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Publication numberUS2040228 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 12, 1936
Filing dateOct 12, 1935
Priority dateOct 12, 1935
Publication numberUS 2040228 A, US 2040228A, US-A-2040228, US2040228 A, US2040228A
InventorsFrank A Whiteley
Original AssigneeFrank A Whiteley
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Baseball pitching game device
US 2040228 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

12, 1936. |.A. wHlTr-:LE-Y

BASEBALL PITCHING GAME DEVICE Filed Oct. l2, 1955 whtele Prank B5 d Patented May 12, 1936 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE BASEBALL PITCHING GAME DEVICE Frank A. Whiteley, Minneapolis, Minn. Application October 12, 1935, Serial No. 44,742

15 Claims.

My invention relates to` baseball pitching game devices and has for its object to provide a means whereby a baseball pitcher can throw balls to a batter and catcher and have an indication of 5 strikes and balls thrown as they are thrown,

and if a strike an indication `of the exact location of the point where the strike would pass over the plate.

In baseball the home plate over which the l0 pitcher throws the ball is seventeen inches wide. The batter stands at the side of this plate to hit the ball as it is thrown. If the ball or some part of it passes through the strike area bounded by the outer limits or corners of the home plate,

15 and by the knees and shoulders of the batter, it

is what is called a strike If it passes the plate outside of those limits, either at the sides or above or below them, it is not a fair pitch and is called a ball. The most favorable pitches from the standpoint of a batter are those which pass over the plate toward its center and in the spaces well above the knees and `below the shoulders. Y From the standpoint of the pitcher the most favorable pitches are those which just cut the outer corners of the plate and those which are just above the knees and just below the shoulders of the batter. The most favorableA possible pitches, and ones which are almost impossible to be properly hit, are those which go over the corners at the shoulders or at the knees of the batter. Y

It is an object of my baseball pitching game device not only to indicate the position of successful pitches or strikes, but to give them a value according to the position of the strike in the strike area so indicated. Thus, if a strike is Within the favorable area for the batter, somewhat above the knees and below the shoulders and toward the middle of the ,platev it will count two points. If the strike is over the outside limits or the corners of the plate and not at the shoulders or knees of the batter, it will count four points. If a strike passes the plate at the o highest or lowest shoulder or knee points but not over the corners, it will count five points. If a strike is in any one of the `most favorable four positions, that is over a corner of the plate at the knees or shoulders of the batter, it will count ten points. If the ball hits outside of the strike area there will be no indication and such apitclr will be a ball, which will count zero.

In playing the gameA the players will'stand .at the regulation distance of the pitcher from the home plate in the game -of baseball. All he will see is a screen having thereon a pictured representation of the home plate and a catcher and a batter.

He will have `nothing to guide his pitching more than a pitcher in a regular baseball game would have, to-wit, the plate and its limits, and the shoulders and knees of the batter. The rst player will continue to pitch until game will be terminated af been played, as in baseball.

Lights of diierent colors screen at the top and side of the fair strike area on the screen sition of the pitch and the entitled. The inner or ter nine innings have showing through the `or will indicate the pocount to which it is groove ball territory will be represented by green lights, so if a green light shows at the side will be two points.

and

at the top the count The corner pitches will 'be represented by red lights, so that if a red and a green light show after a pitch it will be a corner pitch between the knee and shoulder pitches, and

will count four points. The top and bottom pitches will be represented by blue lights, so that if a blue and green light show, the count will be ve points. When one of the four mostv favorable strikes at the corners, knee high or shoulder high, is made, there will `be both a red and light and a white light show,

blue red, white and blue,

which indicate the major score of ten points. At

the close of the game th greatest number of points will be played at any time, wintertime and within bu that purpose, where a sui made for employing the facilities in the game of ten pins.

e player having the will win. The game but preferably in the ildings arranged for table charge will be of the game, as It will not only prove in a. high degree interesting to competing contestants, but will also be of ing those who are or may sional or In the drawing showing invention in one form,.

great value in trainwish to become profesamateur baseball pitchers.

an application of my Fig. 1 is a front elevational view of a `pitching game as the same will be viewed by the person who does the pitching, showing batter and catcher, indicated by painting on a transparent screen in position. Fig. 2 is a viewsimilar to Fig. 1 with the figures omitted and the outer screen in part removed to show the indicating mechanism. Fig.

3 is an enlarged elevational sectional view, somewhat fragmentary, taken on line 3-3 lof 2.

