US 2775457 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
25, 1956 F. F. GALBOS SIMULATED BASEBALLGAME Filed Aug. 3, 1951 4 Sheets-Sheet l ZIO INVENTOR Ferdinand F Galbos BY W %6 ATTORNEYS a Dec. 25,- 1956 F. F. GALBOS SIMULATED BASEBALL GAME 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 3, 1951 INVENTOR 'Frd/inaawl E Galbofi BY gun/144 T'7k6 7/ ATTORNEYS Dec. 25, 1956 F. F. GALBOS SIMULATED BASEBALL GAME 4 Shaets-$heet 3 Filed Aug. 3, 1951- Dec. 25, 1956 F. F. GALBOS SIMULATED BASEBALL GAME Filed Aug. 3. 1951 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR Ferdinand .F- GalboS ATT 7 oRmzys SIMULATED BASEBALL GAME Ferdinand F. Galbos, Cleveland, Ohio Application August 3, 1951, Serial No. 240,082 3 Claims. (Cl. 273-y-89) This invention relates to games of amusement and skill, more particularly to games employing a playing piece that is rolled over the flat surface of a board or playing field. The invention is especially adapted to games in which the contestants are opposed in the delivery, interception and return of the rolled playing piece. There are, however, applications in which a player tests his skill against an automatic or semi-automatic mechanismwhich delivers the playing piece in accordance with an arbitrary or pre-set pattern sequence or in accordance with a sequence determined by chance.
In skill games employing a rolling playing piece or element such as a ball it is customary for one player or contestant to deliver the ball across the playing area or surface and for another player or contestant to intercept the ball and to drive it back to the first player or in some desired direction. This form of play may be embodied in a game of arbitrary form designed exclusively for a table top game board or similar small playing area, or it may be embodied in a miniature table top game simulating an athletic contest such as baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis, lacrosse or cricket normally played on a larger scale by opposing teams or individuals.
The design of relatively small table top games in simulation of outdoor athletic contests presents numerous problems in providing an approximation of the style of play. One such problem is concerned with the delivery of the ball or playing piece over an irregular or erratic course so as to make its interception diflicult as is the practice in athletic games orcontests between individuals. In a simulated game of baseball, for example, it is desirable for the player or contestant representing the team in the field to be able to deliver a curved ball or a ball which traverses an irregular or erratic course so as to confuse or mislead the player or contestant representing the team at bat and thereby increase the difficulty of intercepting or batting the ball and. returning it to or across the play ing field.
One of the principal objects of the invention is, therefore, to provide a game of skill in which one player delivers a rolling playing piece or ball for interception by another player, the direction and course of the ball being controllable and the ball being deflectable during travel by the player making the delivery. This aspect of the invention provides a playing piece or ball formed of a material susceptible to magnetic attraction in combination with means for setting up a magnetic field in non-symmetric relation to the path of the rolling playing piece and of sufficient strength to cause a deflection of the playing piece from its natural course. In a specialized version of the invention the playing piece, in the form of a steel ball, is launched as by movement down an inclined ramp to roll across the playing surface. A magnet mounted on a pivoted lever is movable to difierent positions beneath the playing surface, movement of the lever being under the control of the contestant or player delivering or launching the ball so that such player can vary the effect of the magnet in deflecting the ball from the course on which it is launched.
United States Patent 2,775,457 Patented Dec. 25, 1956 Another of the problems confronting the designer of equipment, for playing simulated ball games and the like concerns the provision of a batter or batting device which conforms in action to real play, which can be variously manipulated by a contestant or player, and which has an effectiveness determined by the skillet the manipulator.
It is, therefore, another object of the invention to provide,
batting means satisfying the problem mentioned. In its more fundamental concept the batting means ofthe present invention embodies a rotatable spindle, preferably elongated in the direction of its rotational axis, and an elongated bat, the longitudinal axis of the bat and the longitudinal axis of the spindle being disposed in planes which intersect at an acute angle so that when the spindle is rotated the axis of the bat generates a conical surface. Socket means is provided in fixed or predetermined relation to the playing board for receiving and supporting an end of the spindle. The supported spindle is adapted for universal tilting movement thereby permitting the orientation of the batting means in an infinite number of positions in each of which the spindle axis is disposed at a uniform acute angle to the playing surface and also in an infinite number of positions in each of which the spindle axis is at different acute angles to the playing surface.
