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Publication numberUS2646785 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 28, 1953
Filing dateNov 21, 1950
Priority dateNov 21, 1950
Publication numberUS 2646785 A, US 2646785A, US-A-2646785, US2646785 A, US2646785A
InventorsMartin Goldman
Original AssigneeMartin Goldman
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ball throwing device
US 2646785 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 28, 1953 M. GOLDMAN BALL THROWING DEVICE Filed Nov. 21, 1950 6 Sheets-Sheet l Mia"! 68 67 5m FIG.I.

INVENTOR MARTIN GOLDMAN,

ATTORN EY July 28,1953 M. G LDMAN 2,646,1785 f BALL THRQWING DEVICE i d 21, 1950 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 K I I 229 INVENTOR MARTIN GOLDMAN,

W MM4A v ATTORNEY ly 8,1953 M. GOLDMAN 46,

- BALL THROWING DEVICE Filed Nov. 21, 1950 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR MARTIN GQLDMAN,

' ATTORNEY July 28, 1953 M. GOLDMAN 2,646,785

BALL THROWING DEVICE Filed Nov. 21, 1950 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 59 60 INVENTOR 'MARTIN OLDMAN FIG. u.

ATTORNEY Patented July 28, 1953 UNITED s'rA'rss harem OFFICE BALL THROWING DEVICE Martin Goldman, Jackson Heights, N. Y.

Application November 21, 1950, Serial No. 196,774

This invention relates to ball throwing or pitching machines designed to throw base balls, tennis balls or the like to an individual stationed at a predetermined distance from the machine, who endeavors to strike the thrown ball with a base ball bat, racket or other suitable ball hitting instrument.

Various novel objects are involved in this invention and are enumerated as follows:

1. The machine is to be provided with means attachable to the machine, for rolling the machine from one location to another and detachable from the machine when it is desired to set the machine immovable in location.

2. The inclusion, in a ball throwin machine of the character described, of a magazine for holding a multiplicity of balls and discharging the ball from the magazine, one at a. time and in consecutive order, upon guides which deposit the ball upon an impeller mechanism which will project the ball from the machine.

3. Including means for regulating the discharge intervals between a predetermined number of balls from the magazine and automatically stopping the operation of the machine when the last of the predetermined number of balls has been discharged from the magazine and projected from the machine.

4. The inclusion of automatically operated signaling means to indicate that a ball is about to be projected. v a

5. The inclusion of a remote switch controlling means located at a point distant from the machine but convenient to the batter whereby the operation of the ball throwing machine may be controlled at that point.

6. The inclusion of means for changing the angle or vertical direction of the path of the projected ball.

7. The inclusion of means for horizontally shifting the projecting mechanism of the machine to control the direction horizontally of the path of the projected ball.

8. The inclusion of stretchable, endless impeller elements which are rotatably mounted upon the machine and rotate about their supports to reduce the wear and tear of the stretchable, endless impeller elements.

9. The inclusion of a flexible strap disposed between and connected to the stretchable endless impeller elements and cushioned bumperelements to receive and soften the impact of the flexible strap.

10. The inclusion of means for centering the ball, which is to be discharged from the magazine, upon an impeller mechanism forming a part of this invention.

11. The inclusion of disengageable linking means by the use of which the stretchable end 15 Claims. (Cl. 124-21) less impeller elements may be easily and quickly removed for replacement.

12. The inclusion of a removable split covering member suspended over the impeller mechanism and having an orifice at its front end aligned with the path of a ball as it leaves the machine.

13. The inclusion of filler rings or spacer washers upon impeller supporting bolts to adapt the supporting bolts to the width of the stretchable endless impeller elements.

A still further object of this invention is the provision of an organization in which the constituent elements are so arranged structurally and functionally as to assure improved results with materials and members which may be manufactured at reasonable cost, may be easily assembled and which will be efiicient in operation with minimum wear to the parts.

The best embodiment of the invention has been chosen for illustrative purposes, but this embodiment should be viewed as being illustrative only and not as limiting because obviously the invention is capable of other embodiments having revised details of construction, so long as they fall within the ambit of the appended claims.

The invention itself, however, both as to its organization and its method of operation, will best be understood from the following description of a specific embodiment when read in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which:

Fig. 1 is a side elevational View, showing a cover member in section and with other parts broken away.

Fig. 2 is a View, in elevation, of the opposite side of the machine and shows the cover member in section and parts of the supporting frame or stand broken away.

Fig. 3 is an elevational view of the front or ball discharging end of the machine and shows por tions broken away and omitted.

Fig. 4 is a fragmentary detail, in elevation, of a part of the machine and will herein-after be fully described.

Fig. 5 is also a fragmentary, elevational view of a part which will be hereinafter described.

Fig. 6 is a rear View in elevation, of the machine and shows portions broken away.

Fig. 7 is an enlarged detail view of a part which will be hereinafter described.

Fig. 8 is a sectional view of same taken along the line 8-8 of Fig. 7.

