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Publication numberUS2683603 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 13, 1954
Filing dateJul 31, 1950
Priority dateJul 31, 1950
Publication numberUS 2683603 A, US 2683603A, US-A-2683603, US2683603 A, US2683603A
InventorsGackenbach Paul H
Original AssigneeGackenbach Paul H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Projectile for erratic flight
US 2683603 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1954 P. H. GACKENBACH PROJECTILE FQH ERRATIC FLIGHT Filed July 51. 1950 zwlgmjw 7521, a2, v Win51 ATTORNEYS atented July 13, 1954 NT OFFICE Claims.

This invention relates to toys and games and more particularly to projectiles which may be used in simulated baseball games, or in other throwing and batting games of a wide variety.

The general object of the invention is the provision of a novel and improved projectile of this class which is durable and safe, and is capable of being thrown in such manner as to give it a most erratic or eccentric flight for the purpose of rende it difficult for a batter to hit.

In its preferred embodiment, the invention contemplates the provision of a projectile of generally hollow cylindrical or tubular construction, with smooth rounded contours for comfortable and effective handling, but of a peculiarly warped and eccentric construction, which is designed to give it its erratic flight, not only by virtue of the eccentric weight distribution but also by reason of aerodynamic effects. However, by practice, any player may learn to control the flight of the projectile and produce a variety of fantastic curves-drops, floaters, inshoots, hooks, etc.which cannot be duplicated by pitching an ordinary ball.

The warping eccentricity of the projectile also the effect of preventing it from rolln it strikes the ground, which is an I x certain games in which the projeculle may be used, and which in any game provides an added safety factor, especially for small children, in preventing the projectile rolling out into dangerous streets and thoroughfares.

It is preferred that the projectile be made of rubber or similar semi-soft resilient plastic material so as to prevent injury to the players, but of such size and weight that it may be batted for a distance of well over a hundred feet by the average player. Preferably, also, the rubberlikc material may be reinforced with fabric for greater durability in much the same manner as a rubber hose or bicycle tire.

Qt objects and features of novelty will be appa ent from the following specification when read connection with the accompanying drawings in which one embodiment of the invention is illustrated by way of example.

In the drawings:

'gure 1 is a perspective view showing the layout of a field on which one game, involving the use of the novel projectile, may be played;

Figure 2 is a view in perspective of a projectne embodying the principles of the invention; the projectile being disposed in a generally vertical position;

Figure 3 is a View in side elevation of the projectilejn vertical position;

Figure 4 is a perspective view of the projectile in a generally horizontal position;

Figure 5 is a sectional view taken on line 55 of Figure 3;

Figure 6 is a perspective view illustrating one way of gripping the projectile in throwing it; and

Figure '7 is a similar view showing an alternative method of throwing.

As best shown in Figures 2, 3 and i of the drawings, the novel projectile is of a generally cylindrical shape although being warped to a slight degree along its longitudinal axis. The projectile or missile as a whole is indicated by the reference numeral Iii.

Preferably, the novel projectile is provided with rounded circumferential beads or flanges ii and H2 at its respective ends and the intermediate outer wall surface i3 is provided with spiral or helical grooves or indentations it. Also, by preference, the end beads or flanges i i and 22 are separated from the intermediate main outer surface of the projectile by circumferential grooves I8.

One important feature of the construction of the projectile which gives it its erratic flight is longitudinal warping of the cylinder whereby, as clearly seen in Figure 1 of the drawings, the respective opposite side wall portions of the device are made convex as at 2i? and concave as at 2|. It will also be seen that the plane 22 of the end ii of the projectile and the plane 23 of the opposite end surface thereof are convergent and will of course meet at a very acute angle if extended to the left-hand side of Figure 3.

Another feature of the invention which permits intricate and puzzling curves to be pitched when using the novel projectile is the eccentric weighting thereof as afforded by making one side of the projectile heavier and longer than the oth er. This is clearly indicated in the perspective views of Figures 2, and 4 of the drawings but probably best shown in the sectional view of Figure 5 where the wall portion designated 25 is considerably thicker than the opposite wall por tion 23, due to the eccentricity of the inside surface 277 of the cylinder and the outside surface 23.

The novel projectile may be made of any suitable resilient material which will not be harmful to the players if struck by the projectile, but it should have suficient durability and substance to aiford considerable use and wear and also to carry for suitable distances when struck by the bat. Preferably the projectile is made of rubber or a rubber-like plastic and may be reinforced by fabric or cord, somewhat in the same manner as garden hose, bicycle tires, or other similar reinforced rubber or rubber-like articles of commerce.

