Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2700379 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 25, 1955
Filing dateMar 20, 1951
Priority dateMar 20, 1951
Publication numberUS 2700379 A, US 2700379A, US-A-2700379, US2700379 A, US2700379A
InventorsBrigati Amadio G
Original AssigneeBrigati Amadio G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ball pitching apparatus
US 2700379 A
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 25, 1955 A. s. BRIGATI 2,700,379

BALL PITCHING APPARATUS Filed March 20, 1951 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. AMAD/O G. BR/GA 7/ Jan. 25, 1955 A. G. BRIGATI 2,700,379

BALL PITCHING APPARATUS Filed March 20, 1951 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.

AMAD/O G. BRIG/1 T/ Y MAM/ 5m A 7' TORNE) United States Patent '0 BALL PITCHING APPARATUS Amadio G. Brigati, Lodi, N. J.

Application March 20, 1951, Serial No. 216,543

4 Claims. (Cl. 124-7) This invention relates to ball pitching apparatus employed in delivering balls to a batter for batting practice, whether for perfection of batting skill or for amusement.

In accordance with this invention there is provided a simple, sturdy and practical machine which will hurl a ball, comparable in size and weight to the Official base ball, through the standard pitching distance in a manner that favorably approximates the delivery of a skilled baseball pitcher. The machine will automatically hurl a series of balls in spaced sequence with sufficient interval between successive balls to enable the batter to properly prepare himself for each delivery. The machine can successfully be used in batting practice by baseball teams and can likewise successfully be used in many amusement games which involve the batting of a ball and the display of batting skill. In these uses, the machine may be permanently installed in the batting area or it may be mounted on a suitable carriage so that it may easily be moved to and from the batting area.

It is a principal object of this invention to provide ball pitching apparatus, capable of delivering balls to a human batter in a manner closely approximating that of a skilled human pitcher, which requires a minimum of attention and maintenance and which can be easily and simply adjusted to vary the character of the delivery.

It is also aprincipal object of this invention to provide ball pitching apparatus, capable of delivering balls to a human batter in a manner closely approximating that of a human pitcher, which .is'of simple and rugged construction and which includes a minimum of operating parts that are subject to wear and require adjustment.

The further objects, advantages and features of the invention will be apparent from the following description of a presently preferred embodiment of the invention, taken with the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 is an isometric view of a ball pitching machine, embodying the presently preferred form of the invention, positioned in the batting area;

Fig. 2 is a rear view of the machine, looking in the direction indicated by the arrow 2 in Fig. l, with portions of the casing broken away to better show the arrangement of the operating elements;

Fig. 3 is a view, taken on line 33 of Fig. 2, showing the relation of certain operating elements at the beginning of the ball hurling operation;

Fig. 4 is a view, taken on line 44 of Fig. 2, showing the brake arrangement employed.

Fig. 5 is a fragmentary view of the hurling arm illustrating the manner in which ball holder, or hand, may be adjusted, and

Fig. 6 is a schematic view showing the ball feed arrangement and the control therefor.

The ball pitching machine 10 includes a casing 11 comprising the top panel 12, the front and back panels 13 and the side panels 14. These panels are suitably mounted on a frame structure, not shown, one or more being removably mounted for ready access to the operating elements, to be described, within the casing 11. The casing 11 preferably also includes a bottom panel, or bed plate structure, not shown, on which certain elements to be described are supported and through which the machine 10 may be secured to the ground or to a foundation.

The power required for operation is supplied by the motor 15 whose drive shaft 16 is connected to the imput shaft 17 of the speed reducer gear box 18 through the coupling 19. The motor 15 and the gear box 18 are secured to the bed plate 20 as by the studs and nuts 21. The plate 20 is mounted on the support 22 which is preferably secured in a convenient manner to the bottom panel, or bed plate structure, not shown, of the casting 11. The studs 23 extend from the support 22 and pass through elongated slots in the bed plate 20 to permit adjustive movement of the plate 20 toward and away from the front panel 13 as required to locate the output shaft 24 of the gear box 18 as desired relative to other elements to be described. The plate 20 is locked in adjusted position through the nuts 25.

A power transmitting bar 26 is keyed through its middle onto the outer end of the shaft 24 and presents two like cam arms 27 spaced 180 apart. The outer ends of the arms 27 are mitered as shown and corresponding end portions thereof are removed to accommodate the hardened metal wear pieces 28 that carry integral therewith the toggle operating abutments 29 and are held in place as by the screws shown.

