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Publication numberUS2112611 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 29, 1938
Filing dateMay 27, 1936
Priority dateMay 27, 1936
Publication numberUS 2112611 A, US 2112611A, US-A-2112611, US2112611 A, US2112611A
InventorsSnippen Harlow I
Original AssigneeSnippen Harlow I
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ball throwing device
US 2112611 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 29, 1938. H SN|PPEN y 2,112,611

BALL THROWING DEVICE*` Filed May 27, 1936 2 Sheets-Sheet l( Mardi 29, `1938. H. l, SN|PPEN 2,112,611

BALL THROWING DEVICE Filed May 27, 1936 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 gm, Harley I. ASnppel'l` MMQW Patented Mar. 29, 1938 'rice UNITED STATES PATENT BALL THROWING DEVICE Harlow I. Snippen, Seattle, Wash.

Application May 27, 1936, Serial No. 82,039

14 Claims. (Cl. 1241) My invention relates to a device for throwing ciple of throwing one type of curve, and Figure 4 balls, and has for its particular object the prois a similar diagram, illustrating the principle of vision of means whereby a ball may be adethrowing a dilerent type of curve. quately controlled and given a high speed of de- Figure 5 is an elevation of the feed end of the 5 livery; the provision of means for rotating the ball throwing mechanism, and Figure 6 is an aX- r ball about its center in iiight, so as to curve the ial section through the same. ball, and to alter the direction or 'plane of such Figure 7 is an axial section through the ball curvature controllably, at will to provide means throwing mechanism, taken on a plane at right whereby the ball may be aimed upwardly, downangles to the sectional plane or Figure 6, and

wardly or transversely; to provide means for prothrough the associated projecting or feed mechlo jecting or feeding a ball to such a throwing deanism. vice at a good speed so that it need not acquire It has been proposed heretofore to throw balls all of its speed and momentum in the throwing by engaging them momentarily between a rapdevice per se; to accomplish the adjustments reidly rotating wheel and a complemental device,

ferred to above in such a way as to avoid the as for example a xecl plate or another wheel, l

necessity of change in the position of the ball and. in the latter case to vary the relative speeds projecting means; to provide a device by which of the wheels to develop different curves on the all varieties of balls-high, low, fast, slow, and delivered ball. However, when it is remembered curved in all directions., and from all elevationsthat a ball such as a baseball is frequently de or positions within the range of the devicemay livered by pitchers at speeds ranging upwards 2O be delivered toward a player opposite the device. from ,90 miles an hour7 and exceptionally fast Such a device will nd many uses, for expitchersare claimed to have thrown baseballs ample, in batting practice for baseball teams. at a speed of 150 miles an hour, it is evident Thel batters may face automatic pitching which that a ball cannot be made to attain such speeds is controllable to deliver all sorts of balls and by momentary contact with a wheel. Its speed 2,-, curves Without the necessityY of a pitcher facing must be increased to the maximum from aero or the batter and weakening himself in throwing substantially zero in the very small fraction of such curves. A particular batter may be weak time that it remains in contact with the rounded against certain types of curves, or balls reachsurface of the wheel. It is therefore one of my ing him at a certain elevation or distance, and primary objects to provide means whereby the 30 may practice against such pitching, automatically ball may be effectively engaged and its speed indelivered, until he is able to hit the same. A tencreased to that necessary t0 simulate the Speeds nis player may prove weak against certain types attained in sports, and to this end I prefer to of serves or returns, and the machine Vmay be set employ two belts ll and l2, received on the reto deliver such types for practice until the player spective sets of pulleys 2, 20, 2 l, 22, and so spaced 35 has mastered this weakness. The device may be that their adjacent parallelruns will receive beused as an amusement device purely and simply. tween them and engage opposite sides ci a ball In addition to the general objects stated above B. These belts are driven with the adjacent runs it is an object of my invention to provide such a moving in the Same diren at high speeds by device which shall be of sturdy construction, and suitable drive means, as for example the variable 40 yet simple and easy to operate, and capable of speed motors 3| and 32. wide variation. Suitable means are provided, as will be evi- My invention comprises the novel ball throwdent to. those acquainted with the electrical art, ing device and the novel supporting means thereand typied by the rheostats 33 and 3@ (Figure for and ball projecting or feeding means in com- 1), for varying the absolute speed of each motor, 45 bination with the ball throwing device and its and hence the relative speed of the two motors adjustments, all as shown in the accompanying 3| and 32, so that the belt il may be driven the drawings, and as will be hereinafter more par faster, or the belt l2, and so that the relative ticularly described and pointed out. speeds of these two belts may be varied by any In the accompanying drawings I have shown suitable amounts or increments, yet while both 50 my invention in illustrative forms. are advancing in the same direction toward the Figure 1 is an elevation of the delivery end of delivery point of the ball. such a device. Figure 2 is a similar view of the It is preferable that there be employed not one same with a modied form of support. belt ll or l2, but two such belts, as may best be 5,-, Figure 3 is a diagram, illustrating the prinseen in Figure '7, these being V-belts and cooper- 55 ating to drive the balls as though but one belt. Such V-belts have a considerable amount of stiffness, and especially when driven at the high speed necessary to project a ball their adjacent runs will bow towards each other, and this in itself serves as a powerful factor in gripping and controlling the ball during its advancebetween the belts, and in fact this centrifugal action is more depended upon than any other. In consequence the pulleys 2 and 2| may be spaced apart sufficiently that the ball Will not come into contact with them, to be squeezed or retarded, thereby, but will be projected into the space between the belts and will be controlled Wholly by these belts, and at the instant of delivery will not contact with the pulleys 20 and 22. If vibration of the belts is found to affect the accuracy of the ball, such vibration may be limited or prevented by suitable backing plates engaging the belts between the pulleys, as is common in belt arrangements, or the belts or the ball may be otherwise controlled or directed.