Fig. 9 is a fragmentary detail in elevation, taken along line 9-9 of Fig. '7.

Fig. 10 is a plan or top view of the machine having the ball magazine removed and part of the top of the covering member broken away to disclose the impeller mechanism of the machine.

Fig. 11 is a partial top view, having the covering member removed and looking into the open top of the ball magazine which is shown without balls and with parts broken away.

Fig. 12 is a plan view, in enlarged scale, of a portion of an impeller unit which forms a part of the ball throwing machine and shows parts broken away.

Fig. 13 is a side elevational view of same and shows parts broken away.

Fig. 14 is a plan view of a detachable link member which forms a part of the impeller unit and will hereinafter be described, and

Fig. 15 is a sectional elevation taken along line i i-i l of Fig. 11.

Referring in detail to the parts, H designates a main supporting stand or frame having legs :7 2 converging at the top and welded or otherwise secured to a cross-bar l3 and diverging toward their lower ends (Fig. 3) and welded or otherwise secured to a cross-bar is near the lower end of legs 2. The lower ends of the legs 52 are provided with wheels is (Figs. 2 and 3). The rear end of the supporting frame is provided with legs it also converging at their top ends which are welded or otherwise secured to a cross bar I? and diverge downwardly to their lower ends which are without wheels and rest firmly upon the ground. Slidably mounted upon the cross-bar I3 is a pair of spaced cheek members [8, having disposed between and welded or otherwise secured to them, a channel member l9, forming thereby an integral unit embracing the cheek members 58 and the channel member IS.

A block 23 (Figs. 7 and 8) is pivotally mounted upon the cross-bar l3 and is held approximately centrally between the cheeks l8 by means of a pin or dowel 2 I secured upon the cross-bar is by a bolt 22 of which it forms a part. The block 2! has a bore 23 Within which the pin 2i engages and this bore is slightly elongated along the longitudinal axis of the machine to allow for a slight longitudinal movement of the block with respect to the position of the pin or dowel. The block 28 is further provided with a horizontal internally threaded bore 26 through which a threaded portion 25 of a turntable rod 26 engages. The said rod it extends through bushings 2'! which are attached to the rod 25 and are formed with narrowed shanks 28 which engage through orifices in the cheeks is. The rod 26 may be extended at either side and terminates in a handle 29 by means of which the rod 2% may be rotated clockwise or counterclockwise to move the cheeks and channel to the right or left as may be desired, to change the horizontal direction of the flight of the ball as will be further on explained. Referring now to Figs. 7, 8 and 9 it will be noted that the sliding member consisting of the cheeks l8, channel 29 and partially threaded turntable shaft 26 may be laterally movable upon the crossbar 53 and may be held thereon against accidental displacement by means of depending tongues ac and are held therein by washers 3i and bolts 3?. which are threaded into th depending tongues 38. This slotted connection, however, may be omitted if desired, and the cheeks and connected parts held thereon by gravity exerted by the weight of the mounted impeller mechanism as will be hereinafter described.

The cross-bar ll, heretofore mentioned, has welded or otherwise secured to it, a boss 33 (Figs. 1, 2 and 6) and a short distance below the boss is a cross-bar 36, which is secured between the rear legs It. Both the boss 33 and the cross-bar 33 have aligned threaded bores 35 and 36 respectively through which a threaded bar 37 engages. Upon the lower end of the threaded bar 3? there is provided a handle 38 by which the threaded bar 3'? may be turned. The upper end of the threaded bar 3? is rounded as at 38 and engages in a rounded or concave pocket sEl formed upon a plate ll to which the rear ends of elongated angular members 42 and i3 are welded or otherwise secured. The said elongated angular members ii! and 43 form the base members of a secondary supporting frame which carries the operating and ball projecting mechanism of the machine. The front or forward ends of the angular members i2 and 43 are pivotally attached to the cheeks l8, heretofore mentioned (Figs. 1, 2, 3, 6, '7 and 8) by means of a bolt .4 and spacer tube 55. The pivotal connection just described, coacting with the threaded bar El at the rear end, provides a means for vertically tilting the angular mem bers $2 and which members carry the impeller mechanism of the ball throwing machine as new to be described.