The left-hand (Fig. 1) side panel 14 includes a heavy section 30 having a hole therethrough into which fit the flanged halves of the sleeve bearing 31. Said halves are held in position as a unit as for instance by bolts, not shown, passing through the flanges thereof. The bearing 31 journals the shaft 32 whose axis is preferably, as shown, located in the same horizontal plane as and parallel to the axis of the shaft 24. Within the casing 11, the shaft 32 carries thereon and keyed thereto the arm 33 and the brake drum 34. The arm 33 carries bolted thereto, as shown, the contact pieces 35 and 36 which extend from the arm 33 to overlie the arm 26. The pieces 36 are hardened for improved wear resistance. The arm 33 carries screwed therein the bolt 37 whose shank is encircled by the eyed end of the coil spring 38. The lower eyed end of the spring 38 encircles the pin 39 carried by the looped and riveted upper end of the friction strap 40 that passes under and contacts the drum 34 and may be of leather. The lower looped and riveted end of the strap 40 carries the pin 41 that is encircled by the headed eye bolt 42. The shank of the bolt 42 passes through a convenient fixed portion of machine 10, as for instance the front panel 13, and is fastened in position as by the washer and nut 43.

The outer end of the shaft 32 has positioned thereon the spacer sleeve 44. A block 45 is carried by the shaft 32 and is keyed thereto. The bolts 46 unite the hurling arm 47 to the block 45. The block 45 and the arm 47 are preferably of wood. The lower end of the arm 47 is bifurcated and carries the pin 43 which in turn pivotally mounts thereon the lug 49 that extends from the channel section 50. One end of each of the coil springs 51 is connected to the section 50 while the other end of each of said springs 51 is connected to the channel section 52. The section 52 is anchored against movement in any convenient manner.

At the upper end of the arm 47 is secured, by the bolts 60 and 61, the hurling hand 55 between whose end pieces 5'6 the ball 57 is adapted to be positioned for hurling. The pieces 56 are preferably connected as by a pin 58 at their upper ends. At their lower ends the pieces 56 are connected by the web 59. When loosened, the bolts 69 and 61 permit angular adjustment of the hand 55 relative to the arm 47. The bolt 60 serves as the pivot, while the arcuate slots in the pieces 56 through which the bolt 61 passes permit the pivotal movement.

Above the casing 11 is an inclined ball supply trough 62 from which the balls 57 pass to the hand 55. One end of the trough 62is supported by a structure 63 while the other end is carried on a bracket 64 suitably fastened to the casing 11. A second bracket 65 also fastened to the casing 11, carried a bolt 66 which passes through .the middle of the arm 67 and mounts said arm for movement thereabout. The end of the arm 67 nearest the hand 55 has connected thereto one end of a coii spring 68 whose other end is anchored to a lug extension of the bracket 65. The other end or" the arm 67 has one end of a link 69 pivotally connected thereto, the other end being pivotally connected to the core bar of the solenoid 70. The solenoid '70 is supported on the bracket'71 fastened to the casing 11. The 'arm 67 carries adjacentzthe ends thereof the fingers 72 and 73 that overlie the major portion of the trough 62.

In the normal open circuit position of the solenoid 70, shown in Fig. 6, the spring 68 holds its end of the arm 67 down so that the finger 72 is in position to hold the lowermost ball 57 from further downward movement, and the finger 73 is raised above the balls 57.

The solenoid 7'!) is connected to a current source by the line 74 in one side of which is the normally open toggle switch 75. The switch 75 is mounted on the bracket 76 which is fastened to the gear box 18. The toggle lever 77 of the switch 75 is moved from the closed position to the open position by the coil spring 78, one end of which is fastened to said lever 77 and the other end of which is fastened to the bracket 79 carried by the switch 75. The switch 75 is so positioned that its lever 77 will be moved to closed position by one or the other of the pieces 29 when during the energy absorbing stroke of the arm 47, the hand 55 is in the required position relative to the trough 62 to properly receive a ball 57. When this occurs the solenoid 70 is energized and the link 69 is moved downwardly to interpose the finger 73 as a barrier to the movement of all of the balls 57 above it. Simultaneously the finger 72 is raised to permit the lowermost ball 57 to feed to the hand 55. As soon as the piece 29 passes the lever 77 the solenoid will be deenergized and the spring 68 will return the fingers 72 and 73 to the position of Fig. 6 and the balls 57 will move down the trough 62 until the lowermost contacts the finger 72. By this arrangement only one ball 57 can pass to the hand 55 during any complete energy absorbing stroke of the arm 47.