Another object is to provide improved means for launching or pitching a playing piece to roll across the playing surface of a game board, the launching means desirably being shiftable to direct the playing piece to travel different courses.
Another object is to provide improved board means on which to conduct the play of a game involving the movement of a rolling playing piece over a playing surface. The invention provides a flat panel or board and a frame structure surrounding and reinforcing the panel bers of uniform section formed to straddle the walls of the game board and desirably including means interlocking the members and the game board walls to locate the parts in predetermined relative positions. As a specialized version of this aspect of the invention, one of the indicating'devices is formed or inscribed with indicia that show the relative position of the magnet shifting lever previously mentioned. Other indicia on the scoring devices or one of them are used in conjunction with slide elements movable longitudinally of the wall straddling members, the slides being frictionally held in any desired position.
Another object of the invention is to provide interceptor means capable of functioning, say, as a fielder. in a simulated baseball game. The interceptor means takes the form of an elongated strip of thin material such as sheet metal bent in a plane substantially normal to its transverse dimension. The strip is thus capable of supporting itself edgewise on the playing surface, in a condition of stability, and is slidable on the playing surface to different positions either by manipulation on the part of the contestant or by impact of the playing piece., The
strip is so bent as to form a pocket on one side for receiving the playing piece. Retention of a received playing piece is effected magnetically or by resilient means carried by the interceptor and extending across the pocket opening.
Other objects and advantages of the invention are apparent in the following detailed description of apparatus and equipment embodying the invention and suitable for playing a simulated game of baseball, this description being made in connection with the accompanying drawingsforming a part of the specification.
Figure l 'is a plan view of a game board for playing a simulated game of baseball;
- Figs. 2 and 3 are perspectivesof interceptors or fielders used" in the game;
Fig. 4 is'a. longitudinal section with parts removed taken substantially along the line indicated at 4-4 of Fig. l;
Fig. 5 isan elevational detail taken substantially along the line indicated at 5+5 of Fig. 4;
Fig. 6 is a fragmentary plan view of a portion of the playing field, partly diagrammatic, this view being enlarged withrespectto Fig. 1, showing the relationship between the launching or pitching device, the batting boxes at home plate,'the catcher trap, and the shiftable magnet for effecting lateral deflection of a traveling playing piece;
Fig. 7 is a plan view similar to ification of the invention in which a diiferent launcher and a pair of independently shiftable magnets are employed;
Fig. 8 is a sectional detail with parts removed taken substantially along the line indicated at 8-8 of Fig. 7;
Fig. 9 is an elevational view of the batting means as held by a player or contestant showing the angular relationship between the batand the spindle and the manner in which the spindle is held by the player for rotation in the execution of a batting movement;
Fig. lis a plan view of the playing field in the vicinity of the pitching mound showing a modification in which the means for launching or. delivering the playing piece is in the form of a fixed ramp;
Fig. 11 is a sectional detail taken substantially along the line l1--11 of Fig. 10; and
Figs. 12 through 15 are diagrammatic views illustrating the deflecting effect of an elongated magnet disposed beneath but close to the playing surface on a rolling playing piece or ball delivered over such surface toward the batter at-home plate from the inclined pitching device or launcher.
The game is played on. a board structure B having a fiat horizontal surface 'over which a playing piece in the form of a steel ball 1 can be rolled from a launcher or pitcher 2 toward batter A. The playing surface of the board B is suitably marked or inscribed to represent a conventional baseball diamond and movable interceptors C are located in the positions customarily taken by corresponding players or fielders in a baseball game. The present game is designed for play by two contestants, one representing the team at bat, the other representing the teamin the field. Each contestant is provided with a score board or indicating device D, the batting contestant having the indicator D mounted on the board at the bottom of Fig. l, the fielding contestant having the indicator or score board D mounted at the board at the top of Fig. 1.
The board B comprises a pair of top and bottom panels 3 and 4" of equal areaand recta gular shape. These panels are held in predetermined spaced parallel relation byframe members extending along all four sides of the panels. Each of the frame members is of uniform section along its length and is either of composite construction made by assembling and securing together a number of suitablyshaped strips or of inte ral construction made by shaping a solid wood strip with a plane or a rotary tool. Molding and extruding methods are also contemplated and can be used for making the playing board frame of plastic material or light weight metal such as aluminum.