Fig. 4 is a sectional view somewhat enlarged taken on line 4-4 of Fig 2. Fig. 5 is a fragmentary sectional plan view with parts broken away showing the manner of mounting the screen.

As illustrated, a backstop I0 may be formed of wood, metal or other suitable material so long as it is heavy and strong enough to receive the impacts of hard pitched balls without distortion or breaking. Laid on the backstop I0 is a pad I I formed of any desired shock-absorbing material, such as some form of quilting, which pad covers all of the back stop I0 excepting a central rectangular portion I2 which has an area slightly greater than the vertical area above the plate through which at least a portion of the ball must pass to constitute a fair pitch or strike. The elements within this unpadded space I2 will be described later.

Over the pad II and the space I2 and said elements is stretched a screen I3 which has its edges looped at III, Fig.`5, over piano wire I5 drawn tight at the corners over suitable supporting ypegs I6. This screen I3 is removable and replaceable and is formed of a type of well-known material such that it will be transparent to a light behind it but when viewed from the front in full light it will conceal what is back of it, and will carry any representations of figures on the screen. As illustrated, this screen shows such iigures, a batter I1, a catcher I8 and a home plate I9, all shown in perspective so as to appear from a distance equal to that of the pitching mound to the plate in baseball as the batter, catcher and plate would appear to a pitcher in a regular baseball game. In practice the screens would have the iigures printed on them, as in advertising posters, and would be furnished strung on the piano wire supports for replacement whenever a screen in use wore out.

Within the space I2, and mounted so as to be spring held against the backstop I0, are a multiplicity of plungers 20 shown in detail in Figs. 3 and 4. All of these plungers are supplied with square heads, which in practice may be slightly over three inches square and separated from other plunger heads in each direction a distance of slightly more than one inch. The plunger heads within the central portion of the space I2, where the favorable pitches to a batter may come, are designated `by the numeral 2 I. Those plunger heads along the sides but not at the'top or bottom, where corner pitchesv vertically between top and bottom pitches may come, are designated by the numeral 22. The plunger heads at top and bottom but not in the corners where knee and shoulder pitches may come, are designated by the numeral 23, and the plunger heads at the four corners, where the pitchers most dangerous pitches, at the corners and either knee high or shoulder high, may come, are designated by the numeral 24. The outer limits of the plunger heads are seventeen inches apart horizontally, corresponding to the width of the home plate and the outer limits of the plunger heads vertically are thirty-five inches apart corresponding to. the .distance between the shoulder and knee of the average baseball batter.

Because a pitch is a strike if at least half of the ball cuts the corners of the plate on either side horizontally, or goes over the plate at the knees or shoulders of the batter, a space 25, something over an inch across, is provided about the outer limits of the plunger heads 2I-24 to form the inner limits of the rectangular opening I2 through the padding II. Opening into this space 25 through the backstop Ill are a series of round holes 26 along one side, as here shown along the left side and along the top of said space I2, there being one such opening for each horizontal and for each vertical row of plunger heads, and in addition thereto an opening 26 at the upper lefthand corner of the space I2. Back of each of the openings 26 is an electric light bulb 2l having a socket 28, Fig. 3, secured to a bracket 29, which in turn is fastened at 36 to the back of the backstop I0. As indicated above, the several lights are colored as follows, all as indicated on Fig. 2: The lights 48 for the center rows of plungers 2I will be colored green. The lights 43 for the side rows of plungers 22 will be colored red. The lights 50 for the top and bottom rows of plungers 23 will be colored blue, and the light 2B' at the upper left-hand corner will be colored white.

The plungers 2D are provided with heads 3! adapted to engage the back side of the backstop Ill, and also have collars 32, Fig. 3, about which are compression springs 33 which lie between the inner wall of the plunger heads and the outer face of the backstop I0 and hold the inner heads 3l against the outer wall of said backstop Ill, but which when struck by a pitched ball will yield suiciently to permit the heads 3l to engage a switch lever 34 of standard construction mounted on a bracket 35 and adapted to close a switch 36 which through wires 3l and. 38 close a circuit embodying a top and side lamp (in the case of the corner plungers also the White corner lamp) so that when a particular plunger head is struck by a case of the corner plungers also the corner white light) will be lit and will show through the screen `I3 the exact position where the pitched strike would have passed over the plate, and in that way will indicate the points to be scored for the pitch.