The rate of ball delivery is determined by the R. P. M. of the motor 15 and the speed reduction ratio of the gear box 18 chosen. Thus, by way of example, with a motor 15 rated at 1740 R. P. M. a reduction of 550 to 1 by the gear box 18 results in three complete revolutions of the bar 26 and the delivery of six balls in approximately one minute. The speed of the ball delivery depends on the power delivered by the motor 15 and the length of the energy absorbing stroke of the arm 47. The height of the delivery while it is dependent on the length of said stroke, is mainly determined by the position of the hand 55 at and just before the ball 57 leaves it during the delivery stroke of the arm 47. The length of the energy absorbing stroke of the arm 47 may, within limits, be shortened by moving the shaft 24 closer to the shaft 32 and lengthened, also within limits, by moving the shaft 24 away from the shaft 32. The position of the hand 55 at and just before the ball 57 leaves it may be adiusted by changing the angular dis osition of the hand 55 relative to the arm 47 as described heretofore.

Assuming all necessary adjustments have been made, the machine is set in operation by closing the switch, not shown. in the power circuit of the motor 15. The rotation of the motor is transmitted to the shaft 24, at reduced speed but at increas d torque. to rotate the arm 26 and to carrv the pieces 28 through a circle and in a direction to pick up the piece on the arm 33 (the broken line circle of Fig. 3 and in the direction in icated by the arrows thereon). At this time the arm 33 is in the at rest or neutral osition (broken line posi ion of Fig. 3) being the position attained b the arm 33. and the parts that move with it. when the effect of the sprin s 51 is balanced by the effect of the b d on the drum 34. In the neutral position the band 40 encircles annroximately one-half the circumference f the drum 34 and the s rin 38 is corres ondin ly di t nded. hen he arm 26 attains the broken line position of Fig. 3 the ener v absorbing stro e of the arm 47 is be un. As the rotation of the arm 26 pro resses the torone applied to piece 35 hrou h the piece 2 result in the r ta ion of the arm 33 toward the solid line positi n of Fi 3. As the mentioned rotation noes forward. the hand i? is nwound from the drum 34 thus reducing the brake effect of the band 40. Since the arm 33 and the arm 47 are keyed to the same shaft 32, the arm 47 and the hand move through the same angular distance as the arm 33. The angular movement of the arm .7 is resisted by the springs 51 and as they are distended by said movement ener y is stored therein.

When the outer edge of the piece 28 reaches the point A of Fig. 3 the contact piece 29 acts upon the toggle lever 77 to close the circuit of the solenoid and a ball 57 is passed from the trough 60 to the hand 55, in the magnet above described, at this time the arm 47 and the springs 51 attain the position shown in Fig. 1. When the parts reach the solid line position of Fig. 3, the energy absorbing stroke of the arm 47 is at an end and the delivery stroke is about to begin. At this time the band 40 and the spring 38 are positioned as in Fig. 4 and the brake effect produced thereby is a minimum. The next incremental movement of the arm 26 carries the outer edge of the piece 28 below the edge of the piece 36 and the arm 26 no longer controls the movement of the arm 33. When this occurs the springs 51 move toward their unstressed position. This movement of the springs 51 rotates the system comprising the arm 47, the shaft 32 and the arm 33 rapidly about the axis of the shaft 32 and carries the hand 55 and the ball 57 through an arc and in a direction toward the batsman. Since the energy release is sudden the hand 55 and the ball 57 are rapidly accelerated to their ultimate speed. As the delivery stroke progresses, the band 40 increases its surface on the drum 44. Due to this cause, as well as to frictional effects, the hand 55 begins to deaccelerate from its ultimate speed. When this occurs the ball 57, being uninfiuenced by the retarding effects mentioned, will deaccelerate at a slower rate and will move forwardly along the side pieces 56 until it leaves the hand. This will occur when the arm 47 is approximately upright, either before, during or after the upright position.

The arm 47 will continue its forward movement until stopped by retarding effects, above mentioned, and the springs 51. It is to be noted that after the arm 47 in its forward movement passes the neutral position heretofore referred to, further movement thereof will distend the springs 51. At the end of the forward movement of the arm :7 the springs 51 will again move toward their unstressed position and thus will reverse the movement of the arm 47. This reversal will occur several times and will end with the arm 47 in the at rest or neutral position when the brake effect of the band 40 on the drum 34 is sufficient to overcome the effects of the springs 51. In this manner the overthrow of the arm 47 is effectively stopped without imposing severe shock effects on any of the operating parts of the machine 10.