Each frame member has a plurality of oppositely directed parallel faces including a relatively narrow inner facedandarelatively wideouter face 7. The outer faces Fig. 6 showing a modcepted or arrested by a fielder is are vertical and constitute the outside surfaces of upstanding walls 8 which extend above playing surface 10 of the upper panel board 3. The playing surface 10 is flush with narrow top surfaces 11 of longitudinally extending ribs formed on the top of the frame members 5, the edges of the panel board 3 being received against the ribs in rabbets 12 formed in upper edge corners of the frame members. In a similar manner, the edges of the bottom panel member 4 are received in edge corner rabbets 15 formed in bottom surfaces 16 of the frame members adjacent the inner faces 6.
A longitudinally extending trough or moat 17 is formed in the top of each of the frame members '5, these troughs being located intermediate the ribs which locate the edges of the panel 3 and the upstanding wall 8 to serve as means for receiving and retaining the ball 1 or other playing piece driven beyond the limits of the playing surface.
The bottom of the game board is thus substantially flat comprising the under surface of the bottom panel 4 and bottom surfaces 16 of the frame members. A suitable cover, not shown, may be provided for the top of the game board, the upper edges of the walls 8 locating and supporting the cover in spaced relation above the playing surface to provide a box-like assembly for containing the several components of the game when not in use. The channel or moat 17, located about the entire periphery of the playing surface 10, is divided by partition means 18 into a number of zones marked with various indicia to indicate the customary plays of the baseball game or other athletic contest being simulated. The partitions may take the form of wood strips glued in place or corrugated metal fasteners driven into the bottomsof the channels 17 in the wood frame members. A ball delivered and batted as later described and not interreceived in one of the pockets of the channel 17 and the legend carried in or associated with such pocket indicates the nature of the play thereby completed.
The launcher 2 is located at pitchers box 19 and comprises an inclined ramp carved of wood or molded of metal or plastic. The ramp is positioned between the pitchers box and second base 20 so that the ball or playing piece 1 when rolled down groove 24 in the inclined face of the ramp comes in contact with the playing surface of the board approximately at the pitchers box and travels or rolls thence inthe general direction of home plate 21. Although it is feasible to mount the ramp or launcher 2 in fixed position, it is preferable to provide for optional shifting of the ramp as by pivoting the ramp on a vertical pin or bolt 22 so that one of the contestants representing the team in the field is able, by slightly turning or shifting the ramp, to direct the ball to roll over any of an infinite number courses in the general direction of the home plate. The pin 22 extends through the tallest portion of the ramp so that in turning the ramp pivots about a vertical axis though the uppermost end of delivery the playing surface of the game board at the discharge end of the ramp for use by the fielding contestant or player in manually presetting the ramp for delivery of the ball to travel any desired course.
When the ball 1 rolls across home plate ceived and retained in a depression or trap 25, such a delivery of the playing piece being termed a strike. If the ball or playing piece is so launched or delivered that it misses the catching trap 25 it is designated a ball and counts against the pitcher to the advantage of the batter in accordance with the system followed in conventional baseball. The catching trap 25 is provided by forming a rectangular opening in the top panel 3 of the playing board. The playing piece is permitted to drop through the panel opening forrecovery elsewhere or, as shown, the bottom of the panel opening maybe closed by a metal' 21 it is reof slightly varying plate which is suitably secured against'the underside of c the panel across the opening. The plate may be larger than the panel opening, providing an overlapping margin which is cemented to the bottom face of the panel. angularlydisposed upstanding portion 27 of the plate 26 extends upwardly through the panel opening and serves as a stop to arrest playing pieces that might otherwise escape and go beyond the catching trap.