If the belts and I2 advance at the same speed, an uncurved ball is delivered, which may be fast or slow, according to the speed of the belts. As will be evident in Figure 3 (considering this to be a side elevation), if the upper belt is advancing at a speed in excess of that of the lower belt |2, the ball B will be given a top spin, and this will cause the ball in its flight to curve downwardly, as indicated by the dash line D. If, on the other hand, the lower belt I2 is advancing more rapidly than the upper belt the ball will be given an up spin, and will follow an upwardly directed path, indicated by the dash line D in Figure 4.

Now if the plane defined by the belts and |2 be other than a vertical plane, for instance a horizontal plane, these curves will be the same, and will be controlled by the same factor, but if Figure 3 be considered a top plan view, the curve will be an in curve, and if Figure 4 be considered a top plan view the curveV here will be an out curve. I provide means whereby such adjustments or any combination thereof may be made, to the end that all types of balls can be thrown, straight, fast, slow, or curved. With this idea in mind, then, it will be evident that the designation of the belt as the upper one Will not always be correct; the belt may as well be the lower one that is to say, the positions of the belts and |2 may be reversed, for they are so supported that preferably they are bodily rotatable, with their driving means, about the path defined by the advance of the ball or its center while engaged by the belts.

Any suitable means of accomplishing this rotation may be employed. As herein shown, the belts, their supporting pulleys, and their drive means are all encased and mounted within a barrel 4, preferably of cylindrical shape since in that shape it is not immediately apparent to a batter facing it what type of curved ball is to be thrown. This barrel is provided with guide means for rotating it about its axis, and for reasons which will appear hereafter these are preferably located adjacent the end where the ball is fed in or admitted. For instance, circular grooves are formed in the barrel for the reception of guide rollers 40 supported in a ring 4|, which is suitably supported, and the barrel may be rotated thus about its axis which coincides with the path of advance of the ball.

It is desirable that the barrel be movable for aiming, and to this end trunnions 42 may be formed on the ring 4|, to be supported Within 'a yoke 43, the yoke in turn having a post 44 receivable in a bearing 45 in a suitable stand, and preferably the barrel may also be elevated, as for example by moving the arm 46 vertically upon an upright post 5 supported in a base 50 carried upon casters 5|, or by the equivalent means shown in Figure 2, the parallel links 52, supported from a collar 53 and supporting the bearing 45. A slotted brace 54 and clamping screw 55 enables the angle of the parallel arms 52 to be adjusted.

The pivots at 42 and 44 permit the barrel to be elevated or depressed and to be swung transversely, that is, traversed. For convenience in feeding the balls to the throwing device, previously described, the axes of these two pivots should intersect at a point P which is also the point where the ball is delivered to the ball throwing device and first is engaged by the belts and |2. By so locating these pivot members a ball feeding arrangement, by which balls are projected one` by one into the ball throwing device, may be located and need not be relocated for each small adjustment of the direction of the barrel.