As the rotation of the arm 26 continues the other cam arm 27 will reach the neutral position of the arm 33 and another ball hurling cycle will begin. Thus, as long as the motor 15 is energized and balls 57 are supplied to the rough 62, the machine 10 will continue its periodic ball delivery.

I claim:

1. In a ball pitching machine, a lever adapted to support a ball at its top end, a shaft carrying said lever on one end thereof for unisonal movement about the shaft axis, means mounting said shaft for rotation about said axis, said axis passing through said lever intermediate its ends dividing said lever into a major and a minor portion, brake means imposing restraint on said shaft variable in accordance with the position of said maior portion. resilient means having one end connected to a fixed member and the other end connected to said minor portion resisting said unisonal movement and with said brake me ns maintaining said lever in the at rest position with said maior portion inclined forwardlv in the directi n of b ll delivery, and power means periodically appl ing power on said shaft to rotate said lever throu h a power absorbing stroke. thereby rotating said mai r portion from the at rest position backwardly, said resilient means. rele sed as said power a lying period ends, rotates s id le er through a ball delivery stroke, thereby rotating said maior portion forwardly, said brake means including an element fixed on said shaft exposing an arcuate engageable surface and a second element engaging said surface and movable with said major portion to progressively uncover said engageable surface when said major portion rotates in the direction of the power stroke, thereby progressively decreasing said imposed restraint, and to progressively increase the area of said arcuate surface engaged thereby when said major portion rotates in the direction of the ball delivery stroke, thereby progressively increasing said imposed restraint.

2. In a ball pitching machine, a lever, an arm, a shaft carrying said lever and said arm for unisonal movement about its axis, means mounting said shaft for rotation about said axis, said axis passing through said lever intermediate its ends dividing said lever into a major and a minor portion, brake means adapted to impose a variable restraint on said shaft, resilient means having one end connected to a fixed member and the other end connected to said minor portion restraining said lever and with said brake means holding said lever in the at rest position with said major portion inclined forwardly in the ball delivery direction, means periodically applying power to said arm to rotate said arm and said lever through a power absorbing stroke during which said major portion leaves the at rest position and rotates away from said ball delivery direction, at the end of said power stroke said power applying means releasing said arm, whereby said resilient means rotates said lever and said arm through the ball delivery stroke during which said major portion rotates forwardly in said ball delivery direction, said brake means including a member fixed to said shaft exposing a cylindrical surface and an elongated member engaging said surface and having one end fixed against movement forwardly of said shaft and the other end movable with said arm whereby as said major portion rotates in the direction of said power stroke said elongated member is progressively unwound from said surface to progressively reduce said imposed restraint and as said major portion rotates in the direction of the ball delivery stroke said elongated member is progressively wound on said surface to progressively increase said imposed restraint.

3. In a ball pitching machine, a lever, an arm, a shaft carrying said lever and said arm for unisonal movement about its axis, means mounting said shaft for rotation about said axis, said axis passing through said lever intermediate its ends dividing said lever into a major and a minor portion, brake means adapted to impose a variable restraint on said shaft, resilient means having one end connected to a fixed member and the other end connected to said minor portion restraining said lever and with said brake means holding said lever in the at rest position with said major portion inclined forwardly in the ball delivery direction, means periodically applying power to said arm to rotate said arm and said lever through a power absorbing stroke during which said major portion leaves the at rest position and rotates away from said ball delivery direction, at the end of said power stroke said power applying means releasing said arm, whereby said resilient means rotates said lever and said arm through the ball delivery stroke during which said major portion rotates forwardly in said ball delivery direction, said brake means including a drum member fixed to said shaft and an elongated band member having one end fixed against movement forwardly of said shaft and the other end fixed to said arm, said band passing beneath said drum and engaging said drum, whereby as said major portion rotates in the direction of said power stroke said arm carries said other band end away from said drum to progressively unwind said band thereby progressively reducing said imposed restraint and as said major portion rotates in the direction of said ball delivery stroke said arm carries said other band end towards said drum to progressively wind said band on said drum thereby progressively increasing said imposed restraint.

