 62, hand 70 situated between front surface 22 of outer shell 20 and back surface 24 of outer shell 20, and protective padding strip 90.

As illustrated in FIG. 8, there is a front view of first baseman's glove 100. First baseman's glove 100 embodies the same invention as fielder's glove 10, but is different in size, shape, and padding configuration to specifically meet the needs of the first base position. First baseman's glove 100 has an outer shell 102 composed of a front surface 104 and a back surface 106 joined together at various parts by lacing 108. Front surface 104 and back surface 106 are not joined together at the lower portion of first baseman's glove 100, so as to form a glove opening 110. Outer shell 102 is formed to include a palm portion 120, finger portion 130, and thumb portion 140. A web region 150 is located between finger portion 130 and thumb portion 140. A web-reinforcement patch 152 is attached over the intersection of the lower portion of web region 150 and outer shell 102. It should be recognized that web-reinforcement patch 152 is not limited in size and can be situated on first baseman's glove 100 to cover a variable region immediately surrounding the intersection of the lower portion of web region 150 and outer shell 102, including the areas directly above, below, and on both sides of the intersection.

A user inserts his or her hand 170 into glove opening 110 to use first baseman's glove 100. Finger portion 130 is comprised of finger holster 132 and finger holster 134. Finger holster 132 and finger holster 134 are located within outer shell 102. Finger holster 134 is sized to accommodate three fingers of a user. To use first baseman's glove 100 a user inserts thumb 172 into thumb portion 140, index finger 174 into finger holster 132, and middle finger 176, ring finger 178 and pinky finger 179 into finger holster 134. It is to be recognized that thumb portion 140 can also contain a thumb tab for the purpose of securing thumb 172 into thumb portion 140. Thumb tabs are standard in many modern baseball gloves, and typically consist of a strip of leather formed in a loop within the thumb region, with the two ends of the strip of leather protruding from the outer shell of the glove and tied together into a knot. Standard thumb tabs can be adjusted by loosening the knot and either increasing or decreasing the amount of leather used to form the loop. Middle finger 176 and ring finger 178 are separated in finger holster 134 by finger separator 136. Ring finger 178 and pinky finger 179 are separated in finger holster 134 by a finger separator 138. Finger separator 136 and finger separator 138 can both be comprised of a strip of conditioned leather, fabric, cloth, or other type of soft and flexible material that will not cause discomfort when contacting middle finger 176, ring finger 178, and pinky finger 179. Finger separator 136 and finger separator 138 can both be attached within first baseman's glove 100 in a similar manner as finger separator 44 is attached in fielder's glove 10. In an alternative embodiment, first baseman's glove 100 can use finger separators each comprised of a strip of leather formed in a loop, whereby the positioning of the finger separators within finger holster 134 determines which fingers a user inserts through each loop.

A protective padding strip 160 is located within outer shell 102 and surrounding web region 150. It should be recognized that protective padding strip 160 can be disposed within outer shell 102 so as to completely or partially surround web region 150. Protective padding strip 160 can be comprised of various types of material, including but not limited to standard glove padding, cloth, fabric, sponge, leather, gel-like substances, or any other type of suitable padding material.

As illustrated in FIG. 9, there is a front view of catcher's glove 200. Catcher's glove 200 embodies the same invention as fielder's glove 10, but is different in size, shape, and padding configuration to specifically meet the needs of the catcher's position. Catcher's glove 200 has an outer shell 202 composed of a front surface 204 and a back surface 206 joined together at various parts by lacing 208. Front surface 204 and back surface 206 are not joined together at the lower portion of catcher's glove 200, so as to form a glove opening 210. Outer shell 202 is formed to include a palm portion 220, thumb portion 230, and finger portion 240. A web region 250 is located between thumb portion 230 and finger portion 240. A web-reinforcement patch 252 is attached over the intersection of the lower portion of web region 250 and outer shell 202. It should be recognized that web-reinforcement patch 252 is not limited in size and can be situated on catcher's glove 200 to cover a variable region immediately surrounding the intersection of the lower portion of web region 250 and outer shell 202, including the areas directly above, below, and on both sides of the intersection.

A user inserts his or her hand 270 into glove opening 210 to use catcher's glove 200. Finger portion 240 is comprised of finger holster 242 and finger holster 244. Finger holster 242 and finger holster 244 are located within outer shell 202. Finger holster 244 is sized to accommodate three fingers of a user. To use catcher's glove 200 a user inserts thumb 272 into thumb portion 230, index finger 274 into finger holster 242, and middle finger 276, ring finger 278 and pinky finger 279 into finger holster 244. Thumb 272 is disposed in thumb portion 230 by thumb tab 235. Middle finger 276 is disposed in finger holster 244 by finger tab 246. Ring finger 278 is disposed in finger holster 244 by finger tab 248. Pinky finger 279 is disposed in finger holster 244 by finger tab 249. Thumb tab 235, finger tab 246, finger tab 248, and finger tab 209 can each be comprised of a strip of conditioned leather, fabric, cloth, or other type of soft and flexible material that will not cause discomfort when contacting thumb 272, middle finger 276, ring finger 278, and pinky finger 279. It is to be recognized that thumb tab 235, finger tab 246, finger tab 248, and finger tab 209 can be attached using various techniques, including but not limited to sewing, stitching, and gluing. A protective padding strip 260 is disposed within outer shell 202 and surrounding web region 250. It should be recognized that protective padding strip 260 can be disposed within outer shell 202 so as to completely or partially surround web region 250. Protective padding strip 260 can be comprised of various types of material, including but not limited to standard glove padding, cloth, fabric, sponge, leather, gel-like substances, or any other type of suitable padding material.

Further, the purpose of the foregoing abstract is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers, and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting, as to the scope of the invention in any way.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7676848 *Apr 27, 2006Mar 16, 2010Mizuno CorporationCatching tool for baseball or softball
US8370963Aug 24, 2010Feb 12, 2013Russell Brands, LlcSport glove
US8479318 *Sep 3, 2010Jul 9, 2013Easton Sports, Inc.Lacrosse glove having reinforced fingers
US20110113521 *Nov 16, 2010May 19, 2011Craig Dewayne BradfordProtective Glove System
US20120054942 *Sep 3, 2010Mar 8, 2012Kim Cortland RLacrosse glove having reinforced fingers
US20120180190 *Jan 14, 2011Jul 19, 2012Nike, Inc.Glove With Strengthening Inserts
US20120180191 *Jan 14, 2011Jul 19, 2012Nike, Inc.Glove With Thermally Moldable Shaping Inserts
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/19
International ClassificationA41D13/08
Cooperative ClassificationA63B71/143
European ClassificationA63B71/14G2