Any suitable ball projecting mechanism may be provided, or they may be fed by hand. Preferably, however, the balls are projected one by one at a good speed, so that their initial inertia is overcome, and it is not necessary for the ball to acquire its 4entire momentum while in engagement with the belts. Such a projecting mechanism is shown in Figure '7, and comprises a sleeve 6 within which is reciprocable a plunger 60 under the influence of a spring 6|. A rod 62, provided with a suitable handle, enables the plunger 60 to be retracted outwardly of the mouth of a chute 63, to which the balls are delivered from the hopper 64, the plunger being preferably held in retracted position by a catch which, upon being released, as for example by pulling upon the cord 66, permits the plunger to project the ball forwardly under the inuence of the spring 6|, the sleeve 6 being aimed to deliver the ball at the point P where it is received between the belts and given a high speed and, if desired, a curve. To accomplish adjustments of the level and direction of the sleeve 6 it may be carried by a yoke 61 pivotally supported at 68 upon a suitable stand 69. 'I'he ball feeding mechanism might, if desired, be mounted upon the support for the barrel 4.

If a tennis ball is being delivered, for example, the ball throwing device may be controlled by one person while another opposite strokes the ball.

The one manipulating the machine may quickly swing it or move it from one side to another, from a high position to a low position, and may vary the curvature and speed of the ball at will, so that in eifect the player returning the balls has the variety of balls delivered to him that Vhe might encounter in a game, or it may be preferred to deliver one type of ball repeadly, so that the player may practice on some particular weakness.

I have described the belts and |2 as bodily rotatable about the path of the ball, and this I believe to be the most convenient way of accomplishing variation of curvature. However, the principle to be kept in mind is that the ball is engaged at opposite sides and the point of engagement, that is, the plane dened by the two belts, is variable, that is, capable of being located in diiferent positions angularly, about the path of the ball, and any arrangement which accomplishes such rotation of the two lines of engagement is deemed to be the equivalent of that described, whether there be actual rotation or mere change of the lines of engagement by belts.

What I claim as my invention is:

1. A ball throwing device comprising two memlbers spaced apart to receive a ball between them, means to advance the ball-contacting faces of said members in the same direction but at dif- 4,ferent speeds, to curve the ball, and means to rotate the members about the path of the balls center, at delivery, to vary the direction of curvature.

2. A ball throwing device comprising two members spaced apart to engage opposite sides of a ball, means to advance one of said members at a speed greater than that of the other, tocurve the ball upon delivery, and means to vary the plane of application of the curving force about the path of the ball at delivery, to vary the direction of its curvature.

3. A ball throwing device comprising two parallel belts spaced; apart to engage opposite sides of a ball, means to advance the belts in the same direction and to vary their relative speed to curve the ball, and means to vary the plane of curvature.

4. A ball throwing device comprising two parallel belts spaced apart to receive a ball between them, means to advance the belts in the same direction and to vary their relative speed to curve the ball, and means to rotate the belts bodily about the path of the balls center, while held by the belts, to vary the direction of such curvature.

5. A ball throwing device comprising two short belts spaced apart, a pair of pulleys whereon said belts run, spaced apart slightly more than the diameter of the ball to be thrown, plus the thickness of the two belts, toengage opposite sides of a ball, means to advance the belts at high speeds in the same direction, whereby the belts are bowed together by centrifugal forces, and means to project a ball rapidly between the belts at one end, in the direction in which the adjacent runs of the belt are traveling, whereby the ball can have impressed upon it by the belts the forward speed of the latter, notwithstanding their short engagement with the ball.

6. A ball throwing device comprising two belts spaced apart to engage opposite sides of a ball, means to advance the belts in the same direction, means to project a ball rapidly between the belts at one end, to be delivered at the opposite end, and means to adjust the angular direction of the belts, about the admission point of the ball, to aim the delivered ball.

7. A ball throwing device comprising two belts spaced apart to engage opposite sides of a ball, means to advance the belts in the same direction, means to project a ball rapidly between the belts at one end., to be delivered at the opposite end, and means to adjust the angular direction of the belts, horizontally and vertically, about the admission point of the ball, to aim the delivered ball.

8. A ball throwing device comprising a barrel, two sets of pulleys supported therein, an endless belt extending about the pulleys of each set, their adjacent runs being spaced apart to engage opposite sides of a ball, means to advance such adjacent runs at high speed, and to vary their relative speeds, and means supporting said barrel for rotation about its axis.