There will, of course, be an independent circuitl embodying two, and in the case of the corner plunger heads 24, three, lights in the circuit thus closed, which will show through the appropriate holes 26 whenever a plunger head is struck by a pitch. When a ball hits the pad I I outside of the strike area, no lights will show, and in that way indicate a ball has been thrown, which will count only zero. The electric light bulbs, sockets, switching and wiring are of standard construction, easily applied to the back of the backstop I0, which will preferably be made of heavy planking adapted to receive screws for the purpose of securing these various elements. The entire assemblage is simple and cheap to build, and will prove very efficient for the purpose intended. The screens I3 strung on the wires I5 can be cheaply constructed, so that when one wears out it can be replaced by another. It will be noted that the piano wire support is suiliciently elastic to allow ample yield of the screen without tendency to tear when a ball strikes it, and particularly when a ball strikes over one of the plunger heads 2I-24.

In operation the game will be played in a room long enough to permit positioning of the back stop a distance away from the floor equal to that from the pitchers mound to home plate, and the position of the player will be equivalent to that of a pitcher on the mound. It will 'usually be practicable to arrange a room of such width that a suitable number of the backstop game devices can be placed in parallel across the rear end of pitched ball the top and side light (in the the room and several games be in progress at once. An attendant back of the boards will throw the switches 34 back into non-lighting position as fast as strikes are thrown and lighting circuits are closed, which will be very easily observedV by such attendant, since the lights are directly on the back ofthe backstop boards. If desired the faces of the plunger heads 2|-24 may be padded to prevent wear of both balls and the screen over the balls. Preferably the floor will slope somewhat from the line supporting the backstop game board, or boards, so that balls after being thrown will roll b-ack to be used over again. The game will have the characteristics in some respects of bowling tenpins, yet will provide a somewhat different form of exercise, and

also training in the pitching vocation, whichV forms the basis of the great American baseball game.

I claim:

1. A baseball pitching game device comprising a backstop including a strike area, means caused to be operated by a pitched ball hitting within the strike area for indicating the exact position vertically and horizontally of the point in said strike area hit by the pitched ball, and means protecting said indicating means and concealing it until it is so caused to operate.

2. A baseball pitching game device comprising a backstop including a strike area, means including lights caused to be operated by a pitched ball hitting within the strike area for indicating the exact position vertically and horizontally of the point in said strike area hit by the pitched ball, and means protecting said indicating means and concealing it until it is so caused to operate. 3. A baseball pitching game device comprising a backstop including a strike area, means caused to be operated by a pitched ball hitting within the strike area for indicating the exact position vertically and horizontally of the point in said strike area hit by the pitched ball, and means protecting said indicating means and concealing it `until it is so caused to operate, said protecting r and concealing means carrying a representation of a home plate below the strike area and with its margins in the vertical margins of the strike area.

4. A baseball pitching game device comprising a backstop including a strike area, means caused to be operated by a pitched ball hitting within the strike area for indicating the exact position vertically and horizontally of the point in said strike area hit by the pitched ball, and means protecting said indicating means and concealing it until it is so caused to operate, said protecting and concealing means carrying a representation of a batter with knees and shoulders at the upper and lower margins of the strike area.

5. A baseball pitching game device comprising a backstop including a strike area, means caused to be operated by a pitched ball hitting within the strike area for indicating the exact position vertically and horizontally of the point in said strike area hit by the pitched ball, and means protecting said indicating means and concealing it until it is so caused to operate, said protecting and indicating means carrying the representation of a home plat'e below the strike area and a representation of a batter with knees and shoulders at the bottom and top of the strike area, respectively, said home plate and knees and shoulders of the batter being the sole means to guide the player in throwing the ball.

6. A baseball pitching game device comprising a backstop including a strike area, means in said strike area adapted to be operated by impact of a pitched ball, other means operated thereby for indicating the exact position vertically an'd horizontally of a thrown baseball which hits the strike area and thereby indicating a basis to calculate the points scored in making said strike, and means protecting said impact-operated and indicating means and concealing all of them when the indicating means is not operated by impact of a pitched ball.

7. A baseball pitching game device comprising a backstop including a strike area, means operated by impact of a pitched ball within the strike area for indicating the exact position vertically and horizontally of a thrown baseball which hits the strike area, means protecting said indicating means and concealing them when the indicating means is not operated by impact of a pitched ball, and means holding said protecting and concealing means so the same may be readily removed and changed.