Secured to the top and near the rear end of the angular members 42 and 33 (Figs. 1, 2 and 6) there is a channeled cross-piece 3% which has a cut out portion 4'? (Fig. 6) and has reinforcing webs 48 which are welded to the top of the angular members 32 and 43 and to the channeled cross piece 46. A bar 39 secured to the top of the channeled cross-piece d6 extends outwardly from one side and a second bar 553 also secured to the top of the channeled cross-piece 45 extends outwardly in the opposite direction. To the outer ends of the outwardly extending bars 19 and 50 there is secured upstanding supporting rods 5| and 52 respectively to which the ends of horizontal diverging carrier bars 53 and 5e respectively are attached. The diverging carrier bars 53 and 54 are further supported, approximately at their centers, by means of upstanding rods 55 and 56 respectively which rods are in turn carried and secured to a cross-plate 51 (Fig. 10). The cross-plate 5i rests upon and is secured to the flange 0f the angular members 42 and 43 (Figs. 1, 2 and 10). Attached to the outer ends of the carrier bars 53 and 54, as at 58 and 59, is a partially circular band SQ, shown in Fig. 10, by dot-dash lines. The said circular band and part of its connected carrier bars form a support for an enclosing or covering member M which is formed with downwardly projecting side walls 62 along the front and sides and partly across the rear. The said covering member is made up of two sections and has joining edges along a central line (not shown) extending from a point P to the front wall and down the front wall along the line L, as shown in Fig. 5, which also shows an opening 83 through which the balls emerge from the machine after leaving an impeller unit which will presently be described. A circular opening 64 in the top of the covering member 62 is provided wherein a magazine 55 is adapted to set and rest upon the carrier bars 53 and 54. Suitable means (not shown) may be provided for securing the magazine to the carrier bars.

'II is secured to the shaft I and has a drive gear 12 (Fig. 1) also secured to the shaft I0. A worm gear I3 engages the drive gear and forms the upper portion of an upright shaft I4 which is suitably mounted in a bearing I5 on a cross bar I6. The shaft I4 extends downwardly and carries, at its lower end, a pulley I1 and a drive belt I8 which connects the pulley 11 with a motor driving pulley I9 upon the shaft 80 of a motor 8I. The motor BI is suitably mounted upon a plate 82 which is in turn mounted upon and swings about a depending rod 83, which rod is securely welded or otherwise attached to the angular member 42. To hold the belt I8 in tight contact with the pulley I1 and the motor driving pulley I9 there is provided a tension spring 84 which is disposed between the swinging motor carrying plate 82 as at 85 and the leg l2 at 88. Engaging over the sprockets 68 and TI is a chain belt 81 having pins 88 and 89 which extend laterally upon both sides of the chain belt 81 and are spaced equally distant upon the chain belt. The said belt, when driven by the worm and gear connection with the motor drive, travels in the direction indicated by the arrow shown in Figs. 1 and 2.

A cross-bar 90, T-shaped in cross section, is notched into and welded to the bearing blocks 66 at the front end of the machine, as at 9! (Figs. 1, 2 and 10) and carries upon each end a plate 92 and 93 having narrowed extensions 94 and 95 respectively. To the said extensions 94 and 95 there is attached upright pins or bolts 96 and 91 (Figs. 1, 2, 3 and 10) which are held upon the plate by threaded ends 98 (Fig. 13) which engage through threaded bores in the said extensions 94 and 95, and are secured by nuts 99. The said pins or bolts 96 and 91 carry the impeller unit which will now be described.

Engaging over each of the upright bolts 98 and 91 is an endless stretchable belt I09 and IOI (Figs. 3, 10, 12 and 13). The stretchable endless belts I00 and I 0| also engage pins or bolts I02 and Iii-3 which are connected by links I04 and I85 to pins or bolts I06 and W1, in turn embraced by split clamp I08 and I09. A strap IIO, of leather or other suitable non-stretchable, flexible material, is secured between the split ends of the clamps I08 and I09, thus connecting the stretchable endless belts into a single impeller member as best shown in Figs. 3, 10, 12 and 13. Referring to Figs. 12 to 15 inclusive, a means is shown whereby an intermittent motion in the direction indicated by the arrows X in Fig. 12 is imparted to the stretchable endless belt IOI. As will be presently fully explained,the strap H0 is drawn back and stretches the endless belts I00 and IM to a predetermined point when it is automatically released under great pressure and resumes its normal state striking against bumpers, the relative position of which is shown by the dotted circular lines in Fig. 12, and creating a force which gives a partial rotative movement to the endless belt equal to about one-thirtieth of its length, in the direction indicated. Thus this movement of the endless belt equally distributes the wear and tear upon the belt and greatly prolongs the useful life of the same. To facilitate this movement there is provided a collar or tube III which engages loosely around the bolt 91, a second tube II2 encircles the tube Ill but is spaced apart from it and disposed between the two tubes and needle roller bearings II3. A similar arrangement of tubes and needle bearing is employed on the bolt I03. The width of the endless belt may vary within certain limits and to meet any variation in the width of the belt beyond that shown in Fig. 13, filler rings or washers II4 may be removed as desired. The bolt E03 is formed with a cap II5 over which the upper, and if desired the lower link I05 may engage. For this purpose an elongated opening H9 is formed in the links. One part II'I of the elongated opening has a diameter slightly larger than the diameter of the cap II5 allowing the cap to pass therethrough, While a portion H8 is of a smaller diameter to engage the stem H9 of the bolt I03. With such an arrangement the endless belt is easily removed for replacement purposes by slightly turning the nut I20 upon the bolt I0I to give play to the link. While this description of belt mounting and link connections has been confined to one of the two endless belts upon the machine, it is nevertheless obvious that the same construction is applied to the endless stretchable belt I00 forming the other end of the impeller unit. The bumpers referred to are best shown in assembly, in Fig. 3, where they carry the reference numerals I2I and I22 and are secured upon flat bands forming tracks I23 and I24 respectively. The tracks extend almost along the entire length of the apparatus as best shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 10.