The contestant or player representing the team at bat manipulates a batter" or batting means shown in Fig. 9. The batting means comprises a rotatable spindle 30 having an enlarged body portion 31 and a bat 32 secured to the body portion of the spindle for rotation with the latter when the contestant turns the spindle as by rolling it between thumb and forefinger as shown in the figure. The longitudinal or rotational axis of the spindle 30 and the longitudinal axis of the bat 32 are disposed in planes that intersect in an acute angle of from about 75 to about 85, preferably about 80 as shown. Thus disposed at an oblique angle to the rotational axis of the spindle, the longitudinal axis of the bat generates a conically curved surface when the spindle is rotated or turned. In the arrangement of parts shown the axis of the spindle and the axis of the bat intersect within the body portion 31 of the spindle. The lower or tip end of the spindle is received, at the option of the batting contestant, in any one of a number of batting box sockets 34, 35 and 36 for a left handed batter (or 34, 35' and 36 for a right handed batter). The spindle end is rounded or pointed andthe sockets are formed to permit universal tilting of the spindle by the player manipulating the batting means. Rotation of the spindle when the axis of the latter is inclined at an oblique angle to the playing surface causes the bat to swing downwardly toward the playing surface and then upwardly away from the playing surface over. a conically curved path. Thus for each of the many inclined positions in which the spindle 30 may be held in each of the batting box sockets, there is always a single point of the turning cycle at which the bat will be closer to the playing surface than at all other points. It is thus necessary for the contestant at bat not only to tilt the spindle but also to properly orient the rotational axis of the spindle in order that the bat will strike the ball- 1 during that portion of the swing when the bat is moving relatively close to the playing surface. If the spindle axis even though tilted at the proper angle is so oriented that the bat does not engage the ball during the travel of the bat over that portion of its path which is efiective in giving a square or full hit, the bat will either strike only a glancing blow at the top of the ball or will miss the ball completely. The contestant is unable effectively to sweep the bat across a large area of the playing surface at home plate and is required to select a relatively small zone in which the ball can be struck effectively. A measure of skill is thus required on the part of the contestant representing the team at bat consistently to obtain good hits.
As shown in Fig. 9, the bottom end of the spindle is received and supported by the socket in the batters box for universal tilting of the spindle about a fulcrum or pivot point that is only slightly elevated above the level of the playing surface 10. This raising of the pivot point above the playing surface has the effect of requiring an increased tilt of the batting spindle to swing the bat sufiiciently close to the playing surface to hit the ball squarely. The parts are so proportioned that the height of the fulcrum point above the playing surface is less than the distance along the spindle between the pivot end of the spindle and the axis of the bat 32. Other proportions may be used, of course, but this relationship of parts has been found to be particularly effective.
- A further refinement of the batting means exists in the location and effect of the tilt sockets. The several sockets in each of the batters boxes 33 and 33' are spaced at relatively different distances from field center line34 which extends through the pitchers box 19 and home plate 21. As shown in Fig. 6 the sockets 34 and 34', relatively close to the pitchers box and the playing field, are farther from the center line 37 at the far ends of the batters boxes. The reach of the bat 32 is thus more effective when the end of the spindle is seated in the socket 36 (or 36') as shown in full lines, Fig. 6, than when the spindle is seated in the socket 34 (or 34) as shown in broken lines. See the arc 46 described by the end of the bat when rotated in the socket 36 and the arc 47 described from the socket 34, these arcs representing the relative sweep areas of the bat when used in the different sockets. The contestant representing over a wider path or course of delivery, on the far side of home plate when using the socket 36 (or 36') than when using the socket 34 (or 34). On the other hand, however, the use of socket 34 is more advantageous than either socket 35 or socket 36 when the contestant desires to drive an intercepted ball into left field (or into right field when using corresponding sockets of the batters box 33'). This is for the reason that, in using the socket 36 (or 36') the contestant must strike the ball early or when it is abreast of the socket. to swing late for the purpose of placing the ball in the off field (left field when batting from the box 33 and right field when batting from the box 33), a strike ball will have entered or started to enter the catching trap 25 before being engaged by the bat, thereby resulting frequently in a strike or foul instead of a hit. In Fig. 1 is shown the position of the ball 1 at its limit of movement before dropping into the catching trap 25. A ball struck in this position by a bat rotating in the socket 36 will be driven along a trajectory such as indicated at 48 whereas a similarly delivered ball struck in the same position by a bat rotating or turning in the socket 34 will be driven along a trajectory such as indicated at 49. By striking the ball sooner, of course, the trajectory or line of travel of the ball from the bat can be shifted to the right, or toward center field or even into right field, from either of the limiting positions represented by the trajectories 48 and 49. The possible coverage of the playing field is obviously much greater when using the socket 34 than when using the socket 36. Similar considerations apply when thus apparent that the batting contestant must exercise judgment in the selection of the particular socket to be used and must use skill in executing the batting movement not only to strike the ball properly, but to effect proper placement of the ball in the field.
for effecting lateral deflection of the ball or rolling playing piece during its travel from the pitchers box 19 toward home plate 21. The purpose of such deflection is, of course, to deceive and confuse the batting contestant so as to cause the batter to swing at a ball that passes beyond the orbit of the bat, resulting in a strike, or to cause the batter to swing too early or too late, resulting in a strike or foul, or to prevent placement by the batter. The deflection of the ball or playing piece is of varying amount or degree and is under the exclusive control of the pitching contestant. The nature and character of the deflection is undisclosed to the batting contestant.
