US 2122266 A
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June 28, 1938. J. o. SEYS BASE PLATE FOR BASEBALL DIAMONDS Filed Nov. 4, 1936 Patented June 28, 1938 UNlTED STATES 2,122,266 BASE PLATE Fon BASEBALL DIAMONDS John 0. Seys,-0hica go,' 111., assignor to The Seamless Rubber Company, Inc.,' New Haven, Conn, a corporation of Massachusetts Application November 4, 1936, Serial No. 109,127
This invention relates to base plates for baseball diamonds, and more particularly to the base plate used at the base at which the batter stands, usuallyknown as home plate. I
It is common practice at the present time to provide at home plate a base plate permanently secured in place, while the bags or bases at the other three corners of the diamond are usually removable. This home plate is of somewhat peculiar configuration, and is, of course, of standard size. It has been the custom in the past to make these bases of rubber or some flexible material, and as they are embedded in the ground to some extent, they are'of substantial thickness. The result is that, although the top of the plate is presumably flush with the ground, the dirt about the plate often becomes dug up or removed in oneway or another, so that a sharp projecting edge remains; that is, the base plate will project abruptly from the ground at its edge, and becomes a source of possible serious injury to players in that they are quite likely to be tripped if their toes or spikes catch thereon.
It is necessary, however, for the base plate to have a sharply defined edge or surface of the proper size in order that the outer edges may be readily distinguished by the players and umpire, and not confused with the surface of the baseball diamond or any surrounding material.
One object of the present invention is to eliminate the disadvantage referred to above, and to provide a base plate which will have no abrupt projecting edges, but will at the same time have a sharply defined base portion of the proper dimensions which will be clearly distinguishable.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a home plate for baseball diamonds having a central portion of the proper size and dimensions, and a border or surrounding portion providing a beveled edge whereby any abrupt projecting side edges of the plate will be eliminated.
A still further object of the invention is the provision of a base plate for baseball diamonds having a central portion of the standard dimensions and a surrounding beveled border portion,
the latter being of a color contrasting to that of the plate proper and being separated from the plate proper by a sharp line of demarcation.
Still another object of the invention is the provision of a base plate provided with reinforcing means to prevent the plate warping or buckling when in use.
To these and other ends the invention consists in the novel features and combinations of parts to be hereinafter described and claimed.
(Cl. 273 )v In the drawing: A Fig. 1 is a top plan View of a base plate embodying" my invention;
' Fig. 2'is a sectionalyiew on line 2-2 of Fig. 1;
and I .Fig. 3 is a view similar to Fig. 2 showing a modified form of my invention.
To illustrate a preferred embodiment of my invention, I have shown in Fig. 1 a base plate having a central or main portion H] of the standard size and dimensions required by the rules of the game. The home plate required by the present rules is of a peculiar shape, being a fivesided figure, seventeen inches across at its widest point, and likewise seventeen inches from the apex to the base of thefigure. The portion It will conform to these dimensions, and will preferably :be of white rubber so that its outline may be readily distinguished by both umpire and players. It will be understood that the portion [0 of the plate shown in the drawing is the same form and size as the plate in use at the present time. If, however, the usual plate is employed, the thickness of the plate will cause it to project from the ground to some extent, and as the sides of the plate are strictly vertical, these projecting sides are apt to trip a player or base runner and thus effect a possible serious injury.
To avoid such a possibility I provide about the plate a beveled edge or border II. This border may extend, as shown, entirely about the plate proper IE), but will preferably be of a color readily distinguishable from the central portion In of white rubber, so that it will not have the effect of adding anything to the dimensions of the base when used upon .the playing field. This beveled border II tapers outwardly, as shown more particularly in Fig. 2, to a relatively sharp edge [2, so that when the plate as a whole is embedded in the ground, the border M will be covered by the dirt of the baseball diamond. If, however, this dirt becomes carried away for any reason, no'sharp abruptly projecting edges will be exposed due to the sloping surface of the border H, so that there will be nothing upon which a base runner or player can catch his shoe or spikes.
The border portion II will preferably be of a dark color, usually black, and may be formed integrally with a lower portion I3 of the base plate, which lies below the white rubber slab I0. That is, in this instance the base plate may consist of two layers, the upper white layer Ill, and a lower black or dark-colored layer I3, the latter being carried outwardly beyond the edges of the layer In and having beveled edges to provide a beveled border around the portion ID, the inner edge of this border being, of course, flush with the upper surface of the portion II]. In another aspect of the invention the plate may be considered of a lower foundation part l3 having a beveled edge I D, and having a recess in its upper surface to receive the white portion or base plate proper l0, whereby the latter is seated within the former so that its surface is flush with the upper edge of the surrounding border.
In order that there may be a sharp line of demarcation between the dark colored border -II and the adjacent edge of the base plate proper l0, there may be a slight space I4 left between these two parts. This is particularly desirable if the base plate is formed as a whole in a mold and vulcanized, for in such case the light and dark rubber of the portions l0 and II might otherwise run together to some extent, so that the line between them would not be sharply defined.
As stated, such plates are usually permanently fixed in place, and to this end washers or collars 16 may be embedded or molded in the body of the plate, these members being provided with threaded openings H to receive the pins or spikes l8, which are adapted to be driven into the.
of metallic material IQ of relatively heavy gauge,
such as sheet metal of twelve-gauge thickness,
for example. This may be molded into the rubber base portion of the plate, and it will cause the plate to lie flat at all times and prevent any tendency thereof to buckle. In this case the washers or collars 16 to receive the pins I8 may be secured to this plate as by welding, for example, so that these washers will be firmly secured in place.
While I have shown and described some preferred embodiments of my invention, it will be understood that it is not to be limited to all of the details shown, but is capable of modification and variation within the spirit of the invention and within the scope of the appended claims.
What I claim is:
1. A base plate for baseball diamonds or the like, said plate comprising a fiat body having beveled outwardly tapering edges, said body being provided with an upwardly facing recess extending between said beveled edges, and a sheet of material of a color contrasting with the body portion disposed in said recess.
2. A base plate for baseball diamonds comprising an outer border portion, said portion being beveled and diminishing in thickness toward its outer edge to form a thin edge adapted to be embedded in the ground, a slab-like portion within the border, the upper surface of which is substantially flush with the inner edge of the border portion, said slab-like portion being of the standard dimensions of a base plate and of a color contrasting with that of the border, and said inner portion being space-d from the border portion at the upper surface of the plate to provide a sharp line of demarcation therebetween.
JOHN O. SEYS.