The tracks I23 and I24 are secured at their forward ends, upon blocks I25 and E28 respectively, the said blocks being in turn secured upon the T-shaped cross-bar 99. At approximately their central point the tracks are supported by upstanding members I21 and I28 spaced apart and secured to the flanges of the angular themhere i2 and 33 upon either side of the chain belt 87 and allowing clearance for moving parts between them. At the rear the tracks are supported upon the outwardly extending bars 29 and 58. In roller engagement upon the tracks I23 and I29 there is a base plate 229 adapted to reciprocal rolling movement, rollers I39 being provided near the four corners of the base plate for this purpose. Upon the rolling base plate E36 there is secured an upstandng slotted block I3I within the slot of which there is pivotally mounted at I32 a lever I33 having a long and short arm. The short forwardly extending arm terminates in a hooked coupler element 539 while the rearwardly extending, long arm is provided with a laterally extending pin or finger its (Figs. 1, 2, 6 and 10) which engages with an adjustable cam element I35 when the base plate carries the pin or finger I to the point of contact with the cam element E96, as will be explained. A second upstanding block it? is also mounted upon the rolling base plate 629 and has pivoted thereto (Fig. 2) a bent lever E38, pivoted to the block I32 at I355. The lever I38 is formed with a rearwardly and upwardly extending arm I99 which acts as a pawl mem ber and engages with a ratchet wheel lei directly under the floor of the ball magazine 95, which rotates the ball feeding mechanism, as will be hereinafter described. A rearwardly extending portion I 22 is weighted to overcome the weight of the pawl member I40 and which moves about its pivotal connection I39. A third upright block I43 is secured to the forward end of the rolling base plate I29 and is formed with a central orifice or passage HM (Fig. 2) through which a hooked coupler member I 55, which is secured upon the aforementioned strap H9 engages and will be hereafter fully explained. The hooked coupler member M5 is adapted to engage the hooked coupler member its as clearly shown in Fig. 1.

The description now goes back to the impeller unit which will now be described in more detail, reference being had to Figs. 3, l0, l2, l3 and 15. As already set forth, the impeller unit as a whole comprises the stretchable endless belts i8 5 and iii (the stretchable belt id?) not being shown in Figs. 12 and 13) each mounted upon standards or bolts 96 and 9'. respectively and having link connections with a flexible strap member Ht. Included also in the impeller unit is an impeller element attached to the strap H and comprising a rear plate and a front plate l4? which are riveted together, through the strap H6, by rivets 543 formed with heads Hi9 and having extending semi-spherical buttens or knobs i553 that act as a centering means and hold a projected ball in proper alignment for the throw. The heretofore hooked coupler its is attached to the plates ifiifi and Hi? and has a narrowed shank i5l which extends through rear plate I56, strap H8 and front plate Hi! and is riveted as at r52. The bumpers consist of bolts :53 and 155 which are secured, in upright position, to the tracks :23 and i2 3 respectively and each is covered with a thick layer of any suitable resilient material 555 and 56 respectively.

The plates 92 and 93 carrying the bolts 88 and 9? are slidable upon the upper flange of the T- shaped cross-bar 9i and may be adjusted by means of threaded shafts 157 and 153 respectively, which shafts are turnabiy attached at L59 and 66 to projecting lugs iii and I62 upon the T-bar 9i, engage through threaded bores in lugs I63 and 8 3 depending from the plates 92 and and are provided with crank handles 1% and ifiii. Yoke members it? and H38 are attached to and depend from the plates as and 93 and are slidable against either side of the T cross-bar 9!. Set screws its and i'i'ii engage through the yoke members i6? and H38 and provide a means for securely tightening the plates in position. Upon releasing the hold of the set screws :69 and [lo upon the attached plates as and the said plate may be moved in either direction along the T cross-bar to shift the impeller unit and properly align the impeller carrying the centering buttons or knobs its. Depending lugs s2 and are secured to the under side of the plates 82 and 93 respectively and engage along the outer edges of the flanges of the T bar 95] and act as guides for the plates s2 and S3 and slide along same.