It has been found that by employing a ball or playing piece of steel or other metal susceptible to magnetic attraction and by setting up a magnetic field in nonsymmetric relation to the normal path of the delivered ball, the latter can be effectively deflected. Although electromagnetic means may be used, a fixed magnet such as indicated at 40 in Figs. 1-6 is preferred because of simplicity. This magnet is of the elongated bar type having the usual north and south poles at opposite ends. It is suitably secured as by cement to one end of a swingable lever 41 carried, say, by the pin 22 which extends through the panel board 3 and also carries the pitching ramp 2. The
than are the sockets 36 and 36' If an attempt is made the contestant bats from the box 33. It is panel-boards 3 and 4 and the lever 41 are of wood, plastic orother nonmagnetic materials so as not to interfere with the field or flux'of the magnet. The lever 41 has a handle portion 42 which extends through the frame member at the upper or field end of the game board as viewed in Fig. 1. The lever handle is thus concealed by the wall 8 and one of the score. boards to be later described from the batting contestant whose position is behind the bottom frame member 5 as viewed in Pig. 1. By shifting the lever handle 42 laterally the pitching contestant can move the magnet 40 to different positions in line with or laterally displaced from the normal line of travel of a ball launched down the pitching ramp 2. Variation of the position of the pitching. ramp 2 and variation of the position of the magnet 40 permits innumerable combinations of deflections and deliveries.
For optimum effectiveness of the magnet 49 it is positioned as close as possible to the playing surface of the top panel 3. Desirably an area such as indicated by broken lines 39 of the underside of the panel is routed out or cut away to provide a thin sectioned portion 44 against which the magnet is held by the lever 41.
Each contestant controls one of the scoring boards or indicating devices D and D. The former, for the pitching contestant, is supported on the board wall 3 at the upper end of the frame as viewed in Fig. 1; the latter, for the batting contestant, is supported on the board wall at the lower end of the game board, as viewed in the same figure. These indicating devices each comprises an elongatedbody member 50 of uniform cross section formed with long and short leg flange portions 51 and 52 adapted to straddle the wall 8 of the board frame. The devices are held in fixed predetermined relation on the respective walls of the game board by pins 53 received through aligned holes in the walls 8 and the flange portions 51.
Top surfaces 54 of the indicating devices are marked or inscribed with suitable legends or indicia for keeping the score of the game. Indicator D used by the batting contestant is marked, for example, to show runners on base and runs scored. Slides 55 of metal or transparent colored plastic are movable to different positions along the length of the indicating devices to designate the pertinent inscriptions. The slides 55 are of C shape and have inturned ends received in longitudinal grooves 56 formed on opposite sides of the indicator bodies 50. The frictional grip of the slides on the indicator bodies retains the slides in adjusted positions.
The indicating device D mounted on the wall of the upper frame member, as viewed in Fig. l, is used by the pitching contestant representing the team in the field and is marked with suitable'legends and numerals indicating strikes, balls and outs.
Along the lower edge of the outer or long leg portion 51 of the indicator D is an outwardly directed flange 5'7 having an oblique face 58 carrying suitable index marks running from the centerline 37. The underface of the flange 57 of the indicator is substantially flush with the wall of the lever receiving slot 43 so as closely to overlie handle portion 42 of the magnet controlling lever. The pitching contestant, by aligning an index mark on the lever handle 42 with one of the index marks on the oblique face 58 of the indicator device, is thus able to position the magnet precisely in any position which by previous trial may have been found to be advantageous in producing a delivery peculiarly deceptive to the batting contestant.
A ball delivered by the pitching contestant, successfully intercepted by the batting contestant, and driven to roll fairly across the field, is subject to being arrested by one of the fielders C or C representing players of the fielding team in a conventional baseball game. The fielders C represent the basemen and the shortstop, the infielders, while the fielders C represent the'outfielders.