4. In a ball pitching machine, a lever, an arm, a shaft carrying said lever and said arm for unisonal movement about its axis, means mounting said shaft for rotation about said axis, said axis passing through said lever intermediate its ends dividing said lever into a major and a minor portion, brake means adapted to .impose a variable restraint on said shaft, resilient means having one end connected to a fixed member and the other end connected to said minor portion restraining said lever and with said brake means holding said lever in the at rest position with said major portion inclined forwardly in the ball delivery direction, means periodically applying power to said arm to rotate said arm and said lever through a power absorbing stroke during which said major portion leaves the at rest position and rotates away from said ball delivery direction, at the end of said power stroke said power applying means releasing said arm, whereby said resilient means rotates said lever and said arm through the ball delivery stroke during which said major portion rotates forwardly in said ball delivery direction, said brake means comprising a brake drum fixed to said shaft and exposing a cylindrical brake surface, an elongated brake band having one end anchored against movement forwardly of said shaft and at approximately the level of said drum, a spring member having one end connected to the other end of said brake band, and means securing the other end of said spring member to the outer end of said arm, the intermediate portion of said brake band passing beneath and engaging said brake surface, whereby said arm during movement in the direction of the power absorbing stroke progressively unwinds said brake band from said brake surfaceto progressively reduce said imposed restraint and during movement in the direction of the ball delivery stroke progressively winds said brake band on said brake surface to progressively increase said imposed restraint.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 629,044 McGlashan July 18, 1899 1,162,910 Goude Dec. 7, 1915 1,213,577 Boardman Jan. 23, 1917 1,328,929 McDaniel Jan. 27, 1920 1,707,726 Jeter Apr. 2, 1929 2,294,035 Kellermann et al Aug. 25, 1942 2,349,892 Vaughn May 30, 1944 2,650,585 Farre Sept. 1, 1953

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US629044 *Dec 2, 1898Jul 18, 1899Charles F McglashanCatapult for throwing projectiles.
US1162910 *Jan 12, 1915Dec 7, 1915James L GoudeBase-ball-pitching machine.
US1213577 *May 31, 1916Jan 23, 1917Automatic Baseball Co Of IllinoisPower-driven base-ball pitcher.
US1328929 *Jun 12, 1918Jan 27, 1920H K Toy & Novelty CoToy machine-gun
US1707726 *Oct 8, 1928Apr 2, 1929Jeter John DBall-throwing machine
US2294035 *Oct 8, 1941Aug 25, 1942Marvin A KellermannBall pitcher
US2349892 *Aug 22, 1942May 30, 1944Richard W HoodPitcher manikin
US2650585 *Jan 26, 1950Sep 1, 1953Farre Jr Joseph MCentrifugal ball-throwing machine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2815743 *Aug 9, 1954Dec 10, 1957Brunderman Martin EBall throwing device
US3009451 *Mar 13, 1957Nov 21, 1961Zone Charles JBaseball pitching robot
US3252453 *Dec 26, 1962May 24, 1966Giovagnoli Paul SBaseball pitching machine
US4004567 *Jun 6, 1975Jan 25, 1977Henderson Michael LApparatus and method for automatically propelling game balls for practice
US4033318 *Nov 7, 1975Jul 5, 1977Grady Thomas Raymond OSpring type ball pitching device
US4262648 *Dec 11, 1978Apr 21, 1981Slo-Pitcher, Inc.Softball pitching machine
US4271813 *May 11, 1977Jun 9, 1981David RoweBatter actuated baseball pitching machine
US4323047 *Dec 12, 1979Apr 6, 1982Carolina Enterprises, Inc.Automatic ball pitching machine
US4409953 *Feb 26, 1981Oct 18, 1983Nagel, Kennedy, Arad & AssociatesSpring type ball pitching machine
US4678189 *Aug 1, 1985Jul 7, 1987Koss Richard EBasketball return device
US4699116 *Jan 17, 1986Oct 13, 1987John Paul FreelandMultiple arm target launcher
US4714248 *Jul 7, 1986Dec 22, 1987Koss Richard EBasketball return device
US4844045 *May 27, 1988Jul 4, 1989Powell/Teeple Enterprises, Inc.Self-loading, remotely operable and variable, portable ball throwing apparatus and method
US4860717 *Jul 14, 1988Aug 29, 1989Powell/Teeple Enterprises, Inc.Self-loading, remotely operable and variable, portable ball throwing apparatus and method
US5066010 *Nov 21, 1990Nov 19, 1991Mark PingstonBall dispensing machine
US5067471 *Apr 20, 1990Nov 26, 1991Kim John YPortable catapult device for hurling a succession of balls for batting practice
US5133330 *Jul 3, 1991Jul 28, 1992Sharp John CRelief pitcher
US7637255Feb 28, 2007Dec 29, 2009Freeland John PTarget launcher having versatile mounting configurations
US20120325193 *Jun 21, 2011Dec 27, 2012Leal Jose EBall throwing machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification124/7, 124/41.1, 124/50
International ClassificationA63B69/40
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/408
European ClassificationA63B69/40E4