Eecured to the aforementioned rolling plate i253 and extending downwardly between the tracks I23 and 52 are fingers ill and H2 with which the laterally extending pins to or 89 upon the chain belt 81 engage. The said laterally extending pins upon both sides of the moving chain belt '8? contacting the fingers will move the rolling base plate 525% and its attached parts rearwardly until the pins 88 upon the chain belt becomes disengaged with the said pins. The rolling base plate being released from contact with the moving chain belt is brought forward by means of a cable H3 attached at one end to a cross-bar connecting the fingers on both sides of and spanning the chain belt as at H4. The said cable I13 passes over a pulley I15 mounted in standards '56 which are secured upon a cross plate iii which is in turn secured to the flanges of the angular members 42 and 43. From the pulley I75, the cable I13 passes over a guide mentioned roller H8, rotatably mounted in a cylindrical weight housing member H9, then down the cylindrical weight housing member lit to a weight (553 to which its end is attached as at 58!. The said weight being suhicient heavy to draw the said rolling base-plate 29 in a forwardly direction when same is free from finger contact with the chain belt Si. The cam element I36 is slidable upon the track i2 5 and is adjustable, in a longitudinal direction by means of a threaded shaft i 32, the inner end of which is rotatably mounted in a bearing block E83 which is stationary upon the track l2 i. From the bearing block 5S3 the threaded shaft E82 passes through a threadedbore in the cam element 1 38 and has its outer end rotatably mounted in a second bearing block I84 which is also fixed upon the track i255. A crank handle its is provided for turning the shaft to slide the cam H555 to the desired position. The pin R35 upon the lever 33 hereinbefore mentioned will strike the beveled front edge of the cam, ride up the beveled edge and continue along the extending arm i823 until the fingers ii! and ii? are disengaged from the chain belt 8'5. A supportin rack member 53?, supported upon the cross-bar 5? and a second cross bar 88, may be provided along which the chain belt may move. The cylindrical weight housing member H9 is attached to a plate 289 which is securely attached between the cheeks i8 and above the channeled cross member it and is formed with a forwardly extending arm I98 which contacts and is welded or otherwise secured to the cylindrical weight housing member Sis.

Pivotally attached at Hi! to the cylindrical weight housing member H9 and mounted between cheek pieces I82 welded or otherwise secured to cylindrical housing member, is a semaphore type signal element H3. See Figs. 2, 3, 4 and 10. The inner edge of the semaphore is formed with a triangular shaped cam ltd which projects into the cylindrical weight housing H9, through a slot I95. The upper end of the semaphore I93 terminates in a disk Isil which moves into the position shown in Fig. 4, due to the urge of a spring i9! attached at one end to the semaphore at 98 and attached at its opposite end to an orificed lug i99 upon the arm $93, when the weight 189 is positioned below the cam projection. When the weight Hi0 rises to the position shown in Fig. 3, it forces the semaphore outwardly as shown. In Fig. 5 the semaphore disk I98 is shown as it appears in line with the opening 63 in the front wall 52 of the covering member 6| indicating to the batter that no ball is ready to be projected from the machine. A broad colored ring 290, preferably red, may be applied around the opening 63 to emphasize the outline of the opening.

The ball discharging mechanism is best illustrated in Figs. 1 and 11 and comprises the magazine 65 having a fixed bottom 2M formed with a ball discharging opening 252. The ratchet wheel MI is attached to a shaft 283 which extends upwardly into the ball magazine 65 and has secured to it a drum comprising a lower plate member 2%, a top member 2% and an annular wall 266. The said drum is securely attached to the shaft 203, by welding or otherwise, and turns with the shaft when same is rotated. Separator or spacer rings 20? and 2GB are welded to the base plate 204 and rotate with same. It will be noted (Figs. 1 and 11) that the diameter of the drum is considerably less than the diameter of the ball magazine and that the annular wall 206 of the drum and the lower portion of the wall of the magazine 65 form a trough 206' in which a series or multiplicity of tubular members or ball pockets 20I move. The said pockets are welded or otherwise securely attached to the annular wall 206 of the said drum. An inverted pan shaped member comprises a top 208, which slips freely over the shaft 203 and an annular side wall 209 which rests freely upon the top member 206 of the drum. Balls 2I0 are held within the magazine 65 and are adapted to drop from the top 208 over its side into the pockets 201. A ball 2I0 indicated by dot-dash lines in Fig. 1, when discharged through the opening 202, will drop upon an upper runway comprising tracks 2I2. The said runway 2I2 is mounted upon the said rolling plate I29 and holds the ball in the position shown by the dot-dash lines until the forward ends 2I3 of the runway have passed rearwardly beyond the ball discharging opening 202 when the said ball will drop to a second runway 2M which is also secured to and extends forwardly to a point beyond the ends 2 I3 of the runway 2I2. To keep the ball temporarily in the position shown in Fig. 1, there may be provided depending stop members 2E5 and 2I6 (Figs. 1 and 11) A stop or holding member 2I'I is attached to the wall of the magazine and is positioned above the opening 202 (Figs. 1 and 11) in the bottom 20! and is employed to prevent any ball from the magazine from dropping into the pocket over the opening 202 as will be further on explained. The consecutive operation of all the parts heretofore described will be hereinafter more fully described and explained.