The infielders C steel or other magnetic material and are each formed with a substantially right angle bend 60 which provides are made of elongated strips of sheet a recess or pocket for receiving the .rollingball. This bending of the metal str' magnet 61 secured as by cement to one of the legs of the bent strip provides a magnetic field havingfiux lines concentrated in and extending longitudinally through the bent metal strip. A rolling ball intercepted by one of the fielding devices C is magnetically attracted, and, if the ball is not possessed of too much inertia, it is held captive by the fielding stri The magneto]. increases the mass of that of the bent strip fielder to which it is attached so that a rolling ball intercepted by the magnet carrying fielder is less likely to deflect the leg of the bent strip fielder and to escape than is a ball striking the relatively right leg of the bent trip fielder. Thus an element of judgment and skill is required of the fielding contestant to so position the bent strip fielders that the majority of the balls driven or batted fairly by any particular opponent tend to be intercepted by the heavy magnet carrying egs of the bent strip fielders.
To prevent massing of the infielders and to impart realism to the game, areas of play are marked off or inscribed on the playing surface of the board, the infielder co-vering first base 63 being restricted to area 64,
the infielder covering second base 20 being restricted to area 65, the infielder covering third base 66 being re-.
stricted to area 67, and the infielder shortstop being restricted to area 68.
The arresters C" representing the outfielders are made of elongated thin strip material, such as metal or plastic, formed to substantially U shape by bends 70, each of these 'bent strips thus include spaced leg portions 71 over the ends of which is stretched an elastic rubber annulus or band 72. The edges of the legs 71 may be formed with a series of notches 73 which receive and retain the elastic band in different positions of adjustment along the lengths of the legs. The. strips from which the outfielders C are formed are of less width than the diameter of the ball or playing piece 1 so that in entering between the legs of the fielding piece, the ball distends the spaced runs of the elastic bands 72. This action absorbs some of the energy of the rolling ball and the band traps the ball within the enclosure or pocket of the outfielder C.
as the infielders, are restricted as to fielder being confined within an area representing the contestant. Within the zones of operation and 68 of the second baseman of play it is skill is involved 111 the play, not only in batting. but inplacement of fielders.
p imparts stability to it so that it can be placed on edge on the playing surface. A fixed A ball driven fairly between the zones covered by the several outfielders is apt to strike against one of several round pegs 80, the use of which is optional; The curved or cylindrical faces of these pegs result in indefinite or haphazard ball deflection which may or may not be to the advantage of the batting contestant. These pegs may be used, therefore, to impart an element of chance to the play. 7
Figs. 12 through 15 are diagrams representing a portion of the field of play and. associated or related components such asthe pitchers box 19 (including the delivery ram 2), the home plate 21, the trap catcher 25, and the movable magnet 40 hidden or concealed below the surface of the playing field. In these figures the ends of the magnet are labeled N and S to designate the'nor-th and south poles for convenience in explanation, it being understood that the polarity of the magnet is not significant and equivalent results are obtained with the direction of the magnet reversed.
In Fig. 12 the launching ramp 2 is displaced from its center position to direct the ball over a path or course lying to the left of the centerline 37 and in divergent relation to the latter. The magnet 40 is located by appropriate manipulation of the lever handle 42 before the ball is released so that the projection of the magnet lies in the angle between the centerline 37 and the normal delivery path 82 of the ball. As the rolling ball moving along its normal path enters the effective field of the magnet 40 and comes under the influence of the magnetic flux, the attraction between the magnet and the ball deflects the latter from its normal straight course to roll over a curved path portion 83. Thus deflected, the ball catches a corner of home plate 21 "and drops into the catching trap 25-a strike. The delivery and deflection thus represented on a somewhat exaggerated scale in Fig. 12 corresponds to the widesweeping curve so well-known in regular league baseball. The apparent direction of the ball while traveling along the initial straight or normal portion 82 of its path deceives the batter into thinking a ball rather than a strike is being thrown. By the time the batter observes the deflection of the ball toward the plate it is frequently too late for thebatter to react and make the recovery required to intercept the ball with the bat and drive it into the field as a fair hit.