Although in its broadest aspects, the invention is not to be limited to any particular dimensions, the following general sizes are preferred, at least in playing certain of the suggested games to be presently described. For example, the projectile could be from about 2% inches to about 2% inches in length, with an outside diameter of from about 1% inches to about 1%; inches, and inside diameter of from about 1 inches to about 1%, inches. The projectile for this particular suggested purpose can also vary from about one ounce to about 1%; ounces in weight.

In Figure 6 of the drawings, there is illustrated one method of gripping the projectile to throw it, one or two fingers 30 of the players hand being hooked over the top end of the projectile and the thumb 3! disposed at the opposite end thereof. This is the best grip for giving a straight pitch of the projectile, the projectile then spinning end over end as suggested by the arrows 35. A variation can be adopted by using this same grip and throwing the projectile with a horizontal swing of the arm. This is a more difficult pitch for the batter to hit due to the horizontal spin.

Figure '7 illustrates another method of gripping the projectile in which it is placed in the palm of the hand 37 with the fingers 38 wrapped around it as if to hide it, and then the projectile thrown with a spiral motion somewhat like making a forward pass of a football, as suggested by the arrows 40. This is the best grip for throwing a drop, an outshoot or inshoot, an upshoot, or a floater, various modifications in the direction of movement of the projectile being adopted in each case. For example, in throwing a drop, the nose of the projectile is kept forward but slightly downward, whereupon it will spiral through the air and suddenly dive downward. For an outshoot or an inshoot, the projectile should be thrown with a side arm movement with the nose pointed slightly away from or toward the batter. For an upshoot, the projectile should be thrown from the position of Figure '7 with a spiral movement and with a side arm and under-hand twist with the nose pointed slightly upward. For a floater, the projectile is gripped in the same way as for a drop, but the projectile is released in a horizontal position so that it will sail sidewise toward the batter.

The applicant is not aware of the exact mathematical and physical explanations of the behavior of the novel projectile or missile in its various trajectories, but it has been found as a practical matter, that the warping of the axis of the projectile, the eccentric weighting and shaping of the projectile as shown in Figure 5, and the provision of the grooves in the outer surface all cooperate and lend their various effects to the general functioning of the projectile in flight. Some of these effects can probably be explained by aerodynamic principles and others by gravitational or gyroscopic phenomena.

The novel projectile can be employed for playing a wide variety of throwing and/or batting games, and the invention itself is not to be limited to any particular method of playing. However, a suggestive or exemplary game wherein the projectile may well be used is presented as follows:

In Figure 1 there is shown a playing field 4 with foul lines 5| and 52, a home plate 53, and a pitcher's box 54. At a suitable distance outwardly on the playing field from the plate 53 a transverse marking 55 is made, this distance being approximately thirty feet. Another line 56 may be drawn across the playing field at a distance of from twenty-five to thirty feet from the line 55 and subsequent transverse lines 51 and 58 drawn at similar distances. There is no running in this game, but the batter upon receiving a pitch from the pitcher 6| tries to knock the projectile as far as he can along the playing field. The scoring is based on forced runs only, such runs being imaginary and determined by the distance the projectile is hit. For example, if the projectile strikes the ground before reaching the first line 55, the batter is out. If it falls between the lines 55 and 56 it counts for a single or onebase hit; between lines 56 and 51 a double; between lines 51 and 58 a triple; and beyond the line 58 a home run. If the projectile stops or is stopped by a player within these areas, it counts according to the above designated schedule of hits or outs. If the projectile is caught on the fly by a player, the batter is out and the imaginary men on base do not advance. Otherwise the game may be played in accordance with standard baseball rules.

The game, as suggested above, may be played with any number of players, even as low as two, but in this case it is preferable that there be a back stop in the rear of the plate 53 to eliminate the necessity for the presence of the catcher 63. If sufficient players are available, they may be divided up into sides and the two teams take the field in succession. Of course, the game may be played with or without an umpire.