A switch and connection box 2I8 containing a conventional solenoid operated switch and connections and has connected to it afiexible conductor cable 2I9 which supplies power from its source. A conductor 220 leads current from the connection box to the motor 8i. A conductor cable 22! leads from the connection box 2Iii to a remote control switch 222 which may be located at a distance from the machine. Still another flexible cable conductor 223 leads from the connection box 2I8 to a second connection box 224 upon the wall of the magazine 65. The connection box 22 may be supplied with an electrically controlled counting means which is actuated by means of a microswitch (not shown) located within the connection box 224 and has its actuating pin 226 projecting through the wall of the magazine 66 in alignment with tripping lugs 226 upon each of the ball pocket members 20?. An additional tripping lug 22'! is provided upon one of the ball pocket members, which is aligned with the actuating pin 226 of a second microswitch (not shown) in the connection box 22 The said micro-switch, actuated by the pin 228, controls the current to a solenoid switch, located in the connection box 2 I8, through which current is fed to the motor BI. A conductor 229 leads from the connection box 222 to a lamp socket 230 upon the front wall of the magazine 66.

To facilitate the movement of the machine from place to place, there is provided a long bent lever 23I having a cross-handle 232 at its upper end and a roller or wheel 233 mounted in a hub 234. From the hub there projects, approximately at right angles to the lever 22 I, a short arm 235 having a hooked end 236 which may be passed under a cross-bar 231 secured between the rear legs I6. The hooked end 236 is adapted to engage in an orifice 23B and when the handle 232 and. the lever 23I is pulled downwardly, the hooked end 236 will enter the orifice as far as a shoulder 239 at the base of the hooked neck, and lift the legs I6 and allow the machine to be rolled.

The various switches and the connections thereto are all standard and conventional and it is therefore deemed unnecessary to go into any detailed description regarding same.

Operation The position of the parts, at the start of the machine, are as shown in Fig. 1 where the impeller unit and the impeller retracting or stretching mechanism are locked together. The rolling base plate I29 with its attached parts is shown in its forward position and is held thus by means of the weight I60, connected by cable I13 to the fingers III and I12 depending from the rolling base plate. In the said position the hooked cou pler I34 which is pivotally mounted upon the. rolling base plate, is in engagement with the hooked coupler I45 which is in turn secured to the plates I46 and I4? upon the impeller strap III]. The drum rotating pawl I38 which is pivotally mounted upon the rolling base plate 29 is shown in engagement with the drum rotating ratchet wheel I It might here be noted that as the balls 2I0 are loaded into the magazine 65 the first balls will roll off the top I39 of the invertedcam shape memberand fall into all of the pockets 201 with the exception of the pocket directl over the ball discharge opening 202 in the fixed bottom 20I of the magazine 65. The stop 2I'I blocks any ball from dropping in the pocket over the opening mentioned. The semaphore signal disk I96 is in place over the opening 63 in the front wall of the covering member 6!.

A starting button upon the connection box 2 I8 or at the remote control switch box 222 may now be pressed to throw a starting switch to send current to the motor 8i and light the lamp in the socket 230. The lighted lamp in the socket indicates that the machine is in operation. With the motor running a drive through the motor pulley I9, belt I8, large pulley TI and shaft 'Id upon the upper end of which there is a worm I3, is created to rotate the worm. A gear wheel I2 upon a shaft I0 engages the worm I3 and rotates a sprocket wheel II also secured upon the shaft I0. The sprocket II gives motion to a chain belt 8! and an idler sprocket 60 supports the opposite end of the chain belt, which obviously is an endless belt. The pins 88 extending from each side of the chain belt are about to engage the fingers III and I12 which are attached to and depend from the rolling base plate I29.

The continued movement of the chain belt 8? brings the pins 08 into contact with the fingers III and H2 and begins the rearward movement of the rolling base plate I29 drawing with it, by means of the connected hooked couplers I35 and I45, the impeller and its connected strap l I0, and stretching the attached stretchable endless belts I00 and IOI.

The rearward movement of the rolling plate continues to approximately the position shown in Fig. 2 and by the dot-dash lines in Fig. 10, when pocket 201 into line with the ball dischargin opening 202 where it drops through to the runway 2I2 (Fig. 3 and dot-dash line in Fig. 1). The ball remains in this position until the ends 2I3 of the runway have passed the discharge opening, at which point the ball drops off same and lands upon the second or lower runway Z-Ii in front of the impeller plate I41. The rolling base plate I29 is at this point, still moving rearwardly and continues to do so to bring the pin I35 into contact with the cam I36 and cause said pin to ride up the beveled edge of the cam I36 and move the hooked coupler I34 out of engagement with the hooked coupler I45 which is attached to the impeller plates I48 and MT and to the strap Ill]. The disengagement of the two said hooked couplers releases the impeller whereupon the tension created in the stretchable endless belts I and Hi l causes the same to snap forward, impelling the ball along the runway 2I4 and project the ball, with speed and force, outwardly from the machine, through the opening 83 in the wall 82 of the covering member 6 I.

After the disengagement of the hooked couplers I34 and M5, the rolling base plate I29 continues its rearward movement until the downward movement of the pins 88 on the chain belt, as they pass around the idler sprocket 63, releases the fingers HI and H2. The rearward movement of the fingers IlI and ill! will draw the weight I853, within the cylindrical housing ll 9, upwardly and force outwardly, as it passes, the cam I94 upon the semaphore Hi3 (Fig. 3) thus allowing free passage through the opening E3 of the ball as it is ejected from the machine. When the weight I86 drops below its contact with the semaphore cam I54, the disk I96 upon thesemaphore I93 resumes the closed position shown in Figs. 4 and 5.