In Fig. 13 is illustrated a pitch or delivery in which the ramp 2 is positioned to direct the ball over a normal course represented by straight line portion 84 along the centerline 37 of the playing field. The magnet 40 is positioned laterally or to one side of the centerline, however, so that its magnetic field attracts the rolling ball to one side and deflects the ball to roll on a curved course 85. The initial delivery of the ball on the dead center course or path 34 deceives the contestant at bat into believing a strike is being thrown and he is induced to swing. The lateral deflection of the'ball, however, results either in a complete miss on the part of the batter or such poor timingthat the return of the ball is deficient and a foul ball or out results. The pitch illustrated in Fig. 13 can be made without shifting the position of the magnet 40 from that used in the delivery of Fig. 12, thus permitting rapid pitching and'giving variety to the style with minimum shifting of the parts or controls.
Fig. 14 illustrates a pitch or delivery in which the ramp or launcher 2 is set to deliver the ball over a normal straight course 86 which diverges at a very small angle from the centerline 37. As the ball rolls into the effective field of the magnet at the north end of the latter it is drawn toward the centerline 37. This attraction of the ball by the north pole of the magnet causes the ball to travel on a path 87 curved in one direction, the momentum of the ball carrying it across the centerline 37. Continued rolling of the ball carries it into the influence of the south pole of the magnet, thereby deflecting the ball back toward the centerline over a path 88 curved in the other or reverse direction. The erratic movement of the 10 ball induced by movement of the ball first into the zone of influence of one magnetic pole and then into. the zone of influence of the other magnetic pole confuses the batting contestant and interferes with a well timed interception and return of the ball. If the batter fails to swing, be-
lieving that the ball will miss the plate because of its erratic movement, a called strike results since the ball traverses the plate and is caught in the trap 45- Fig. 15 illustrates a delivery in which the straight line of travel of the ball as launched by the ramp 2 substantially coincides with the playing field centerline 37. The magnet is positioned so that its projection on the playing surface is symmetric about the centerline as in the delivery illustrated in Fig. 14. Since the magnetic field is substantially symmetrically divided on opposite sides of the centerline 37, there is little or no lateral deflection of the ball and a certain strike results. The position of the launching ramp 2 is the same here as for the deliveries illustrated in Figs. 13 and :15. The differ- :ence in ball travel results merely from a shift in the position of the magnet. It is thus apparent that in a series of pitches considerable deception can be practiced and a batter,to be successful, must be skillful and alert.
Figs. 7 and 8 illustrate a modification in which a pair of magnets 91 and 92 are secured on the ends of remote control levers 93 and 94, respectively, disposed in the space between the top and bottom game board panels 3 and 4. The levers are mounted on a vertical pin 95 which extends through the upper panel board 3 and is secured by embedment in a molded plastic material launching ramp 96. Spacing washers 97 separate the levers 93 from one another and from the bottom of the panel and a nut 98 holds the levers and spacing washers assembled on the pivot pin. Launching ramp 96 is similar in operation to the ramp 2 previously described but turns about a vertical axis adjacent the lower end of the ramp. 1 The magnet operating levers 93 and 94 extend through a slot or slots in the frame member of the game board at the fielding contestants end in a'manner similar to the arrangement of the lever 41 previously described. 1 Manipulationof the levers by the fielding contestant to locate the magnets 91 and 92 in different positions relative to one another and to the line of travel of the rolling ball results in numerous pitching variations and styles. The provision of a plurality of ball deflecting magnets in lieu of the single magnet first described gives greater flexibility to the pitching style and permits a more varied control of the'ball travel. As shown in Fig. 7, for example, the magnet 91 may be positioned on the left field side of the centerline 37 while the magnet 92 is positioned on the right field side of such centerline. A ball delivered down the ramp 96 to travel a normal path along the centerline 37 is first deflected to the left field side of the centerline 37 by the magnet 91 and is then deflected by the magnet 92 to cross over the field centerline to the right field side. Other relative positions of the magnets can be employed as'desired and the launching ramp 96 can be turned on.
the pivot pin 95 to vary the direction of ball delivery in providing various pitching combinations.
Figs. 10 and 11 illustrate a modified pitching or ball delivery ramp of the fixed type. Instead of the ramp being pivoted as described in connection with the preceding figures, the ramp comprises a wedge shaped block 99 of wood or plastic secured as by cement rigidly to the playing board surface at the pitchers box 19. The block has an inclined face on which are formed a multiplicity of grooves 100 that guide the ball and direct it to travel along a predetermined path. The grooves 100 are preferably nonparallel, being either divergent or, as shown, convergent. At the upper end of each of the grooves a locating depression101 is formed in horizontal top surface 102 of the block. The depression locates the ball in alignment with the groove down which it is to be launched. Similar depressions may be used on the other ramps.