8. A baseball pitching game device comprising a backstop including a strike area, holes in the backstop outsidesaid strike area and electric lamps behind the backstop and over said holes positioned to indicate the exact spot vertically and horizontally of a baseball thrown against the backstop within the strike area, means in said strike area including electric circuits adapted f to be closed by impact of a thrown ball to cause certain of said lights to shine for making such indications, and means protecting said last-named means and the holes and lights and concealing all of them when the indicating means is not operated by impact of a pitched ball to cause lights to shine, but which will permit the lights to be seen therethrough when shining.

9. A baseball pitching game device comprising a backstop carrying a representation of a home plate and a batter, a series of plunger heads mounted on said backstop so that the outer limits of all said plunger heads will completely enclose the space for throwing a strike above the corners of the home plate and between the shoulders and knees of the batter, and means operated by said plunger head when struck by a thrown ball to indicate the exact position where said ball passes the plate for any possible thrown strike and thereby to indicate a basis to calculate the points scored in making such strike.

10. A baseball pitching game device comprising a backstop, a multiplicity of plungers occupying in their entirety a space on the backstop defining the area through which the ball must pass to be a strike, a padding on the backstop surrounding said space and having its face substantially in the plane of the faces of said plungers, means overlying and concealing said plungers and padding, and means operated through said plungers by the impact of a pitched ball upon a plunger through said concealing means to indicate the exact position of any possible strike which may be thrown.

11. A baseball pitching game device comprising a backstop, a multiplicity of plungers 0ccupying in their entirety a space on the backstop defining the area through which the ball must pass to be a strike, padding on the backstop surrounding said space and having its face substantially in the plane of the faces of said plungers, means overlying and concealing said plungers and padding, holes in said backstop along the top and a side of said' space, and electric lights back of the said back stop some of which are caused Vto shine by impact of a thrown ball against a plunger, sai-d lights adapted to shine through said holes and concealing means to indicate the exact position of any possible strike which may be thrown.

12. A baseball pitching game device comprising a backstop, a multiplicity of plungers occupying in their entirety a space on the backstop dening the area through which the ball must pass to be a strike, padding on the backstop surrounding said space and having its inner limitsspaced from the outer limits of said plungers, and electric lights along the top and a side of said space corresponding in position to vertical and hori- Zontal rows of plungers and means actuated by said plungers causing said lights to shine through openings in said backstop and said space between A the plungers and padding by the impact of a pitched ball upon a plunger to indicate the exact position of any possible strike which may be thrown.

13. A baseball pitching game device comprising a. backstop formed with a multiplicity of holes along the top and a side outside of the space on the backstop dening the area through which the ball must pass to be a strike, a corresponding number of vertical and horizontal rows of plungers having their heads within said space, padding on the backstop surrounding said space and having its inner edges outside of said rows of holes, electric lights backof the backstop and adapted to shine through said holes, and means operated through said plungers by the impact of a pitched ball upon a plunger to cause a side light and an upper light to shine through those holes when a plunger is struck by a pitched ball to indicate the exact position where said strike was thrown.

14. In -a baseball pitching game device, including a backstop carrying a representation oi a home plate and a batter, wherein when a ball is thrown to strike within the space on the backstop dening the area above the corners of the home plate and between the shoulders and knees of the batter an upper and lower light will be caused to shine to indicate the exact position within said space where the ball impacts the backstop, an arrangement of visual indications, which consists in having said lights of different colors, one color for the central area of said space, a second color for the side areas of said space, a third color for thev bottom and top areas of said space, said arrangement forming a basis to calculate scoring values for the combinations of said colors caused to be displayed by the impact of a pitched ball at any point in said space, wherein the combination of central pitches will have the lowest value, of side pitches not in the corners the next higher value, of top pitches not in the corners a still higher value, and of corner pitches a maximum high Value.

15. In a baseball pitching game device including a backstop carrying a representation of a home plate and a batter, wherein when a ball is thrown to strike within the space on the backstop defining the area above the corners of the home plate and between the shoulders and knees of the batter an upper an-d lower light will be caused to shine to indicate the exact position within said space where the ball impacts the backstop, an arrangement of visual indications, which consists in having said lights of diierent colors, green for the central area of said space, red for the side areas of said space, blue for the bottom and top areas of said space, said arrangement forming a basis to calcul-ate scoring values for the combinations of said colors caused to be displayed by the impact of a pitched ball at any point in said space, wherein the display of two green lights will count two points, of a red and green light will count four points, of a blue and green light will count five points, and

of a red and blue light will count ten points.

FRANK A. WHITELEY.

Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification273/376, 340/323.00R, 273/371, 273/455
International ClassificationA63B63/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2024/004, A63B63/00
European ClassificationA63B63/00