The point at which the hooked couplers I34 and I45 are released may be varied by adjusting, longitudinally, the cam I35 which, as stated, is slidable upon the track I24 and movable thereon by means of the threaded shaft I82 which may be rotated by the handle M55. The vertical and horizontal adjustments of the machine by means of the threaded vertical shaft 3'6 and handle 38 at the rear portion of the machine and the threaded horizontal shaft 26 and handle 29, has already been described and needs no further description The apparatus illustrated in the drawings is particularly designed to project fifteen balls, in consecutive order, from the machine. After the fifteenth ball has been impelled. and projected the current to the machine is automatically cut oif and the operation of the machine stops. This automatic cut off is accomplished by the means new to be described. A micrcswitch in the connection box 224 has its actuating pin 228 projecting through the wall of the magazine, into the trough 266. A lug 2443, upon the outer wall of one of the pockets is adapted to engage and trip the actuating pin 228 of the microswitch which energizes a solenoid switch in the connection box 228 which, in turn, will actuate a solenoid switch in the connection box 2i8 and break the circuit to themotor SI and lamp socket 230. The counting device is actuated by a second actuating pin 225 of a second micro-switch in the connection box 224. This second actuating pin is depressed by lugs 22% formed upon each of the pockets 281 (Fig. 11). The bumpers E53 and I54, as. already described, will, soften the impact of the impeller when the strap portion III): thereof strikes same.

I claim:

1. A ball pitching machine comprising a main supporting frame having front legs, wheels upon the front legs, rear legs the lower end of which rest upon the ground, a secondary supporting frame adjustably attached to the main frame, a ball magazine supported upon the secondary frame, a ball discharging opening in the bottom of the magazine, a rollingbase plate reciprocally movable upon tracks on the secondary frame, a hook shaped coupler member pivoted upon the rolling base plate, fingers depending from and attached to the said rolling base plate, an endl ss chain belt upon sprockets rotating bearings upon the secondary supporting frame, pins upon the endless chain. belt engageable with fingers depending from the rolling base plate, a worm gear turnable with one or thesprockets, a worm engageable with the worm gea to rotate the sprocket and move the chain belt, a motor having a pulley and belt connection with the worm to drive the chain belt, a ratchet w-eel upon the magazine and attached to a shaft extending upwardly into the magazine and rotattherein, a drum in the magazine attache to the shaft and rotating with same, a multiplicity of tubular pockets attached to thedrurn and rotating with same, a pawl, pivotall-y mounted upon the reciprocally rolling base plate engageable with the ratchetwheel upon the magazine, balls carried in the magazine adapted to drop into the tubular pockets, each intermittent rotating movement of the drum ringing a ball into alignment with the ball dis-- charging opening in the bottom or magazine, an impeller unitupon the secondary supporting frame, the impeller unit comprising a pair of stretch-able endless belts mounted upon the secondary supporting frame, a flexible strap disposed between and connected to the. endless stretchable belts, impeller plates secured upon the flexible strap, a hook shaped coupler member upon the impeller plates andextending rearwardly to engage and lock with the hook shaped coupler member upon the rolling base plate and draw the impeller unit rearwardly to stretch the stretchable endless. belts, a runway upon and moving with the rolling base plate to receive a ball when drops through the ball: opening in the magazine, a second runway attached to the. rolling. base plate to which the ball drops from the first mentioned runway to the second runway after the impeller plates of the impeller unit have passed, in their rearward movement, the ball: discharging opening in the magazine, the hooked coupler member upon the rolling base plate having a rearwardly extending lever arm, a pin attach-edto and extending plate back to its starting point after the rolling base plate has completed its rearward movement,

a. conductor cable for supplying an electrical source to the motor of the ball throwing machine. and switches for controlling the current supplyball pitching machine as defined in claim 1, including the means therein for preventing more than one ball dropping through the ball discharge opening in the magazine, said means corn rising a stop shelf inside the magazine and pro, sting over the ball discharging opening and above the ball pocket.

3 a l pitching machine as defined in claim 1, including a lever having a wheel mounted upon its lower end and having a hooked end extending from the lower end at approximately right angles to the lever, the hooked end adapted to engage a cross between the rear legs of the main supporting frame, the said lever adapted when drawn downwardly to lift the rear legs and allow the main frame and machine thereon to be wheeled about.

4. A ball pitching machine as defined in claim 1, including means employed to maintain the ball upon the upper after it drops through the discharging opening, the said means comprising a front and rear stop member depending from the bottom of the magazine in line slightly beyond and slightly to the rear of the ball discharging opening in the magazine.