In using the fixed ramp block 99 the contestant selects that one of the grooves 100 which is oriented in the desired direction and rolls the ball down such groove. By reason of the nonparallel relation of the grooves the ball can be delivered to roll along any one of several different paths. Amodification using thefixed type of pitching or launching ramp has the pivot pin 22 (or 95 in the case of the multiple control magnet arrangement) suitably shortened and secured at its upper end in the top panel board 3.
In accordance with the patent statutes the principles of the present invention may be utilized in various ways, numerous ,l'IlOdlfiOZD'filOllS and alterations being contemplated, substitution of parts and changes in construction being resorted to as desired, it being understood that the particular embodiments and modifications shown in the drawings and described above and the particular method set forth are given merely for purposes of explanation and illustration without intending to limit the scopeof the claims to the specific details disclosed.
What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. Apparatus for playing a game of the type in which one contestant launches a ball to travel a course from a pitchers box to a home plate across a flat horizontal playing surface and another contestant attempts to intercept or strike the launched ball, said apparatus comprising a board having a horizontal substantially flat upper playing surface with a simulated baseball diamond thereon, agmetal ball susceptible to magnetic attraction, means carried by the board for launching the ball to travel across the playing surface of the board, a pair of magnets for deflecting the projected ball, first control and support means carried by the board. and supporting one magnet of the pair beneath the board, second control and support means carried by the board and supporting the other magnet of the pair beneath the board, said first and second control and support means each being a manually adjustable lever pivotally mounted to swing about. a vertical axis and adapted individually to move the respective magnets independently of one another over predetermined paths transverse to the course of the ball, wherein each magnet i carried on a respective lever to swing in an 'arcuate path, said levers having a common pivot point, the distances from the magnets .to the pivot points being unequal so that the magnets may be alined on said course from said pitchers box to said home plate.
2. Apparatus for playing a game of the type in which one contestant launches a ball to travel a course from a pitchers box to a home plate across a flat horizontal playing surface and another contestant attempts to intercept or strike the launched ball, said apparatus comprising a board having a horizontal substantially flat upper playing surface with a simulated baseball diamond thereon, a metal ball susceptible to magnetic attraction,
means carried by the board for launching the ball to travel across the playing surface of the board, a pair of magnets for deflecting the projected ball, first control and support means carried by the board and supporting one magnet of the pair beneath the board, second control and support means carried by the board and supporting the other magnet of the pair beneath the board, said first and second control and support means each being a manually adjustable lever, a common pivot pin mounting the levers of the said first and second control and support means for swinging movement about a common vertical axis, and the levers being adapted individually to move the respective magnets independently of one another over predetermined path-s transverse to the course of the ball, said magnets being mounted on respective levers to swing inarcuate paths, the distances of said magnets tousaid comm-on pivot point being unequal so that said magnets may be alined on said course between said pitchers box and said home plate.
3. Apparatus for playing a game of the type in which one contestant launches a ball to travel a course from a pitchers box to a home plate across a flat horizontal playing surface and another contestant attempts to intercept or strike the launched ball, said apparatus comprising a board having a horizontal substantially flat upper playing surface with a simulated baseball diamond thereon, a metal ball susceptible to magnetic attraction, a ramp having an inclined track to guide the ball and down which the ball rolls by gravity onto the playing surface when launched by the one contestant and from which the ball travels onto and across the playing surface,
said ramp and the inclined track being exposed to view throughout substantially the entire length of the track so that the other contestant can watch the acceleration of the ball by gravity, means mounting the ramp on the board for pivotal movement about an axis normal to the playing surface so that the one contestant can change the direction of the course of the launched ball across the playing surface, a pair of magnets for deflecting the projected ball, first control and support means carried by the board and supporting one magnet of the pair beneath the board, second control and support means carried by the board and supporting the other magnet of the pair beneath the board, said first and second control and support means each being a manually adjustable lever, the levers being mounted for swinging movement about the common pivot axis of the ramp, and the levers being adapted individually to move the respective magnet independently of one another over predetermined paths transverse to the course of the ball, said magnets being mounted on respective levers to swing in arcuate paths, the distances of said magnets to said common pivot point being unequal so that said magnets may be alined on said course between said pitchers box and said home plate.
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