Various changes and modifications may be made in the embodiment of the invention illustrated and described herein without departing from the scope thereof as determined by the following claims.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. An aerodynamic game projectile for erratic flight in projection through the atmosphere above the surface of the ground as in throwing or batting games; said projectile comprising a hollow, tubular, generally cylindrical member of durable but resilient material; open at both ends; and of a size to be readily gripped by one hand for throwing, and for this last named purpose having an axial length for convenient gripping of the cylindrical projectile axially between one or more fingers of the throwing hand at one end and the thumb at the other end; the axial length of the projectile being in any event greater than the diameter thereof; said projectile being warped to a slight degree whereby the longitudinal axis assumes a slight arcuate configuration.

2. An aerodynamic game projectile for erratic fiightin projection through the atmosphere above the surface of the ground as in throwing or batting games; said projectile comprising a hollow, tubular, generally cylindrical member of durable but resilient material; open at both ends; and of a size to be readily gripped by one hand for throwing, and for this last named purpose having an axial length for convenient gripping of the cylindrical projectile axially between one or more fingers of the throwing hand at one end and the thumb at the other end; the axial length of the projectile being in any event greater than the diameter thereof; said projectile being warped to a slight degree whereby the longitudinal axis assumes an arcuate configuration of great radius, the convex side of the projectile being somewhat longer than the concave side, and the planes of the ends of the projectiles if projected intersecting at an acute angle.

3. An aerodynamic game projectile for erratic flight in projection through the atmosphere above the surface of the ground as in throwing or batting games; said projectile comprising a hollow, tubular, generally cylindrical member; open at both ends; and of a size to be readily gripped by one hand for throwing, and for this last named purpose having an axial length for convenient gripping of the cylindrical projectile axially between one or more fingers of the throwing hand at one end and the thumb at the other end; the axial length of the projectile being in any event greater than the diameter thereof; said cylindrical projectile being warped laterally so that its longitudinal axis assumes a slightly arcuate configuration, and having its wall thicker on the convex side of the axis than on the concave side.

4. An aerodynamic game projectile for erratic flight in projection through the atmosphere above the surface of the ground as in throwing or bating games; said projectile comprising a hollow, tubular, generally cylindrical member of durable but resilient rubber-like material; open at both ends; and of a size to be readily gripped by one hand for throwing, and for this last named purpose having an axial length for convenient gripping of the cylindrical projectile axially between one or more fingers of the throwing hand at one end and the thumb at the other end; the axial length of the projectile being in any event greater than the diameter thereof, the annular walls of said projectile being solid, said walls being also relatively thin as compared with the outside diameter of the projectile, in order to afiord adequate entry of air into the interior of the projectile during flight to augment the erratic nature of its trajectory, the internal substantially cylindrical surface of the projectile being eccentric to its outer substantially cylindrical surface, the wall of the projectile thus being thicker on one side of the projectile than on the other.

5. An aerodynamic game projectile for erratic flight in projection through the atmosphere above the surface of the ground as in throwing or batting games; said proiectile comprising a hollow, tubular, generally cylindrical member of durable but resilient rubber-like material; open at both ends; and of a size to be readily gripped by one hand for throwing, and for this last named purpose having an axial length for convenient gripping of the cylindrical projectile axially between one or more fingers of the throwing hand at one end and the thumb at the other end; the axial length of the projectile being in any event greater than the diameter thereof, the annular walls of said projectile being solid, said walls being also relatively thin as compared with the outside diameter of the projectile, in order to afford adequate entry of air into the interior of the projectile during flight to augment the erratic nature of its trajectory, the outer substantially cylindrical surface of the projectile being provided with a plurality of helical grooves, which grooves extend substantially from one end of the projectile to the other.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 240,327 ODonnell Apr. 19, 1881 281,77 3 Mann July 24, 1883 301,875 Fisher July 15, 1884 670,487 Wagner Mar. 26, 1901 712,383 Joule Oct. 28, 1902 715,795 Haskell Dec. 16, 1902 784,367 Williams Mar. 7, 1905 1,532,679 Bradley Apr. 7, 1925 1,644,466 Dewes Oct. 4, 1927 1,664,257 McCullough Mar. 27, 1928 1,891,550 Lawrence Dec. 20, 1932 2,127,433 Sky Aug. 16, 1938 2,194,674 Riddell Mar. 26, 1940 2,399,324 Clark Apr. 30, 1946 2,459,996 Duncan Jan. 25, 1949 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 198,515 Great Britain June 7, 1923 11,318/28 Australia Apr. 17, 1929 416,687 Great Britain Sept. 19, 1934

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Classifications
U.S. Classification473/613, 482/49, 473/596
International ClassificationA63B65/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2208/12, A63B65/00
European ClassificationA63B65/00