5. A ball pitching machine as defined in claim 1, including a means for cutting off the electric power stopping the operation of the machine when a predetermined number of balls have been projected from the machine, the said means comprising a lug upon one of the said ball pockets engageable with a micro-switch actuating pin extending into the magazine and in the path of the lug upon the ball pocket, actuating the micro-switch to out off the current and automatically resetting the starter switch.

6. A ball pitching machine as defined in claim 1, including a signaling means to indicate when a ball is about to be projected from the machine, the said means comprising a semaphore type signal arm pivotally attached to the weight housing cylinder, a cam on the semaphore arm extending through a slot into the said housing in the path of the enclosed weight and operated by the weight when it rises in the cylindrical housing.

7. The ball pitching machine as defined in claim 1, including a remote starting and stopping switch located at a distance from the machine and electrically connected to and operating a starting and stopping switch on the machine.

8. The ball pitching machine as defined in claim 1, including means for changing the vertical angle or direction of the path of the proiected ball, the said means comprising a vertical, threaded rod mounted in bearings on the main frame and having a turning handle at its lower end, the upper end of the threaded rod having a rounded half spherical head engageable in pocket upon a block secured to the secondary frame and the said secondary frame having a pivotal connection at one end with the main frame.

9. The ball pitching machine as defined in claim 1, including means for changing the horizontal angle or direction of the path of the projected ball, the said means consisting of attaching the front end of the secondary supporting farme to upright cheek members slidable upon the main frame and having a threaded and handled shaft rotatable through and held upon the cheek members and the threaded portion of the shaft engaging through a threaded bore in a block pivotally fixed upon the main frame.

10. The ball pitching machine as defined in claim 1, in which the stretchable endless belts are mounted upon bolts which are secured to the secondary frame and to the link connection elements and have tubular members engaging around them, needle shaped roller bearings engageable against the tubular members and a second tubular member engageable over and around the needle shaped roller bearings upon which the stretchable endless belts are mounted.

11. The ball pitching machine as defined in claim 1, including cushioned bumper elements secured upon the secondary frame to receive and soften the impact of the stop portion of the impeller unit.

12. The ball pitching machine as defined in claim 1, including a means upon the impeller unit for centering the ball as it is projected from the machine, the said means comprising projecting buttons upon the impeller plate, each button being equidistant from the central point of the plate.

13. The ball pitching machine as defined in claim 1, wherein the connecting links are formed with enlarged openings connected with a smaller opening which encircles a bolt attached to the lower link and formed at their upper ends with a cap which is passable through the larger openings in the links, to expedite the removal of the stretchable endless belt for replacement purposes.

14. The ball pitching machine as defined in claim 1, including a split covering member suspended over the ball discharging mechanism and having an orifice in its front wall aligned with the path of the ball as it leaves the machine.

15. The ball pitching machine as defined in claim 1, including spacer washers engageable upon the bolts supporting the stretchably endless belts upon the secondary frame whereby stretchable endless belts of varying widths may be employed.

MARTIN GOLDMAN.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Country Date 2,267,162 Moser Dec. 23, 1941 2,267,163 Moser Dec. 23, 1941 2,313,409 Walker Mar. 9, 1943 2,540,303 Sylvester Feb. 6, 1951

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2921574 *Mar 29, 1957Jan 19, 1960Hachio SaitoPitching machines
US3277878 *Apr 27, 1964Oct 11, 1966Pankratz Orlando KBaseball throwing machine
US3847132 *Sep 17, 1973Nov 12, 1974Schatz MTable-tennis ball throwing machine using air propulsion
US3855988 *Apr 13, 1973Dec 24, 1974Prince Mfg IncBall throwing machine
US4027646 *Jun 8, 1976Jun 7, 1977Prince Manufacturing, Inc.Propulsion device for tennis balls and like spherical objects
US4094294 *Jan 31, 1977Jun 13, 1978Richard SpeerBall projecting device
US4108432 *Dec 15, 1975Aug 22, 1978American Tennis Systems, Inc.Tennis ball collection, pick-up and propelling system
US4280697 *Nov 27, 1979Jul 28, 1981Sueto YuasaTennis training device
US5067471 *Apr 20, 1990Nov 26, 1991Kim John YPortable catapult device for hurling a succession of balls for batting practice
US5769064 *May 8, 1995Jun 23, 1998Lu; Jian GangElastic band powered ball projecting machine
US6601574Jul 21, 2000Aug 5, 2003Geoffrey Arthur ColeCatapult assembly
EP0037806A2 *Apr 1, 1981Oct 14, 1981ATELIERS DE CONSTRUCTIONS ELECTRIQUES DE CHARLEROI (ACEC) Société AnonymeDevice for projecting balls with a great shooting accuracy
EP0037806A3 *Apr 1, 1981Jan 6, 1982Ateliers De Constructions Electriques De Charleroi (Acec) Societe AnonymeDevice for projecting balls with a great shooting accuracy
Classifications
U.S. Classification124/21, 124/51.1
International ClassificationA63B69/40
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/407
European ClassificationA63B69/40E