9. A ball throwing device comprising a barrel, two sets of pulleys supported therein, an endless belt extending about the pulleys of each set, their adjacent runs being spaced apart to engage opposite sides of a ball, means to advance such adjacent runs at high speed, and to vary their relative speeds, and means supporting said barrel for universal tilting movement and for rotation about its axis, to aim the delivered ball.

10. A ball throwing device comprising a barrel, two sets of pulleys supported therein, an endless belt extending about the pulleys of each set, their adjacent runs being spaced apart to engage opposite sides of a ball, means to advance such adjacent runs at high speed, and to vary their relative speeds, guide means encircling said barrel for rotation of the latter about its axis, a yoke supporting said guide means for tilting movement, and a stand supporting the yoke for swinging movement.

11. A ball throwing device comprising two parallel belts spaced apart to receive a ball between them, means to advance the belts in the same direction to discharge the ball, and means to revolve the bolts jointly about the path of the balls center.

12. A ball throwing device comprising two belts spaced apart to engage opposite sides of a ball, means to advance the belts at dilerent speeds in the same direction to discharge and curve the ball, means to project a ball rapidly between the belts at one end, means to revolve the belts bodily and jointly about the path of the balls center, to vary the plane of its curvature, and means to tilt the discharge end of the belts jointly, about the center of the ball at the point of its rst engagement by the belts, to aim the delivered ball.

13. A ball throwing device comprising a pair of parallel belts, pulleys whereon said belts run, spaced apart slightly more than the diameter of the ball to be thrown plus the thickness of the two belts, whereby the ball in its passage between the belts is not engaged by the belts at any point where the latter are in contact with the pulleys, and means to advance the belts in the same direction at high speeds, the pulleys being of such size, relative to the speed of advance of the belts, that the centrifugal force, acting on the belts, throws them, between the pulleys, into engagement with the ball, to propel and direct it.

14. A ball throwing device comprising a pair of parallel belts, pulleys whereon said belts run, spaced apart slightly more than the diameter of the ball to be thrown plus the thickness of the two belts, whereby the ball in its passage between the belts is not engaged by the belts at any point 'where the latter are in contact with the pulleys, and means to advance the belts in the same direction at high speeds, the pulleys being of such size, relative to the speed of advance of the belts, that the centrifugal force, acting on the belts, throws them, between the pulleys, into engagement with the ball, to propel and direct it, and means to vary the relative speeds of the two belts.

HARLOW I. SNIPPEN.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2716973 *Sep 4, 1952Sep 6, 1955Francis Desi PaulBall throwing machine
US3130717 *Mar 2, 1961Apr 28, 1964De Lossy Chevalier DavidElectrical apparatus for throwing flying targets used in shooting training and matches
US3306613 *Jul 29, 1964Feb 28, 1967Mainers Artez FBaseball batting practice range with ball return means
US3308802 *Apr 20, 1964Mar 14, 1967Earl ApplegatePower driven baseball pitching machine with batter signalling means
US3459168 *Dec 8, 1965Aug 5, 1969Bruce Norman RBall-pitching machine with forced air assist
US3604409 *Jan 30, 1969Sep 14, 1971Strokemaster CorpBall projecting machine with direction control mechanism
US3724437 *Nov 23, 1970Apr 3, 1973Tru Pitch IncBall throwing machine
US4195614 *May 31, 1977Apr 1, 1980Ponza Lorenzo JRotatable coacting members for projecting a ball
US4632088 *Feb 28, 1983Dec 30, 1986Bruce Norman RBall throwing apparatus
US6440013 *Mar 14, 2000Aug 27, 2002Harvey B. BrownPitching machine
US20030195061 *May 20, 2003Oct 16, 2003Brown Harvey B.Pitching machine
USRE28462 *Aug 14, 1973Jul 1, 1975 Ball throwing machine
DE1185096B *Sep 20, 1960Jan 7, 1965Helmut HoesselbarthWurfgeraet fuer Tennisbaelle
DE3804209A1 *Feb 11, 1988Aug 24, 1989Norbert Dipl Ing BurkardtApparatus for the translatory and rotational acceleration of bodies with a spherically designed surface to predetermined speed states
Classifications
U.S. Classification124/78
International ClassificationA63B69/40
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/406
European ClassificationA63B69/40D